Retirement Villages & Residential Parks - Catalyst Foundation

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Retirement Villages and Residential Parks

Retirement housing consists of accommodation for people who live fully independently or with limited support. It includes units, houses and apartments operating under the Retirement Village scheme; rental independent living units; community housing and residential parks. 

This section refers to retirement villages and residential parks. This accommodation is not funded by Government. Depending on the amount paid in entry contribution (for retirement villages), or in rent, the resident may be eligible for Rent Assistance if they receive a pension, allowance or benefit.

This website contains a range of resources on housing options and contains links to external resources for people considering downsizing and moving.

For further information on all aspects of retirement housing in South Australia, please make an appointment to talk to our information officer at our office at 1/47 Tynte Street, North Adelaide or contact us on (08) 8168 8776 or by email at information@catalystfoundation.com.au.

We do not maintain information on other housing providers that may cater for seniors but are not covered by current legislation.

Our library of resources includes the following factsheets and lists which may assist you with some issues to consider when deciding to move:

To move or not to move

Retirement housing types_Definitions

Staying longer in your home_Checklist

Packing up and moving

Retirement villages offering assisted living units

Retirement housing with ACF on site or adjacent

Online housing directory

To search for retirement villages or for rental independent living units for seniors visit our directory.

Seminars

Catalyst Foundation offers regular Housing-related seminars including Retirement Villages and Downsizing: to stay or to go?

These seminars are held at our office in North Adelaide. For information about the next seminars and to book online, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/catalyst-foundation-12889732924. Alternatively contact us on (08) 8168 8776 or by email at information@catalystfoundation.com.au.Bookings are essential.

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Retirement Villages

Retirement villages consist of residential units on common land regulated by the Retirement Villages Act 2016 and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2017


The Act defines a ‘retirement village scheme’ as one that is established (predominantly), for ‘eligible persons and their spouses or domestic partners’. An ‘eligible person’ is defined as one who has attained the age of 55 years and retired from full-time employment.

In South Australia the Office for Ageing Well has responsibility for the administration of the Act.

Retirement villages operate independently of government funding. It is important that prospective residents, existing residents and residents’ committees understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act and its Regulations.

Our information is aimed at helping prospective residents understand their options and to make informed decisions about retirement villages or other housing options.

See our fact sheets:

This information is a guide only and is not intended as legal advice. It is recommended that you seek advice from family, carers/supporters and legal or financial practitioner(s), prior to making a decision about moving into a retirement village.

To search for Retirement Villages on our online Housing Directory visit www.catalystfoundation.com.au/housing/ The Housing Directory contains a comprehensive listing of SA retirement villages and senior-specific low cost rental accommodation, including current vacancies. If you experience any difficulty contact us for assistance with searching and retrieving information for the directory.

A Retirement Village is not?

Retirement villages are not

  • Aged care homes (formerly known as nursing homes and hostels). These facilities are administered and operated under the Aged Care Act and are funded by the Australian Government. An aged care assessment (also known as an ACAT) is required to be eligible to enter these facilities.
  • Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) (formerly known as rest homes). SRF’s commonly house adults with a disability or mental illness. Some retirement villages also offer serviced apartments that are licensed as Supported Residential Facilities.
  • Residential Parks accommodation is regulated by the Residential Parks Act 2007.

Useful resources and contacts:

The Office for Ageing Well administers the South Australia Retirement Villages Act and provides information and advice to residents, residents committees, administering authorities and the public on matters referring to retirement villages; mediation and conciliation of contractual disputes and investigation of breaches of the Act. The Office publishes a guide for Retirement Villages residents and prospective residents.

The legislation covering Retirement Villages is: Retirement Villages Act 2016 and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2017.

The South Australian Civil Administrative Tribunal (SACAT)  has the power to resolve disputes between retirement villages and residents, including breaches of the residence contract or breaches of the Act.

South Australian Retirement Villages Residents Association (SARVRA) is a membership-based organisation who seek to provide information and advice to, and advance the interests of, retirement village residents. SARVRA also offers information to persons considering moving to a retirement village.

Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) assists current retirement village residents to understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to their occupancy and provides advice, support, or representation to a resident with matters relating to the resident’s contract and the Retirement Village legislation.

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Residential Parks

Residential parks include both mixed-use caravan parks and dedicated residential parks.

Dedicated residential parks provide a housing option which differs to a licence for a resident-funded retirement village unit. In Residential Parks, the resident owns the home but not the land on which the home is situated and residents rent the site from the park owner / operator of the site.

Mixed use parks may offer rental accommodation in cabins or caravans owned by the park operator and may be an affordable rental option. Long term rental of powered sites for caravan owners may also be offered.

For further details on residential parks see our resources:

Fact sheet Residential Parks housing

List Residential Parks in South Australia

Other useful resources and contacts:

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) provide advice or further information about tenancy issues, including those related to Residential Parks. It publishes booklets covering the various types of residential park arrangements:

CBS also maintains the residential parks register.

SA Residential Parks Residents Association Inc. the peak body representing people who own homes in dedicated residential parks in South Australia.

South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has the power to resolve disputes between residential park owners/operators and residents, including breaches of the Act.

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