PhD Scholarship in Social Housing

The Unison Housing Research LaB (UHRL) is a unique education and research collaboration between RMIT University and Unison Housing, Victoria’s largest social housing provider. The LaB is situated in the Social and Global Studies Centre (SGSC) in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS). The LaB was established in 2017 and is funded for five years to undertake an innovative research program informed by the experiences of service users and providers.

We are seeking highly motivated and qualified applicants for a PhD scholarship to commence in February, 2019. The successful applicant will have, at minimum, an Honours level qualification in social science or related discipline (e.g. sociology, psychology, anthropology, criminology, law, gender, politics, health) and will have experience in quantitative research methods. Utilising their skills with administrative and survey data, the successful candidate will examine why people leave social housing and what happens to them subsequently. The candidate will investigate three questions:

  1. What are the reasons households leave social housing?
  2. What sort of housing do people subsequently move into and, relatedly, what proportion end up experiencing homelessness after they exit.
  3. What are the patterns of service use following exits from social housing.

In answering these questions this PhD project will provide important insights into the personal, social and economic costs of leaving social housing. It will also provide useful information for Unison with respect to maximising positive exits and minimising negative exits which are costly to everyone.

A stipend of $30,900 per annum pro rata (full time study) for three years.

Expressions of interest must be submitted via email by Friday October 26th, 2018.

Expressions of interest should contain the following information:

  • A one-page summary justifying the applicant’s suitability for the role
  • An academic CV
  • Transcript of qualifying degree
  • A copy of any publications, thesis or other scholarly writing

For further information contact:

Dr Juliet Watson,  03 9925 3477

Prof Guy Johnson,   03 9925 9893

Members feature in social enterprise book

CHIA Vic members Haven: Home; Safe and St Kilda Community Housing (SCH) both feature in a new book on social enterprise.

Haven: Home; Safe’s maintenance subsidiary, HIVE, provides trade and non-trade services, to maintain its short and long-term housing portfolio across Melbourne and the Barwon South West region.

HIVE employs a mix of mature, experienced workers and young people who want to join the workforce for the first time or maintain work. The HIVE Team achieves a property clean turnaround time of 2.8 days, well below the commercial average of 7-10 days; it created 12,851 paid work hours in the 2017 financial year, and HIVE staff reported an overall satisfaction level of 85 per cent.

SCH also has its own maintenance social enterprise, TCM, which enables SCH to employ residents and develop and enhance the skills of tenants through training opportunities. SCH also runs its own social enterprise graphic design company skydesign, which puts money back into the housing organisation.

The book, Dollars & Sense, features 40 case studies to raise awareness of the impact of social enterprises – businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people with access to employment and skills development, or help the environment.

Purchase Dollars and Sense.

Why LGAs should work with CHOs

The new planning mechanisms for affordable housing came into effect on 1 June 2018 as a result of amendments to the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

CHIA Vic has created a factsheet for local government detailing how they can increase affordable housing in their municipality by working in partnership with community housing organisations.

Download your copy here.

Shining a light on rough sleeping

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released its findings into the most visible tip of the housing crisis iceberg – rough sleepers.

The AIHW report looked at service patterns by rough sleepers over four years, finding that the majority were 2 in 3 were male (65%), aged over 35, and 19 per cent were Aboriginal.

Researchers identified five typical pathways into adult homelessness: housing crisis; family breakdown; substance abuse; mental health; and, transitioning from being homeless in youth (‘youth to adult’).

Download the report.

Pathways to housing tax reform

A new AHURI report released today puts forward an evidence-based strategy to overcome the political deadlock afflicting housing tax reform in Australia.

The final report from the AHURI Inquiry, ‘Pathways to housing tax reform‘, features innovative economic modelling and implementation timeframes to steer tax settings that progress the efficiency, equity and sustainability of housing tax policy, and also presents viable political pathways to achieving these outcomes.

-courtesy of AHURI

Report backs level of unmet need

A new report commissioned by the Family Violence Housing Assistance Implementation Taskforce has found an additional 1,700 social housing homes are needed each year, for the next 20 years, to maintain social housing at its current 3.5 per cent share of the total homes in Victoria.

‘Double this amount of social housing homes is needed over the next 20 years if lower income households, currently facing housing stress in the private rental market, are to have affordable housing,’ the report states.

The report Victoria’s social housing supply requirements to 2036, was researched by Dr Judy Yates, an Honorary Associate in the School of Economics at the University of Sydney.

A key aim of the research was to quantify the number of additional social housing units needed to house victims of family violence who are currently unable to gain access to and sustain private rental accommodation.

CHFV EO Lesley Dredge welcomed the report, which mirrors research commissioned by CHFV that found 1,800 new homes are needed each year.

‘It’s further proof of the scale of this issue and the need for action,’ Ms Dredge says.

Click here to view the report.