This event has ended.

Precariously placed: Housing, health and disability in Australia

Weatherboard house tipping over an edge

Although Australia has had uninterrupted economic growth over the last 25 years, there are rising levels of housing stress and homelessness, and record levels of household debt.Appropriate housing is a vital foundation that supports education and employment pathways, yet many Australians with disabilities face overwhelming housing challenges. Recent research confirms that unsafe and poor-quality housing can have a detrimental impact on people’s health, and that people with disabilities are especially disadvantaged when it comes to housing options. 

Listen to our panel discuss what’s driving this housing inequality and explore the relationship between housing, disability and health. They also look at the broader policy context and the priorities ahead to work towards a system that’s fair, equitable and safe for the growing number of Australians with disabilities.

The panel was held on 13 May 2019, you can listen to the discussion here or read the transcript of the event here. The following speakers led the discussion:

Peter Mares (Moderator) - Author of No Place Like Home: Repairing Australia’s Housing Crisis and lead moderator with The Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership. Peter is an adjunct fellow at the Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University and contributing editor to Inside Story magazine. Previously, he was an ABC broadcaster for 25 years.

Zoe Aitken - Research Fellow in Epidemiology in the Disability and Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. She has a particular interest in understanding how socio-economic factors drive the association between disability and poor health.

Rebecca Bentley - Associate Professor of Social Epidemiology in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Rebecca’s research explores the role of housing and residential location in shaping health and wellbeing in Australia. She is particularly interested in the impact of unaffordable housing on people’s lives. 

Joseph Connellan has worked in the not for profit sector on developing models of affordable housing for people with disability. He currently leads the NDIS Housing Pathways Program for the Melbourne Disability Institute. 

Oliver Hunter is an aspiring comedian and media personality who currently works for the Alcott Foundation’s ‘Get Skilled Access’ program. Oliver will talk about his recent experience of looking for a place to live in Melbourne.

Who should attend? 

People with disability and families seeking housing options, researchers, housing providers, investors, support workers, policy makers, and anyone who is interested in how safe, affordable and quality housing could improve the lives of people with disabilities in Australia. 

Do you have a question you would like answered at the event?

If you have specific questions for the panel, please email your question.


The venue is wheelchair accessible and there is a quiet room in the auditorium. Auslan interpreters will be present and live captioning will be available. An event recording with a transcript will be made available on the MDI and CRE-DH website after the event.  Note the venue is also known as the Melbourne Brain Centre, a location map is available here. If you have additional accessibility needs that would assist your participation at the event, please contact us on email or call 03 8344 5937 

Housing infographic