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Will Queensland Tackle the Housing Shortage with Caravan Living?

  • Written by John Perry, JAWA Off Road Campers

The housing shortage in Queensland is more real than ever. As shown in a report by the UNSW, homelessness has risen by 22% since 2017. Lack of available affordable housing is affecting both regional and inner-city Queenslanders. People are looking for a solution and they need it quick. Are caravans and campers the way to go?

 What is the Reality of the Current Housing Crisis in Queensland?

Homelessness is experiencing a particular rise in seniors, those struggling with mental illness and people recently released from prison. Lack of affordable housing is due to a myriad of factors, and experts are struggling to pinpoint the driving cause. Some of these perceived factors include interstate migration, cost of living pressure, growing population and much more.

What Changes are Already in Place?

In September of 2022, the Queensland Government started an initiative that puts a two-year embargo on laws that prohibit building secondary dwellings without approval. A secondary dwelling is a self-contained dwelling, such as a granny flat on the same property. This means that people can skip the long and expensive process of approval. Unfortunately, people only have until later this year to take advantage of this initiative.

What are the Current Laws Around Caravan Living?

Renting in Caravan Parks

It is possible to stay short or long term in a caravan park. There are two kinds of rental agreements, one for a six week stay and one for stays longer than six weeks.

Renting in a caravan park is often seen as a cost-effective option as you won’t have the same fees, bills, and maintenance costs as a home. But it isn’t always cheaper overall. Caravan parks pricing varies depending on where you stay and the type of rental agreement you have, so it is wise to research fees for anywhere you plan to stay.

Living Permanently in Caravan on Private Property

It may seem simple to just move into a friend’s backyard with a caravan. But, in reality, it’s not that easy.

Unfortunately, you are only allowed to live in a caravan on private property for up to 30 days in a year. You also need a permit to do so.

Are There Plans to Change These Laws?

There are numerous recommendations being made to help solve the housing crisis in Queensland. From building more social and affordable rental housing, to reforming policies, to solidifying regulation for short term accommodation – the list is endless. But these solutions will take time to campaign for and for the government to follow through.

The current initiative with granny flats is a step in the right direction. Even though granny flats are now more affordable, and construction can be quick, a caravan can be even more affordable, with an even shorter waiting period.

The good news is the push for permanent caravan living on private property has started. Early in 2023, the Fraser Coast Regional Council introduced a new law that allows local residents to allow their friends or family to live in a caravan on their property for up to six months in a year. While this is only a start, hopefully this means that the state government of Queensland can take it to the next level and enact similar laws.

About the author


John Perry is a business owner with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, and a passion for exceptional customer service. John now combines his love of camping and exploring the great outdoors with his automotive expertise to offer high-quality, innovative, and award-winning hybrid caravans and campers.



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