Caravan Industry Association of Australia with the Residential Land Lease Alliance (RLLA) have released ‘Long Term Residents in Caravan Parks and Manufactured Housing Estates: A Census 2016 Social Trends Report’.
The report shows that more than 70,000 Australians lived in MHEs and Caravan parks and that this living arrangement is a vital aspect of affordable housing from both the supply and demand side.
The report finds that approximately 2% of Australians aged over 65 live in MHEs or caravan parks with the sector undergoing a large shift in the past decade.
MHEs and caravan parks, during the mining boom, provided an important source of temporary housing solutions in remote Australia to cater for the large amounts of support personnel required to sustain Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) communities.
With the end of the mining boom, the demographic shift in communities has shown a strong take up from people aged 60+.
The research shows that 37% of residents in MHEs and caravan parks live alone – highlighting the important social benefits of living in land-lease communities which are increasingly providing facilities to encourage interactions between residents.
From the supply side, MHEs provide an affordable downsizing option for the baby-boomer generation who tend to have much equity tied up in their property, especially households with mid-lower income brackets. This downsizing also frees up housing supply in with ageing demographics.
The report highlights the need for government support in this sector as residents living in MHEs are nearly three times as likely to require assistance with core activities compared to Australian averages. In terms of connectivity; only 64% of dwellings in MHEs and caravan parks reported having an internet connection, compared to the Australian average of 90% of dwellings.