Julie Lawson

Dr Julie Lawson is Honorary Associate Professor with RMIT AHURI Research Centre. Julie has a long term interest in housing issues and their resolution in many different countries through her research of housing systems, explanations for their development pathways and policy alternatives. Since 1993 she has published on international developments in urban development, social housing, housing finance, performance management and systems of housing provision in Europe, Australasia, North America and Asia, via various mediums including leading academic journals, peer reviewed scientific reports, as well as national radio documentaries. She has worked for institutes and universities (OTB TU Delft, AHURI, University of Sydney, RMIT, UNSW, Institute of Housing Studies IHS, Erasmus and University of Amsterdam), the United Nations (UNCHS, Habitat, Nairobi, OHCHR, Human Rights, Geneva), the Dutch and Australian government as well as city governments and community organizations. She obtained her PhD in urban planning (University of Amsterdam), post graduate studies in Public Policy (Melbourne) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science (RMIT) while playing an active role in housing policy developments. Julie is currently living in Geneva (due to diplomatic posting) working with colleagues from the AHURI network and various UN agencies.

Social housing as infrastructure: rationale, prioritisation and investment pathway

This research modelled ways to best finance and fund social housing, revealing that a capital investment strategy, supplemented by efficient financing, is substantially more cost-effective than a commercially-financed model reliant on an operating subsidy.

The business case for social housing as infrastructure

This research investigated frameworks for funding social housing as infrastructure, including cost-benefit analysis and alternatives such as ‘avoided cost’ and ‘housing adjusted life years’, to develop stronger analytical methods.

A conceptual analysis of social housing as infrastructure

This study into the role of social housing as essential infrastructure assessed evaluation tools and techniques needed to enable investment by government. Cost-benefit analyses and business case preparation provide a means to quantify productivity, while the broader range of societal outcomes also needs to be...

Australia needs to triple its social housing by 2036. This is the best way to do it

A tenfold increase in building is needed to overcome the current social housing shortfall and cover projected growth in need. It can be done, and direct public investment is the cheapest way.

Social housing as infrastructure: an investment pathway

This research modelled five alternative pathways to funding social housing and found the ‘capital grant’ model, supplemented by efficient financing, provides the most cost effective model for Australia. The research also established the current and future unmet need for social housing in different parts of...