University of South Australia researchers have been granted approximately $200,000 in funding to explore sustainable neighbourhood development and other sustainable housing studies, under the National Housing Research Program (NHRP).

UniSA researchers will support housing research across a diverse range of areas including leading a project on sustainable precinct development, and contributing to four other vital studies. 

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) confirmed allocation of NHRP funding for 2021, with UniSA receiving approximately $200,000 from AHURI for this round of projects.

Co-Director of the AHURI UniSA Research Centre, Professor Stefanie Dühr, will be leading a project entitled ‘Sustainable housing at a neighbourhood scale’. The project will involve three other UniSA researchers, Dr Rob Crocker, Dr Stephen Berry, and Dr Jennifer Bonham, and is part of a larger Inquiry into housing in a circular economy led by Professor Ralph Horne (RMIT).

“This project will investigate the opportunities for a circular economy (CE) approach at neighbourhood scale to support the transition to sustainable housing in different locations,” Professor Dühr says.

“The neighbourhood – or precinct – scale is often given insufficient attention, but there is increasing acknowledgement that a focus on buildings alone will not be sufficient, because they do not lend themselves to broader economic and process efficiencies.

“Precincts have been identified as the ideal scale to reduce the use of non-renewable resources, minimise waste and use assets sustainably.”

Other NHRP 2021 projects UniSA will be involved with are: 

  • Professor Andrew Beer will contribute to the project A data-driven policy roadmap for the rental sector in post-pandemic Australia, which is led by Emma Baker (University of Adelaide)
  • Dr Selina Tually and Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith are involved in the project Rethinking social housing stock matching and allocations: innovations in policy and practice, which is led by Iris Levin (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Dr Tually, Professor Goodwin-Smith and Dr Veronica Coram are involved in a project entitled Crisis Accommodation in Australia: Now and for the Future, led by Deb Batterham (Swinburne)
  • Professor Eileen Webb is involved in the project Regulation of residential tendencies and impacts on investment in changing rental markets, which is led by Chris Martin (UNSW)

The AHURI Research Centre at the University of South Australia is a member of the AHURI, a national, independent research network that provides high-quality research to influence and improve policy development in relation to housing and urban needs.

NHRP funding for research is awarded through an annual funding round which is competitive and based on the absolute merit of the application.

The NHRP is building an evidence base of practical applied research to support policy development, and is adding new knowledge to housing studies, urban policy and related disciplines.


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