City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

From caravans to global capital: the financialisation of older persons’ residential parks, communities and rental villages

Australia's population is ageing, and declining rates of homeownership and social housing provision are disrupting conventional expectations about post-retirement housing. Two neglected alternative sectors - residential parks and communities (PCs), and rental villages (RVs) - are now changing and emerging as significant housing options.

The PC and RV sectors are the focus of a new ARC Discovery Project led by City Futures Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. The project aims to benefit scholarship and policy development regarding PC and RV sectors, with new evidence about the types of PCs and RVs, their place in local housing markets and economies, proprietors’ business models and strategies, and residents’ experiences of life in PCs and RVs and sector change. The research evidence will assist in formulating local plans for affordable housing, infrastructure and support and care for older persons, and law reform for PCs, RVs and adjacent sectors, such as retirement villages.

The project will also make major new contributions to scholarship on housing financialisation, through new thinking on debt and rent relations, and on investment and speculation in post-retirement incomes and liabilities - the financialisation of older age.

The research team comprises Chef Investigators Prof Hal Pawson, Prof Bruce Judd and Prof Kath Hulse (Swinburne), Dr Chris Martin and Dr Alistair Sisson. The project will begin in the first half of 2021 and run for three years.