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Associate Professor Emma Baker

Telephone +61 8 8313 4851
Position ARC Future Fellow
Fax +61 8 8313 4377
Building Horace Lamb Building
Floor/Room 5 33
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit School of Architecture & Built Environment

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Biography/ Background

Emma Baker is an ARC Future Fellow and Reader in Housing. She has a PhD in Geography and BA (Hons.) from Adelaide University. Her PhD thesis was entitled "Public Housing Tenant Relocation: Residential Mobility, Satisfaction, and the Development of a Tenant's Spatial Decision Support System". She has previously held a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship focussed on examining the relationship between health and housing.

Her work examines the impact of housing and location in urban and regional environments, producing academic, as well as policy-relevant research. Dr Baker's recent publications include analyses of the housing implications of economic, social, and spatial change in Australia, work quantifying health effects of housing tenure and affordability, research on the effects of precarious and vulnerable housing. Her current ARC Future fellowship investigates multiple housing problems and their effects on health and wellbeing.          



Some current and recently completed grants:

• Improving the health and wellbeing of poorly housed Australians: understanding and responding to multiple housing deficit. ARC Future Fellowship.

• Pathways to Health and Wellbeing through Housing: A new Causal Understanding of Relationships, Processes and Interventions. ARC Discovery Project. (Baker, E, Beer, A, Bentley, R, Pevalin, D, Whitehead, C)

• New directions in health inequalities research: Understanding the intersection between housing, employment and health in Australia ARC Linkage Project. (Bentley R, Baker E, Mallett S, LaMontagne A, Beer A, Kavanagh A, Keys D, Kolar V.)

• The importance of gender and socioeconomic disadvantage for the mental health of people living with disabilities. ARC Linkage Project. (Kavanagh AM, Bentley R, LaMontagne A, Baker E, Beer A.)

• Housing Assistance and the Life Course: Understanding the Impact of Policy Alternatives, ARC Linkage Project. (Beer, A, Baker, E., Wood, G.)

• Housing implications of social, spatial and structural change, Australian Housing and Research Institute Research (AHURI). (Flood J and Baker E)

• Addressing Homlessness amongst person with a Disability: Identifying and enacting best practice, National Homelessness Research Project, FaHCSIA (Beer, A, Mallett, S, Bentley, R, Baker, E, Pate, A,)

Awards & Achievements

  • Mike Berry Award for Excellence in Housing Research (with Dr Rebecca Bentley, University of Melbourne) For the development of new approaches to understand how housing shapes health and wellbeing. 
  • Australian Housing Minister's Early Career Researcher Award for excellence in housing and urban research by those beginning their careers. 
  • Executive Dean's Commendation for Excellence in Research, 2014.
  • Finalist in the 2011 VicHealth Award for Outstanding Achievements and Innovative Contributions to Health promotion for "Precarious hosuing and health inequalities: what are the links?" (Mallett, Bentley, Baker, Gronda, Keys and Kolar).



Recent Refereed Articles

Bentley, R, Pevalin, D, Baker, E, Mason, K Reeves, A, and Beer, A (forthcoming) Housing Affordability, Tenure and Mental Health in Australia and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Panel Analysis, Housing Studies

Baker, E., Mason, K. & Bentley, R.(2015). Measuring Housing Affordability: A Longitudinal Approach, Urban Policy and Research.  

Baker, E, Lester, L, Bentley, R, Beer, A (in press) The health effects of poor quality housing: Australia’s Hidden Fraction, Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community.

Baker E, Mason K, Bentley R, Mallett S (2014) Exploring the bi-directional relationship between health and housing in Australia, Urban Policy and Research, 32:1, pp. 71-84.

Kavanagh, A. M., Krnjacki, L., Aitken, Z., LaMontagne, A. D., Beer, A., Baker, E., Bentley, R. (2014). Intersections between disability, type of impairment, gender and socio-economic disadvantage in a nationally representative sample of 33,101 working-aged Australians, Disability and health journal.

Baker, E., Bentley, R., & Mason, K. (2013). The mental health effects of housing tenure: causal or compositional?. Urban Studies50(2), 426-442.

Mason, K., Baker, E., Blakely, T., & Bentley, R. (2013). Housing affordability and mental health: does the relationship differ for renters and home purchasers?. Social Science & Medicine94, 91-97.

Baker, E., Lester, L., & Beer, A. (2013). Housing assistance: exploring benefits beyond shelter. Sage Open3(3), 1-10.

Bentley, R., Baker, E., & Mason, K. (2012). Cumulative exposure to poor housing affordability and its association with mental heatlh in men and women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health66(9), 761-766.

Bentley, R., Baker, E., Mason, K., Subramanian, S., & Kavanagh, A. (2011). Association between housing affordability and mental health: A longitudinal analysis of a nationally representative household survey in Australia. American Journal of Epidemiology174(7), 753-760.

Beer, A., Baker, E., Wood, G., & Raftery, P. (2011). Housing policy, housing assistance and the wellbeing dividend; Developing an evidence base for post-GFC economies. Housing Studies26(7-8), 1171-1192.

Flood, J and Baker, E. (2010) Housing implications of social, spatial and structural change, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Peer-Reviewed Final Report.

Flood, J and Baker, E (2009) Housing implications of social, spatial and structural change, AHURI Peer-Reviewed Positioning Paper.

Baker, E. (2008). Improving Outcomes of Forced Residential Relocation: The Development of an Australian Tenants' Spatial Decision Support System. Urban Studies45(8), 1712-1728.

Baker, E., & Tually, S. (2008). Women, health and housing assistance: Implications in an emerging era of housing provision. Australian Journal of Social Issues43(1), 123-128

Baker, E., & Beer, A. (2007). Developing a workable model of housing need: Applying geographical concepts and techniques to a problem of public policy. Applied Geography,27(3-4), 165-180.

Baker, E., & Arthurson, K. (2007). Housing, place or social networks: What's more important for relocating tenants?. Australian Planner44(4), 28-35.


Recent Refereed Conference Papers

·        Lester, L, Baker, E and Beer, The ROC and Role of the 30% Rule, proceedings of the Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, Perth 2013.

·        Baker E, Lester L, Beer A, Mason K and Bentley R (forthcoming) "Acknowledging the health effects of poor quality housing: Australia's Hidden Fraction" peer reviewed proceeding of the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference, Sydney, November 2013.

·        Baker, E, Lester, L and Beer, A Housing Assistance and Non-shelter Benefits: An examination of health and financial stress, paper presented to the Asia Pacific Network of Housing Researchers Conference, Hong Kong, December 2011.

·        Lester, L, Baker, E, and Beer, A Does housing assistance mitigate the impact of a disability on labour force participation and employment outcomes of those on lower income? Paper for the 22nd Australian Labour Market Research Workshop, February 2012.

·        Baker, E, Mason, K, Bentley, R, Mallett, S (2011) Evidence on the relationship between unaffordable housing and poor health, paper presented to the State of Australian Cities Conference, November 2011.

·        Beer, A., Baker, E., Raftery, P. and Wood, G. (2011) Is There a Wellbeing Gradient in Housing Assistance? Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, Auckland, November 2010.

·        Beer, A., Baker, E., Raftery, P. and Wood, G. (2011) Gatekeepers and Pathways: The Impact of Administrative Processes in Shaping Access to Housing Assistance Proceedings of the 5th Australasian Housing Researchers Conference, Auckland, November 2010.

·        Baker, E (2007) Housing and Health: Examining the Impacts of Generational Housing Reform on Vulnerable Urban Households, paper presented to the State of Australian Cities Conference, Adelaide, December 2007.

·        Baker, E. (2006) Public Tenant Relocation: The Development of a Tenant's Spatial Decision Systems (SDSS). Australasian Housing Researchers Conference 2006, Adelaide, SA.


Refereed Book Chapters

·         Beer, A and Baker, E (2012) Adaptation, Adjustment and Leadership in Australia's Rural Margins, in Sotarauta, M, Horlings, I & Liddle, J (eds.) Leadership and Change in Sustainable Regional Development, Routledge.


Selected Recent Commissioned Reports

·         Baker, E. L., Baker, E., Lester, L., Beer, A., & Bunce, D. (2013). Households responses to declining housing affordability, Treasury Commissioned Report for the National Housing Supply Council.

·         Beer A, Synnot C, Baker E, Slatter M, Wolmersley R, Talbot C and Wilson G (2013) Working to "turn off the tap": The role of frontline services in addressing homelessness, Commonwealth Department for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 67 pages.

·         Beer, A, Baker, E, Batterham, D, Mallet, S, Pate, A, Lester, L (2011) Addressing homelessness amongst persons with a disability: Identifying and enacting best practice. FAHCSIA Commissioned Monograph.

·         Mallett, S, Bentley, R, Baker, E., Mason, K, Keys, D, Kolar, V., Krnjacki, L (2011) Precarious housing and health inequalities: what are the links?, Hanover Welfare Services, University of Melbourne, University of Adelaide, Melbourne Citymission, Australia.

·         Beer, A., Baker, E., Raftery, P. and Wood, G. (2010) The Wellbeing Dividend: Housing Assistance, Health and Wellbeing amongst Low Income South Australians, Linkage Partner Final Report to HomeStart.





Entry last updated: Saturday, 13 Jun 2015

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