About HOME

HOME is a strategic and innovative research centre at Deakin University that solves complex problems around affordable housing, homelessness and social inclusion.

Who we are

Established in 2018, our centre offers a unique interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to social housing research.

We combine researchers from all Deakin faculties and schools into one interdisciplinary group, to enable a holistic understanding and approach to complex housing issues.

Our co-design approach sets us apart. We provide diverse theoretical and practical research expertise spanning:

  • health
  • built environment
  • social inquiry
  • economics
  • law
  • the creative arts, and more.
Learn more about our world-class research team

What we do

We use an innovative co-design approach to create affordable, sustainable and inclusive housing. Our researchers bring together communities, not-for-profit organisations, industry and government. We co-design unique solutions to offset heightened housing stress, rapid urban population growth, new patterns of migrancy and inequality, and an ageing population.

We facilitate dialogue between stakeholder communities, working together to understand their needs and devise collaborative solutions. This sustained engagement has changed the housing landscape for disadvantaged communities in Victoria and has had national and international impact.

Our research areas

We conduct research across four key themes aligned with our vision to provide ‘a home for all’ – affordable, safe, well-designed, sustainable and connected housing for everyone.

Home for life We design adaptable, universally accessible homes that meet personal needs, promote engagement in meaningful activities, and are safe, secure and suitable for all stages of life.
Home we can afford We conduct research informing home designs that minimise energy use and environmental impact, while using low-cost materials to match budgetary requirements, providing a home that’s available to all.
Home where we know neighbours We recognise the significant psychological and physical health benefits of social connectivity. Our research delivers homes designed to foster connectedness and community and to strengthen relationships across difference.
Home that’s connected We draw on a wide range of expertise and collaborations to make sure homes are connected to occupations, services, education, nature, transport, play, food and the wider world.

Our mission

HOME is dedicated to the transformative advancement of housing solutions that cater to the diverse needs of individuals, whether in regional or remote settings or high-density urban environments.

Our mission is realised through the delivery, dissemination and translation of impactful research, fostering meaningful engagement with communities using a foundation of co-design and systems thinking. The distinctive interdisciplinarity of our team enables an innovative approach to research, leading to the development of transdisciplinary methodologies that translate into practical solutions. These solutions, created in collaboration with our stakeholders, are implemented through strategic partnerships.

Our commitment extends to evaluating design innovations on a broader scale, seeking international impact in response to the significant housing challenges faced by Australians and by millions globally. At the core of these challenges lies the fundamental human right to secure, affordable and appropriate housing. Unfortunately, the realisation of this right is a ‘wicked problem,’ a complex and highly contested issue that poses a severe threat to individuals and communities. Failure to address this problem has resulted in a pronounced housing crisis in Australia, where limited options for housing designed for people with disabilities, a scarcity of affordable rentals for minimum-wage earners, and a rising demand for homelessness accommodation services underscore the urgency of our mission.

HOME was founded to embed a better approach to the intricate nature of housing issues. Our researchers are committed to dismantling disciplinary silos and bring together a wealth of expertise encompassing:

  • design
  • architecture
  • health
  • homelessness
  • disability
  • accessibility
  • universal design
  • Indigenous and ethnically diverse communities
  • human geography
  • place-making
  • anthropology
  • systems thinking
  • community engagement
  • the creative arts
  • policy
  • law
  • property, and
  • economics.

Before HOME’s establishment, housing research often overlooked an interdisciplinary approach, resulting in the failure to address the complexity of problems and responses—a phenomenon known as the complexity gap. HOME’s methodology bridges this gap by fostering a holistic understanding of complex issues directly translatable into effective housing solutions. Through our inclusive and community-centred approach, HOME is committed to making a lasting impact on the global housing landscape.

How we can help your organisation

We’re recognised for our unique transdisciplinary approach to housing research. When you partner with HOME, you benefit from our world-class research expertise and network of varied partners.

High-performing organisations know to partner with Deakin and HOME for housing and social inclusion research because:

  • We’re rated among the top 1% of universities worldwide^ (QS 2024, THE 2023, ARWU 2022)
  • We rank in the top 15 universities in Australia for academic reputation (QS 2024) and citations in academic publications (based on the Elsevier Scopus database) (THE 2023)
  • As a member of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), we’re focused on enterprise, impact and finding solutions to real world issues facing our society (ATN)
  • We rank in the top 10 Australian universities for ‘Architecture and Built Environment’, (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • We rate highly for our Engagement and Approach to Impact in Engineering and Technology, and our Approach to Impact in Environmental Sciences and Built Environment and Design (EI 2018-19)
  • We rank in the top 10 Australian universities for Accounting and Finance, Business and Management Studies, Economics and Econometrics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • The Australian named Deakin University the national leader in research capability and impact for Nutrition Science and Public Health (The Australian Research Magazine 2023)
  • We have a proven track record of delivering successful outcomes for our partners such as our innovative Microvillage, Family-friendly apartment design and Microvillage to transitional housing for homeless men projects.

Our partners

With an international research network spanning 50+ countries ranking in the top 20 nationally (QS World University Rankings 2024), HOME is a trusted partner of government, industry, philanthropic and community organisations.

Our partners include:

  • Victorian Department of Transport and Planning
  • Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • City of Greater Geelong
  • Australian Research Council
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  • FormFlow
  • Consumer Policy Research Centre
  • Geelong Community Foundation
  • Samaritan House
  • Alstom Transport Australia Pty Ltd
  • IAPMO Oceana Pty Ltd
  • Nillumbik Mudbrick Association
  • Ausbale

Discover how we can help drive successful outcomes for your organisation

Our partner network is expanding. Reach out today to collaborate with us or learn more about our innovative research program.

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