Kay is the director of CRESA and has undertaken extensive research into housing markets, housing demand, retirement villages, accessible housing, sustainable housing, the residential building industry and neighbourhood built environments.
She is currently leading the Life When Renting research programme funded by the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. She also leads two research programmes in another of New Zealand’s national science challenges - Building Better Homes Towns and Cities. One is concerned with the tools and logics different parts of the sector use when making housing and planning decisions and the other is about revitalising the production of housing affordable to low income families.
As well as these current programmes she has led a number of public good science funded programmes or components, including: Finding the Best Fit – Housing, Downsizing and Older People in a changing Society – a three year research programme assessing the practicalities of downsizing and the conditions which determine successful transitions; Resilient Communities – Doing Better in Bad Times – a two year programme aimed at helping older people and their communities to be more resilient during adverse natural events and recover better after them; Good Homes – a five-year programme on older people’s repairs and maintenance needs in the context of ageing in place; the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Stream for BEACON Consortium; and the social science component of the Building Energy End-use Study (BEES) undertaken by the Building Research Association of New Zealand.