Specialist Disability Housing (SDA) Explained

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Perry Cross
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At its core, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is designed to give people housing options that best suits their circumstances, allowing them to choose the type of home, the location and who they want to live with.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that people with high-care needs no longer need to live in inappropriate settings, such as aged-care facilities, and that those who rely on the family home have the option to live independently.

For me, accessing this funding has given me freedom and independence I haven't known since before my accident.

What is it?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is housing for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) who need specialist solutions and support to cater for their needs.

The funding is available to help participants build, buy or rent specialist accommodation, providing opportunities to live independently or in share homes, with onsite access, where needed, to Supported Independent Living (SIL) providers.

Who is eligible?

It is estimated about six per cent of NDIS participants require SDA, totaling about 28,000 people across Australia.  These are people with a high need for constant or immediately-available support, and those who have extreme difficulty with mobility and self-care.

To find out if you’re eligible for SDA funding, visit the NDIS website

Who provides the housing?

While the NDIS provides the funding, SDA providers, like AHA, deliver the housing. There is a limited number of existing SDA-approved accommodation available. Our focus is on building brand new, custom-designed homes that meet the exact needs of each individual. 

How can the funding be used?

The funding goes to the ‘bricks and mortar’ of a home and is paid to the SDA provider, such as AHA, who is the builder or landlord of an SDA-approved property.

The amount of funding a participant receives is calculated based on their personal SDA entitlement, as well as the dwelling they choose to live in. 

AHA leases ready-built homes that have been designed to meet the SDA requirements for people living with high-support needs. We can make modifications, and incorporate additional functions and equipment, to further customise each home for the tenant depending on their personal circumstances and NDIS plan entitlement.

As an SDA tenant, you must pay a ‘reasonable rent contribution’ to the property owner, which is 25% of your Disability Support Pension, plus 100% of your Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

NDIS participants and their families can also build or purchase their own specialist disability accommodation.  Participants can live in SDA with their partner and/or children, but not their parents. 

 

If you want to build and/or own your own SDA, it’s important to get specialist advice. In taking a ‘build your own approach’ participants should bear in mind they will need to either be registered as an SDA Provider themselves or have an existing SDA Provider provide for them.

What are the road blocks?

Unfortunately, there is a lack of suitable, SDA-registered housing across Australia.  While there are an estimated 28,000 people that need this housing, there are only currently only around 4,000 SDA dwellings available – and the vast majority of those are in capital cities and tend to be old state government-owned group homes.

There is also a lack of awareness of the SDA scheme amongst  eligible NDIS participants. Through Accessible Homes Australia, we are aiming to change this.

Where do I start?

Whether you are or are not yet,  an NDIS participant – get in touch with us and we’ll help you get started. 

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