Unaffordable housing: impacts on socio-economic conditions and wellbeing

Project Details

This research program explores the role of housing and residential location in shaping health and wellbeing in Australia. This study has a particular focus on housing affordability, tenure and their measureable effects on individual health and wellbeing. It is widely acknowledged that there are strong associations between economic factors and inequalities in health status or disease states. However, most of these associations are correlations and do not provide information about the causal relationships between economic factors and health.

Housing is a key driver of ecomomic circumstances given it is a primary expenditure for most people and is a source of wealth and intergenerational transfer of assests. We test and examine causal aspects of the important relationship beween housing and mental health.

This body of research utlises longitudinal data to describe how housing affordability, tenure, housing condition and mobility impact on changes in mental health over time contributing to one of the defining debates of our time – what to do about the housing affordability ‘crisis’.


Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, 2016-2020

Research Outcomes

Selected Media

You call that affordable? How our thinking on housing has become skewed

Housing (un)affordability: Is social housing a moral imperative?

Research Publications

Baker, E. Bentley, R. Lester L. & Beer, A.  Housing affordability and residential mobility as drivers of locational inequality. Journal of Applied Geography, 72:65-75 01 Jul 2016.

Bentley, R. Baker, E. LaMontagne A, King T., Mason, K & Kavanagh A. Does employment security modify the effect of housing affordability on mental health? SSM - Population Health 2:778-783 01 Dec 2016.

Kavanagh AM, Aitken Z, Baker E, LaMontagne AD, Milner ABentley R. Housing tenure and affordability and mental health following disability acquisition in adulthood, Social Science & Medicine 151:225-232 01 Feb 2016.

Beer A, Bentley R, Baker E, Mason K, Mallett S, Kavanagh A, LaMontagne, A. Neoliberalism, economic restructuring and policy change: Precarious housing and precarious employment in Australia.Urban Studies 53(8):1542-1558 01 Jun 2016

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.