Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
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Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

If you have a disability and require a special home that meets your needs, you may be eligible for support through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). 

Under the NDIS, accessible housing – called Specialist Disability Accommodation or SDA – is available for people who have very high support needs. This funding can provide you with a home that is specially designed with accessible features to help you live independently. 

If you’re new to NDIS funding for disability housing, you might find it a bit confusing as you try to understand how it all works. Here’s an overview to help you understand what SDA is, the ways it can support your needs, and how to apply for funding.

How does disability housing work under the NDIS?
What does SDA funding include?
What are some types of SDA housing?
What type of SDA accommodation suits me?
Am I eligible for SDA funding?
How do I apply for SDA funding?
I’m looking for an SDA provider. Can you help?

How does disability housing work under the NDIS?

Specialist Disability Accommodation are specialist housing solutions for people with disability who have extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. This means you have a lot of trouble doing (or can’t do) day to day living tasks such as getting dressed, showering, moving around, preparing meals or travelling to appointments.

In the NDIS, SDA funding falls under Capital Supports in your individual plan. It allows NDIS participants to live in accommodation where you can easily access complex support for daily living. This could be a shared home where you live with a small number of other people, or a single person dwelling that meets your needs.

Keep in mind that most NDIS participants don’t need to live in SDA. It is accommodation for people with extreme needs, such as high levels of person-to-person support. The aim of SDA is to give you housing choices and control over your support. It provides you with opportunities to build independent living skills and be part of the community. 

What does SDA funding include?

SDA government funding through the NDIS covers the cost of the home you live in. Usually, you still need to pay rent and other personal costs to live in an SDA.

SDA does not include the support services you receive in your home. This is covered by Supported Independent Living funding (SIL). You may have come across the terms SIL and SDA and wondered how they relate to each other. Both SIL and SDA are related to disability accommodation, but they are different. While SDA refers to the place where you live, SIL is the on-site support services you receive to help you live independently.

If you require both SDA and SIL because of your disability, the NDIS will fund them separately. This is to give you more choice and control, as you can choose to live in an accommodation that you like, and access another SIL provider that suits your needs.

What are some types of SDA housing?

SDA for people with disability is divided into four different building types and four different design categories, based on what a person needs from a dwelling. 

The four different building types are:

Apartments – these are self-contained units that are part of a larger residential building
Duplexes, villas or townhouses – this type of housing is semi-attached but separate properties in a single land title, or strata titled development. They also include stand-alone villas or granny flats.
Houses – this type of housing for participants is a freestanding low-rise property with a garden or courtyard area
Group homes – a building with 4 or 5 residents that live together

The four different types of design categories are:

Improved Liveability – this is housing that provides a reasonable level of physical access provision for people with disability. This includes additional design features for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairment, such as improved wayfinding, improved lines of sight and light-based fire alarms.

Robust Housing – this is a building with physical access provision that is designed to be very resilient, reducing the risk to participants and the community, and the likelihood of reactive maintenance. It includes features such as secure windows, high impact wall linings, laminated glass and soundproofing.

Fully Accessible – this design category incorporates a high level of physical access provision in the building design. It is designed for people with significant physical impairment, and includes things like safe accessways without steps and accessible bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms.

High physical support – this home incorporates a high level of physical access provision for people with significant physical impairment, and require very high levels of support. They include all of the features of a Fully Accessible home, plus features such as structural provisions for ceiling hoists in the bedrooms.

To be accredited as an SDA dwelling, housing for people with disability must meet design requirements determined and assessed by the NDIS. Different price limits are set by the NDIS, depending on the dwelling type and design category requirements. It’s always important to check that a home meets your needs before committing to a service agreement with the provider.

What type of SDA accommodation suits me?

The NDIA will look at your unique needs when working out the right building type and design for you. It will depend on what resources you need, how many people you would like to live with, and what type of building you would like to live in.

It’s also important to consider how a dwelling will:

  • help you access the other supports you need to live independently;
  • align with your individual goals;
  • ne the type of home you want to live in;
  • help you get involved and stay connected to your community;
  • help you stay in touch with friends and family, maintain or create new relationships, and have your support network around you;
  • reduce any risks to yourself or other people.

Home Caring provides a range of SDA accommodation in various locations around Australia. As well as providing for various support needs, our homes are modern, comfortable, ideally located in vibrant communities, and close to amenities. 

For information on dwelling vacancy, call 1300 875 377.

Am I eligible for SDA funding?

Under the NDIS eligibility criteria for SDA you need to have:

  • high support needs or an extreme functional impairment;
  • be able to demonstrate that SDA funding is reasonable and necessary to help you improve your independence;
  • be able to demonstrate that SDA will help you pursue your identified NDIS goals, and deliver long-term benefit (i.e. that SDA meets the NDIS funding criteria for you).
How do I apply for SDA funding?

The first step to take is to complete a Home and Living Supports request form and to undergo an SDA housing assessment.

The NDIA use the information you provide on this form to understand your situation, along with other information they may have such as Allied Health Professional reports, and reports about your daily support and housing needs. They use this information to determine if SDA will help you:

  • pursue your individual goals;
  • improve or maintain your ability to do things more independently;
  • reduce or maintain your need for person-to-person supports;
  • help you better connect with your family, community, health services, education and employment.

The NDIA may also request other assessments if they need more information to make a decision about SDA funding. In this case, they will include funding in your plan to assess your home and living needs.

It can take some time to get SDA included into your NDIS plan, so it’s a good idea to start early. You can also get SDA included in your plan, to be used in the future (for example, if your health starts to deteriorate over time).

Need help? Applying for SDA can feel like an overwhelming process, but we’re here to help. A support coordinator can help you with the application process and make sure you submit everything you need.

For more information on how we can help with SDA housing, please give us a call on 1300 875 377.

I’m looking for a Specialist Disability Accommodation provider. Can you help?

As a registered NDIS providerHome Caring has a range of housing designed for people with disability. Our contemporary, accessible, well-designed housing options have specialist design features, purpose built to provide supported accommodation for people with complex support needs, so they can live as independently as possible.

Our homes in ideal locations are also designed to be contemporary and comfortable, so you’re in a space you enjoy – a home where you can welcome family and friends.

Our SDA accommodation for participants:

  • are ideally located around Australia to build community connections;
  • are in proximity to facilities such as public transport, shops and health centres, providing accessibility of community services;
  • provide an opportunity build independent living skills and receive high quality supports;
  • include luxury style options with SDA Apartments in Schofields and SDA Apartments in Merrylands;

To discuss your individual support needs, find out about our accommodation vacancies or discuss housing opportunities, please to get in touch. Your first consultation is free of charge and we’re more than happy to help.

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