NDIS Housing & Accommodation Explained
If you or someone dear to you is navigating life with a substantial disability, it’s worth considering alternative accommodation choices that have the potential to significantly improve their quality of life and foster a greater sense of independence.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme offers housing and accommodation funding for people living with disabilities characterised by severe functional impairments or significant support needs. Typically, these housing options involve shared living arrangements in units or houses and provide high levels of functional capability, access to amenities and comprehensive support services.
If you’re considering applying for accommodation funding through the NDIS you’ll need to produce a comprehensive plan with compelling evidence to prove you or your loved one would be suitable for this funding. The application process can be time-consuming and complex so Maple Community Services aims to provide valuable information and guidance for participants and their families seeking housing solutions through the NDIS.
What is NDIS housing?
NDIS housing refers to the accommodation and supported living options that are covered by NDIS funding. These housing options are designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities but require in-depth assessments to ensure each participant receives the correct allocation of funds for their specific needs.
If you’re living with a disability in Australia and you don’t have access to suitable supported or assisted living arrangements, then you could be considered for NDIS accommodation funding.
What is the difference between Specialist Disability Accommodation and Supported Independent Living?
As participants of the NDIS, you have the autonomy to choose and have control over the services and supports you receive with your funding. Therefore, it is important that you familiarise yourself with all the options that are potentially available to you so you can make informed decisions based on your needs.
There are two types of funding available for living arrangements under the NDIS. Let’s look at the significant differences between them:
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
SDA funding is specifically allocated to participants with a high level of care needs to cover housing costs. SDA actually refers to the place of dwelling where the participant would live. These funds are not targeted towards support services but the accommodation in which the support is delivered. Beneficiaries of SDA can either live independently or in a shared accommodation and they can choose the housing solutions that best suit their needs.
The goal of NDIS funding is to support people living with disabilities to live as independently as possible. Therefore, there is only a small percentage, around 6% of NDIS participants that qualify for NDIS funding for Specialist Disability Accommodation. Only if you have extreme functional impairments or very high support needs and specialist accommodation would significantly improve your quality of life will the NDIS fund this type of housing.
Supported Independent Living (SIL)
SIL funding covers the costs of services and supports provided as often as is necessary for a participant to live independently. It can be allocated to help with daily tasks such as bathing, cooking, shopping, and cleaning. SIL aims to help develop these skills within their environment or incorporate assistive technology where needed so individuals can live as independently as possible. This funding can be used within a shared or private home.
Funding such as Supported Independent Living (SIL) is allocated a lot more readily to participants and can cover a large range of supports for improved quality of life wherever you reside.
What types of housing arrangements are available under the NDIS?
Maple Community Services specialises in providing supported independent living and accommodation services for people with disabilities in any home setting whether it is shared or in your private home, short term, medium term, or long term.
These housing supports are included under NDIS funding:
Shared homes can be a great option for those who require around-the-clock assistance, support and supervision to live safely and comfortably. This type of accommodation can be funded by the NDIS under SDA and the supports and services required on a daily basis would be covered by SIL funding.
Private housing can be partially funded by the NDIS under SDA for those who have extreme functional impairment and require well-designed and specialised accessible features. This could include single occupancy flats, shared apartments or family homes. SIL funding can also help with services and assistive technology in these circumstances.
This funding is available for participants whose usual support system or primary caregiver is unavailable for a short period of time, to take time out of the family home, meet new people and gain a new perspective or during a transition to supported independent living arrangements.
How does NDIS housing work?
Disability housing options have undergone a complete transformation from the institutional settings they once were, evolving into environments where individuals can fully explore their potential and embrace freedoms they might have not previously recognised. NDIS housing brings forth a range of advantages such as promoting independence, social inclusion, and improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
The first thing you need to do when applying for NDIS accommodation funding is to make a plan. You will need to have a housing goal within your NDIS plan that will be presented to the NDIA. Be as comprehensive as you can about what you want and need from your housing arrangements. Whether you want to live on your own or in a shared apartment. You can speak with your support coordinator or plan manager to get an idea of the different options available to you.
SDA funding is paid directly to SDA providers to cover the building and maintenance costs. Participants will also pay a reasonable rent contribution and include other day-to-day living expenses such as electricity and water bills. There are rules and requirements in place for all Specialist Disability Accommodations. They must be registered NDIS providers and enrolled with the NDIA, they have to follow specific design requirements and building types.
Finding the right NDIS housing for you
Participants can look for vacancies in NDIS registered accommodation options with SDA Finder on the NDIS website but not all vacancies are posted there. If you are having trouble finding accommodation in your area or wish to learn more about NDIS housing and accommodations that best suit you, reach out to us at Maple Community Services.