Message from the Director
We finish 2022 with a clear need for a healthy housing agenda in Australia.
This year saw flooding in Lismore that has highlighted the need for a housing system that can better respond to emergencies. I put the case forward at the Population Health Congress in Adelaide in September that our housing and
housing system needs to be adaptive to our changing climate. Moreover, we need to consider who will be most affected by our failure to respond to this change.
This will be the challenge of 2023 and beyond.
Compounding issues related to floods, heatwaves, storms and bushfires,
and rapid rises in living costs have affected the ability of many households
to heat and cool their homes – thereby keeping them within a healthy temperature range. According to data from the Australian Housing Conditions Data Infrastructure, more Australian households reported issues of mould and damp
in 2022 than was observed for 2021 – likely due to floods and humidity.
The National Prevention Strategy, launched in December 2021,
promotes the importance of utilising systems in prevention strategies. This echoes our central tenant that Australia’s housing system is currently under-utilised as a lever to protect and maximise population health – we are working to change this.
Promisingly, reform to regulation of rental tenancies has continued to roll out across the country improving security of tenure and conditions in this sector.
We are keen to track the health benefits of these initiatives to improve the
security and condition of housing in this tenure.
To finish, I would like to thank you all for your support and interest in our work.
Big thanks to the CRE-Healthy Housing team of post-doctoral fellows and graduate researchers and to the organisations who have collaborated with us in 2022.
This includes Asthma Australia, Sustainability Victoria, the Green Building Council of Australia, Homes Victoria, the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation, the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
Finally, a special thanks also to our Translation Advisory Committee members who have contributed time and energy to the development of our engagement strategy – Michael Fotheringham (AHURI), Heather Holst (Rental Tenancies),
Erin Dolan (Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation) and Sandro Demaio (VicHealth).
Have a good break.