Rachel Ong is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Centre for Urban Research. Her interests include housing pathways and affordability analysis, the links between housing and labour market outcomes, and the housing needs of older cohorts.
Rachel’s housing research addresses issues of economic and social policy relevance. She has conducted a range of projects on housing issues, including housing pathways in the 21st century, the dynamics of housing affordability, and the links between housing and a range of non-shelter outcomes e.g. child development, mental wellbeing and economic participation. She is currently leading a large-scale research program into the links between housing policies, labour force participation and economic growth, funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) over the period 2015 – 2016. This research program aims to inform housing policy reform, as well as broader monetary and fiscal policy directions that affect the nation’s economic performance, by offering insights into the kind of policy interventions that might aid the housing sector to avert undesirable social consequences that sometimes accompany economic growth. In recent times, she has also conducted in-depth investigations into the benefits and risks of relying on housing as an asset base for supporting retirement needs.
Rachel’s research record includes more than 71 peer-reviewed publications, 20 nationally competitive grants and 2 international peer-reviewed grants on issues of public policy importance. Her research has been supported by a range of funding sources including AHURI and the Australian Research Council (ARC), as well as government and industry. Much of her research is multidisciplinary in nature. She has successfully completed projects or published papers with a diverse range of scholars outside her primary field of economics, including sociologists, planners, geographers, psychologists, health scientists and social policy researchers.
Rachel has a strong national and international profile in housing policy research. She has been appointed to several research expert panels and has received invitations to speak at various policy relevant forums in Australia, including AHURI’s housing research seminars, the National Housing Conference, and events organised by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA).
- Ong, R., Wood, G., Austen, S., Jefferson, T. and Haffner, M. (2015, published online), Housing equity withdrawal in Australia: prevalence, patterns and motivations in mid-to-late life, Housing Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2015.1009875.
- Colic-Peisker, V., Ong, R. and Wood, G. (2014, published online), Asset poverty, precarious housing and ontological security in older age: an Australian case study, International Journal of Housing Policy, DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2014.984827.
- Ong, R., Wood, G. and Colic-Peisker, V. (2014, published online), Housing older Australians: Loss of homeownership and pathways into housing assistance, Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098014550955.
- Austen, S., Jefferson, T. and Ong, R. (2014), The gender gap in financial security: what we know and don’t know about Australian households’, Feminist Economics, 20(3), 25-52.
- Wood, G. and Ong, R. (2013), When and why do landlords retain property investments?, Urban Studies, 50(16), 3243-3261.
- Ong, R., Parkinson, S., Searle, B.S., Smith, S.J. and Wood, G. (2013), Channels from housing wealth to consumption, Housing Studies, 28(7), 1012-1036.
- Wood, G., Ong, R. and Winter, I. (2012), Stamp duties, land tax and housing affordability: The case for reform, Australian Tax Forum, 27(2), 331-349.
- Inquiry into Housing Policies, Labour Force Participation and Economic Growth, funded by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2015 – 2016, with Stephen Whelan, Melek Cigdem, Kadir Atalay, Jago Dodson, Gavin Wood, Geoff Meen, Michael Dockery, Tony Dalton, Judith Yates, Alan Duncan, Mark Harris, Nicole Gurran, Steven Rowley, Ashton de Silva, Grace Gao, Sharon Parkinson and Sarah Sinclair
- Australian Demographic Trends and their Implications for Housing Subsidies, funded by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2014 – 2016, with Melek Cigdem and Gavin Wood
- Making Connections: Housing, Productivity and Economic Development, funded by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, with Duncan Maclennan and Gavin Wood, 2014 – 2015
- Housing Affordability Dynamics in Australia: New Insights from the Last Decade, funded by Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, with Gavin Wood and Melek Cigdem, 2013 – 2014
- PhD in Economics (Murdoch University)
- Bachelor in Economics with First Class Honours (Murdoch University)
- Member of the Steering Committee for the Asia Pacific Network for Housing Research (2012 – ongoing)
- Member of the European Network for Housing Research (2012 – ongoing)
- Member of AusAID Research Advisory Panel (2013 – 2016)
- Member of Commonwealth Treasury’s Housing Research Panel (2012 – 2015)
- Member of the Gender Research Panel of the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2010 – 2013)
- Commissions from government and industry on housing policy issues e.g. Commonwealth Treasury, WA Council of Social Service, WA Department of Housing, National Disability Services WA
- Smith, S.,Cigdem, M.,Ong, R.,Wood, G. (2017). Wellbeing at the edges of ownership In: Environment and Planning A, 49, 1080 - 1098
- Jefferson, T.,Austen, S.,Ong, R.,Haffner, M.,Wood, G. (2017). Housing Equity Withdrawal: Perceptions of Obstacles among Older Australian Home Owners and associated Service Providers In: Journal of Social Policy, 46, 623 - 642
- Wood, G.,Ong, R.,Cigdem, M. (2016). Housing tax reform: Is there a way forward? In: Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 35, 332 - 346
- Haffner, M.,Ong, R.,Wood, G. (2015). Mortgage equity withdrawal and institutional settings: an exploratory analysis of six countries In: International Journal of Housing Policy, 15, 235 - 259
- Wood, G.,Smith, S.,Cigdem, M.,Ong, R. (2015). Life on the edge: a perspective on precarious home ownership in Australia and the UK In: International Journal of Housing Policy, 17, 201 - 226
- Wood, G.,Ong, R.,Cigdem, M. (2015). Factors shaping the dynamics of housing affordability in Australia 2001-11 In: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), , 1 - 57
- MacLennan, D.,Ong, R.,Wood, G. (2015). Making connections: Housing, productivity and economic development In: AHURI Final Report, , 1 - 122