Australasian Housing Researcher's Conference
In 2006 the first Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference was held in Adelaide and it is our great pleasure to welcome the conference and its attendees back to its place of origin.
Over the last five years a great deal has changed in the Australian and New Zealand housing markets, in government policy settings and in the field of housing research. Five years ago Australian and New Zealand housing markets were booming in response to buoyant economic conditions; housing policy in Australia remained centred on the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement (CSHA) and Commonwealth Rent Assistance, while the Labour Government in New Zealand retained the policies it had implemented for the past decade; and, finally, housing research in Australia had yet to be touched by research assessment processes. Today, of course, much has changed: the Australian economy remains strong - if not vibrant - but the housing market is weighed down by low consumer sentiment and a conservative lending environment. The housing market in New Zealand is even more sober. At the same time the Rudd Labor Government in Australia ushered in the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) to replace the CSHA, and New Zealand's conservative government has recast housing policies and programs. Finally, the Australian Government has unveiled and implemented its Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) program, which has challenged Australian researchers to look to the quality of their research outputs.
This changing environment for housing research has added dynamism and interest to housing research. It has reinforced the need for highly quality research that can inform public debate and policy development. Housing remains an important issue that is both prominent in the media and in the lives of individual Australians and New Zealanders. Housing affordability remains a key challenge in many cities and regions, housing quality continues to exert an influence on the health of individuals and household in many places with challenging environments, and housing construction remains a fundamental marker of prosperity.
The 2012 Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference will continue the tradition of intellectual engagement and debate that was established here in Adelaide in 2006 and has been sustained through the conferences in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
We look forward to welcoming you to Adelaide and the beautiful North Terrace Campus of the University of Adelaide in early February and encourage you, and your colleagues, to make the most of this enduring opportunity for intellectual renewal and advancement.
Professor Andrew Beer
Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP)
The University of Adelaide