Call for papers: Special issue of the International Journal of Housing Policy

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Pandemic responses, such as lock-downs, and resultant economic insecurity exacerbate and highlight housing-generated health inequalities




Some of the most significant social change occurring this century in high-income countries is being driven by housing. Entrenched housing models that give primacy to ownership and high housing costs are making an adequate standard of housing unattainable for many; challenging our conceptualizations of housing careers. The economic shock following COVID-19 has triggered insecurity across tenures and is forcing a rethink of housing-focused policy responses to pandemic realities. This has consequences for people’s housing aspirations and their social and economic participation, but also for their health (particularly mental health) and wellbeing.

In this context, it is important to acknowledge that housing-related insecurity and unaffordability is felt by some more than others, in particular people who are also vulnerable to poverty, homelessness or social isolation, or people who have experienced health or economic shocks that ‘push’ them out of normative housing careers. The number of people in this situation is rapidly growing. This has implications for the health of individuals and for population health.

Describing the differences between countries in terms of welfare provision and the extent to which housing operates as a safety net, gives great insight into how housing policy has become a critically important lever for improving health and wellbeing and reducing health and socio-economic inequities. Given the wide-ranging reach that housing has on many aspects of people’s lives and its role as a frontline of defense against COVID, a broad range of disciplinary perspectives across contexts is required to take our understanding forward.

Special issue editors Prof Rebecca Bentley (University of Melbourne) and Prof Emma Baker (University of Adelaide) invite papers that document the incarnations of housing inequalities or capture new policy-focused thinking on housing-generated health inequalities. Papers that span disciplinary boundaries and acknowledge causes and consequences beyond the housing realm will be especially welcome.

We are seeking submissions that:

  • Evaluate post-COVID housing changes and their consequences for social and economic inequality.

  • Undertake cross-national comparisons of inequalities in housing and their impact on health across generations.

  • Discuss novel approaches for measuring housing inequalities.

  • Explore the wide-ranging health consequences of inequalities in housing.

  • Analyze inequalities across the continuum of extreme wealth to poverty.

  • Offer analyses giving new policy insights over and above what is currently known.


Submit an abstract by 16 October 2020

Please send abstracts of proposed papers to:

Rebecca Bentley (brj@unimelb.edu.au) and Emma Baker (emma.baker@adelaide.edu.au)

Full papers due to special issue editors by 25 January 2021.