Dr Rachel Ong

Rachel Ong is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Urban Research. Her interests include housing pathways and affordability analysis, the links between housing and labour market outcomes, and the housing needs of older cohorts.

Rachel’s housing research addresses issues of economic and social policy relevance. She has conducted a range of projects on housing issues, including housing pathways in the 21st century, the dynamics of housing affordability, and the links between housing and a range of non-shelter outcomes e.g. child development, mental wellbeing and economic participation.

She is currently leading a large-scale research program into the links between housing policies, labour force participation and economic growth, funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) over the period 2015 – 2016.

This research program aims to inform housing policy reform, as well as broader monetary and fiscal policy directions that affect the nation’s economic performance, by offering insights into the kind of policy interventions that might aid the housing sector to avert undesirable social consequences that sometimes accompany economic growth. In recent times, she has also conducted in-depth investigations into the benefits and risks of relying on housing as an asset base for supporting retirement needs.

Rachel’s research record includes more than 71 peer-reviewed publications, 20 nationally competitive grants and 2 international peer-reviewed grants on issues of public policy importance.

Her research has been supported by a range of funding sources including AHURI and the Australian Research Council (ARC), as well as government and industry.

Much of her research is multidisciplinary in nature. She has successfully completed projects or published papers with a diverse range of scholars outside her primary field of economics, including sociologists, planners, geographers, psychologists, health scientists and social policy researchers.

Rachel has a strong national and international profile in housing policy research. She has been appointed to several research expert panels and has received invitations to speak at various policy relevant forums in Australia, including AHURI’s housing research seminars, the National Housing Conference, and events organised by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA).

View Full profile

Related Content

Projects

Inquiry into Housing Policies, Labour Force Participation and Economic Growth

This inquiry will develop coherent conceptual frameworks and empirical evidence to guide housing policy reforms that promote Australia’s economic development

Find out more

Australian demographic trends and their implications for housing subsidies

Policymakers are concerned that demographic changes will threaten the viability of Australian housing subsidy arrangements.

Find out more

Making Connections: Housing, Productivity and Economic Development

This study considers the national scale but then focuses on local approaches, reviewing plans and interviewing officials in 13 agencies, to assess how housing are meshed with economic development in strategy formation and monitoring.

Find out more

A New Look at the Channels from Housing to Employment Decisions

This project broadens the research around housing and labour supply by addressing the work incentive implications of rising real house values and the fungibility of assets following mortgage innovation and deregulation.

Find out more

An Investigation into the Drivers of Housing Supply Responsiveness in Australia

This project estimates and maps the price elasticity of housing supply at a local government area level, providing insights into how various factors affect the speed of housing supply responsiveness to market pressures in Australia.

Find out more

News & Blog

Australians are working longer so they can pay off their mortgage debt

Rising mortgage debt is affecting everything from employment to spending, as Australians approach retirement, our study finds. Higher levels of housing debt among pre-retirees are linked to them working for longer.

Find out more

Get used to your commute: data confirms houses near jobs are too expensive

Australia’s capital cities are getting more and more units, that are largely concentrated and come with a hefty price tag, a new report shows.

Find out more

Not everyone wins from the bank of mum & dad

The “bank of mum and dad” is helping young Australians with more than just their housing aspirations. 

Find out more

Can the private rental sector provide a secure, affordable housing solution?

Despite a relatively healthy supply-side picture for the general housing market, the expected trickle down of housing opportunities to low-income households in Australia has failed to materialise.

Find out more

Let’s talk about the family home … and its exemption from the pension means test

As the population ages and the government’s fiscal problems grow, there’s increasing policy interest in tapping into older people’s accumulated housing wealth to support retirement.

Find out more

What’s the key to home ownership for Gen Y?

Growing concerns about their home ownership prospects have prompted those in Generation Y to become increasingly vocal about the difficulties of achieving home ownership.

Find out more

Turnbull should help the states switch stamp duty for land tax

Before the government considers company or personal income tax cuts, it should help the states replace property stamp duties with a broad based land tax argues the Australian Council of Social Service.

Find out more

Publications

Wellbeing at the edges of ownership

This paper offers a complementary view, rooted in a literature which embraces the diversity of health and wellbeing within, as well as between, tenure sectors, yet which explains that diversity with reference to the operation of the housing system itself.

View Publication

Life on the edge: a perspective on precarious home ownership in Australia and the UK

Wood, G, Smith, S, Cigdem, M and Ong, R 2015, 'Life on the edge: a perspective on precarious home ownership in Australia and the UK', International Journal of Housing Policy, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 201-226.

View Publication

Making connections: Housing, productivity and economic development

Maclennan, D., Ong, R., Wood, G. (2015) Making connections: housing, productivity and economic development, AHURI Final Report No. 251, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne, https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/251.

View Publication

Housing Equity Withdrawal in Australia: Prevalence, Patterns and Motivations in Mid-to-late Life

Ong, R, Wood, G, Austen, S, Jefferson, T and Haffner, M 2015, 'Housing equity withdrawal in Australia: Prevalence, patterns and motivations in mid-to-late life', Housing Studies, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 1158-1181.

View Publication

Australian demographic trends and their implications for housing subsidies

Cigdem, M, Wood, G and Ong, R 2015, 'Australian demographic trends and their implications for housing subsidies', AHURI Positioning Paper, vol. 2015May, no. 164, pp. 1-44.

View Publication

Asset poverty, precarious housing and ontological security in older age: an Australian case study

Colic-Peisker, V, Ong, R and Wood, G 2014, '(In Press) Asset poverty, precarious housing and ontological security in older age: an Australian case study', International Journal of Housing Policy, pp. 1-20.

View Publication

Housing Equity Withdrawal in Australia: Prevalence, Patterns and Motivations in Mid-to-late Life

Ong, R, Wood, G, Austen, S, Jefferson, T and Haffner, M 2015, 'Housing equity withdrawal in Australia: Prevalence, patterns and motivations in mid-to-late life', Housing Studies, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 1158-1181.

View Publication

Housing affordability dynamics: New insights from the last decade

Wood, G., Ong, R. and Cigdem, M. (2015) Factors shaping the dynamics of housing affordability in Australia 2001–11, AHURI Final Report No. 244, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne

View Publication

Factors shaping the decision to become a landlord and retain rental investments

Wood, G and Ong, R 2010, 'Factors shaping the decision to become a landlord and retain rental investments', Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Final Report Series, pp. 1-63.

View Publication

Housing older Australians: Loss of homeownership and pathways into housing assistance

Ong, R, Wood, G and Colic-Peisker, V 2014, '(In Press) Housing older Australians: Loss of homeownership and pathways into housing assistance', Urban Studies, pp. 1-22.

View Publication

Housing equity withdrawal: Uses, risks, and barriers to alternative mechanisms in later life

Ong, R, Jefferson, T, Wood, G, Haffner, M and Austen, S 2013, 'Housing equity withdrawal: uses, risks, and barriers to alternative mechanisms in later life', AHURI Final Report, no. 217, pp. 1-101.

View Publication

The dynamics of housing affordability: Movements in and out of housing affordability stress 2001-2006

Wood, G and Ong, R 2009, 'The dynamics of housing affordability: movements in and out of housing affordability stress 2001-2006', Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, pp. 1-62.

View Publication