David Curran, who has been in the caravan industry for 14 years, builds mobile home units for older people wishing to stay close to family while at the same time maintaining their independence.
The units cost between $190 and $250 per week depending on their size, however most occupants pay as little as $60 a week after Government rent assistance, subject to their circumstances.
“We come around and do a site inspection to see if we can get the unit in the backyard first because some places work and some don’t but we try to get them in where we can,” Mr Curran says.
“We then do the full installation and set them up with ramps and handrails, whatever the person needs, then when you no longer need the unit just hand it back and we just refurbish it before passing it on to the next person.
“Basically it’s a way of giving the older person a few more years close to their family rather than putting them in a nursing home straight up, while still allowing them to have their own independence and space.”
Each unit includes a large deck, bed, toilet, shower, kitchenette including stove and sink, living area and storage space.
Mr Curran says the units also allow people to keep receiving care services, such as Meals on Wheels and home assistance, and that all the units are pet friendly.
“They are classed as a caravan – they don’t look like a caravan of course, but they are road registerable, so they can be parked in the backyard and have a family member living in them without needing council approval,” says Mr Curran.
Mr Curran currently has 15 units in his fleet, but is looking to increase the numbers to meet the demand. Despite being based in Newcastle, Mr Curran said he is willing to travel towards the west and central coast for the right tenant.
To find out more, contact Mr Curran on 0415 664 876.