Research and Advocacy

To bring evidence and rigour to the services we deliver, Unison has established an applied research partnership with RMIT University. Over five years the research program will investigate issues of urban housing and homelessness. Read the media release announcing the partnership here.

Announcing the partnership, Martin Bean CBE, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President stated "We just can’t act like it’s everyone else’s problem. That’s not RMIT’s way. RMIT can’t solve the problem by itself, for our business is education, training and research. But we can do it in partnership with agile social housing providers like Unison, with us chipping in with our research expertise to help better understand what is causing and identify solutions, whether that be a question of finance, design, family stability or even education. And that’s exactly what we are doing in this case."

He went on to detail the partnership. " I’m personally delighted that Unison has committed to funding a Chair of Housing Assistance and Homelessness in partnership with RMIT, and RMIT has in return committed to adding a post doctoral fellowship, a lectureship and 3 PhD scholarships to turn one position into a team of 6 that I understand will be the largest of its type in Australia."

Headed by RMIT's inaugural Professor of Urban Housing and Homelessness, Guy Johnson, the research will look into issues like what puts tenancies at risk; how does housing alleviate disadvantage (beyond the immediate shelter benefits);  what makes a good social mix in neighbourhoods and buildings and what kind of housing works best for different households, in terms of location, density  and size.

Using evidence generated through Unison’s own services and tenancies, the research program will help improve the way we manage and sustain tenancies in the future. It will also help us to create and advocate for housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness.

Over the life of the research program the partnership will produce research reports that we can apply to our work and evidence that will help us to be a better advocate for affordable housing solutions.

The first outputs of the research partnership are expected in late 2017 and will be published on this website.