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).

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