Plans for a manufactured housing estate (MHE) in Collina for the over 55s could have the potential to help ease Griffith's housing crisis.
The development from Lincoln Place would see 129 houses plus communal recreation facilities built with an internal road system fitting onto approximately six hectares of land, currently zoned for agricultural purposes.
The Area News has seen the documents lodged with Griffith City Council for the development application, and both the Traffic and Parking report and the statement of Environmental Effects recommend approving the estate.
Some concerns already raised from community members include the impact on housing prices in Collina, problems with policing the estate, and the ongoing management and control of home owners and facilities.
Lincoln Place executive director Nick Collishaw answers questions while the application is still open for submissions, which close Friday, January 17.
What is it?
Designed for the over 55s who are 'asset rich but cash poor', it would provide affordable housing for them to 'enjoy their retirement', one report says.
Land rent is estimated to cost between $250 to $350 a week, with lots varying between 200 to 305.5 square meters, accessed on Citrus Road via a single span bridge.
There will be a clubhouse, pool, gymnasium and games facilities built in communal centres.
How will it help?
Mr Collishaw said Griffith was an ideal location for this kind of estate, and will ease the current housing shortage.
Griffith is "highly desirable", he explained, because there is a strong population of over 65s with a "significant shortage" for age appropriate housing.
"There is a shortage of housing full stop... it appears mainstream retirement operators have not bothered to look at the local demographic where people like to retire in their own communities," he said.
By providing "credible and desirable" places for retirees to own their own homes in the estate, it means those houses will become available for young families.
The Statement of Environmental Effects report conducted by Stimson and Baker Planning outlines the housing estate fits into Griffith's Affordable Housing Strategy.
It will also tick boxes in the Riverina Murray Regional Plan 2023, which estimates population growth by over 11,000 over the next 20 years.
Griffith's strategy outlines possible financial losses of a MHE for people over the age of 55 if it was built on council land, with the costs never breaking even - unlike affordable housing for under 55s which would see the profit exceed costs in one year.
Management and impact
Mr Collishaw said Lincoln Place was "in it for the long haul", being a generational operation, which he says can allay fears over the future management, control and policing of the estate.
A young business just two years old, he said Lincoln Place have completed similar MHEs in Cessnock and Eden.
He also says it is "highly unlikely" this estate will lower existing home value costs in Collina.
"The quality of the homes to be built is equal or better than houses already there," he said.
"There is a misnomer about manufactured homes being caravans without wheels, but they are fully designed homes.
"Modern lifestyle communities are really neat places. We've found with caring management, you end up with people who are extraordinarily house-proud."
The development application is currently available for inspection at Griffith City Council's Customer Service Centre, with submissions open until Friday, January 17.