While many global cities including New York and London, regard affordability as a critical component of urban infrastructure, in Sydney, affordable housing has struggled to gain policy traction. Wider questions about the capacity for the existing housing stock – particularly larger homes in outer suburban locations – to accommodate population growth and change – remain unanswered.

The Urban Housing Lab@Sydney was initially funded through the Henry Halloran Trust‘s research incubator scheme. Led by Professor Nicole Gurran (urban policy and housing) and Dr Somwrita Sarkar (complex networks, computational models), research fostered within the Incubator connects to wider scholarship on urban governance, planning, infrastructure, the housing market and big-data analytics, while distilling key implications for policy and practice.

The Urban Housing Lab has been able to support three Practitioners in Residence, funded by the Henry Halloran Trust, to undertake a period of research relevant to policy and practice.

Recent News

  • Urban Housing Lab 2020 Highlights April 8, 2021 - See the highlights of 2020 from the Urban Housing Lab. Despite the challenges of remote teaching; home schooling; social isolation; and separation from overseas and interstate family, Urban Housing Lab researchers continued to produce important work and contribute to wider policy development and public debate - Housing Lab Co-Founder Professor Nicole Gurran UHL Highlights 2020Download Continue Reading
  • Call for Papers – Sessions run by Co-Lab members at the Joint IAG/NZGS Conference March 26, 2021 - Urban Co-Labs members Dr Sophia Maalsen, Dr Dallas Rogers and Dr Caitlin Buckle are running sessions for the Institute of Australian Geographers and New Zealand Geographical Society combined Conference to be held at the University of Sydney from 6–9 July, 2021. Sessions titles and details are below: Disrupting Housing: digitalization and innovations in housing Sophia Maalsen and Dallas Rogers (The… Continue Reading
  • Submission to DPIE re Housing Diversity SEPP September 10, 2020 - Urban Housing Lab researchers Dr Laurence Troy, Dr Catherine Gilbert, Dr Caitlin Buckle, Professor Nicole Gurran and Professor Peter Phibbs recently made a submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in regards to the proposed Housing Diversity SEPP, with submissions closing Sep 9, 2020. Diversity SEPP SubmissionDownload Continue Reading
  • Outcomes of the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP – research findings and discussion September 1, 2020 - With a new Housing Diversity SEPP on the table, members of the Urban Housing Lab will be sharing recent research on outcomes of the current Affordable Rental Housing SEPP and discussing implications in light of the proposed changes. Dr Laurence Troy will present research on boarding house development outcomes of the ARHSEPP published in a series of recent studies. Dr Catherine… Continue Reading
  • Two AHURI COVID-19 Projects Underway May 28, 2020 - Congratulations to Urban Housing Lab members Caitlin Buckle, Professor Nicole Gurran, Dr Catherine Gilbert and Henry Halloran Trust Director Professor Peter Phibbs, who are involved with two new AHURI COVID-19 research projects. Caitlin Buckle leads the project 'Marginal housing during COVID-19' with Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs and in collaboration with Associate Professor Tess Lea from the Faculty of Arts… Continue Reading
  • ARC Linkage Success May 28, 2020 - Congratulations to Dr Sophia Maalsen and Dr Dallas Rogers for a successful ARC Linkage grant application, collaborating with Dr Desiree Fields and Tenants NSW, Tenants QLD and Tenants VIC! The project aims to show how digital technologies are transforming the private rental sector in Australia. This project should provide significant benefits for Australian renters and tenancy advocacy partners who represent… Continue Reading
  • Share houses strain under pressure of social distancing regulations April 9, 2020 - Dr Sophia Maalsen was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week for her views on the difficulties faced in share housing under current isolation and social distancing regulations. Read the full article here. Continue Reading
  • For pandemic control, housing is the best medicine April 9, 2020 - In a co-authored piece for the Croakey, our Chair of Urbanism, Professor Nicole Gurran, discussed the challenges those in overcrowded and unstable housing situations face following COVID-19 isolation advice. Access the full article here. Continue Reading
  • Homelessness and overcrowding expose us all to coronavirus. Here’s what we can do to stop the spread March 24, 2020 - Professor Nicole Gurran and Professor Peter Phibbs offer solutions to ease overcrowding and house homeless populations during the coronavirus pandemic in a co-authored piece for The Conversation. Access the full article here. Continue Reading
  • Why housing evictions must be suspended to defend us against coronavirus March 23, 2020 - Dr Sophia Maalsen and Dr Dallas Rogers argue for a government-imposed  eviction moratorium in a co-authored piece for The Conversation. Access the full article here. Continue Reading