Resident Wayne with his pet dinosaur Bubba in front of his SDA home.

NDIS information for SDA applicants

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an Australian Government program that helps fund some of the costs people with a disability face, including housing. One way it supports Australians with extreme functional impairment or very high needs who need a specially designed house is through NDIS SDA funding.

Specialist Disability Accommodation SDA dwellings range from a shared home with a small number of other people to apartments and houses built to SDA design standards.

NDIS SDA funding helps cover the cost of renting specialist disability accommodation, not people’s living costs. It is a significant investment, so NDIS SDA eligibility is strict, and funding is only available to a small number of NDIS participants.

Home In Place is a Tier 1 community housing provider and an NDIS registered SDA provider in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania. We manage hundreds of SDA properties in NSW, Queensland and Victoria and currently have vacancies in different SDA building types.

Our team is experienced in navigating NDIS specialist disability accommodation rules. This web page gives people with a disability, their family members and carers, and disability support providers and allied health workers with information and resources to help when applying for NDIS SDA funding.

NDIS-registered SDA providers for 35+ years

Home in Place is a respected NDIS registered SDA provider that has been helping people with a disability find affordable and appropriate housing for decades.

We manage hundreds of high-quality SDA homes across the various SDA design categories. From one- and two-bedroom apartments, duplexes as well as multi-bedroom group homes that have open-plan, communal living areas and private rooms and spaces.

Our team partners with leading Supported Independent Living (SIL) providers who provide 24-hour household and personal support to ensure residents can live as independently as possible.

We understand the SDA housing market and work with developers and investors looking to provide specialist disability accommodation options to meet specific needs of NDIS SDA eligible people with a disability.

You can trust Home In Place to provide quality SDA housing.

Browse SDA vacancies

How to secure SDA NDIS funding

Securing SDA NDIS funding can take time. Here are five suggested steps to help you successfully work through the application process.

1. Get funding and support to explore housing options

As applying for NDIS SDA funding is highly specialised, it is a good idea for you or your Support Coordinator to engage an Occupational Therapist who is experienced in writing SDA reports.

Check if your existing NDIS plan has funding for Support Coordination and Therapeutic Supports to allow for the assessments and exploration of suitable SDA housing that need to be made as part of the application process.

2. Develop a life vision

Document the answers to these questions.

  • Where do I want to be and what life could look like? Eg. Where will I live, what will I be able to do and who will I be with?
  • What are my housing preferences? For example, I’d like a big backyard because I love being outdoors every day or I’d like to live in a group home to be with other people.
  • What support networks do I have? Who is in my life – and what is their role

3. Develop a housing goal

Why?

The NDIS will only fund supports – including housing – that relate to the goals in your NDIS plan.

How?

Think about and then document your goals. Here’s some examples of goals.

  • To move out of my parent’s home and live independently
  • To have more choice and control over where I live and who I live with
  • To be able to join in social activities.

4. Assess SDA eligibility

Why?

To gather the evidence to communicate how SDA funding will help you to meet your goals and improve your life.

Note: It is NDIS policy that you can test eligibility prior to having a house.

How?

Familiarise yourself, and the allied health person working with you, with the NDIS rules and the eligibility requirements. 

Outline the most appropriate SDA housing design category, building type and location.

CRITICAL STEP! Obtain Allied Health reports that use evidence-based assessments that refer to the NDIS legislation and the “reasonable and necessary” assessment in Section 34 of the NDIS Act.

5. Submit the SDA Summary and Evidence

To provide evidence in the right way to assist in getting SDA funding in an NDIS plan.

How?

  • A support coordinator will likely do this part.
  • Tell your story – what has happened before and how SDA funding will help you with your life and housing goals.
  • The evidence required are the Allied Health reports, vision and goals, support map, carer statements, behaviour support plans and incident reports.

Tips

  • You may not need to complete an entire SDA housing template. It may be enough to create your own summary of the attached evidence. Check to see the latest thoughts from NDIS staff or rulings before you do extra work.
  • The NDIA has a planning meeting checklist at www.ndis.gov.au/participants/creating-your-plan/planning-meeting-checklist

Further resources for NDIS participants

NDIS Quality & Safeguarding Framework

The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework is designed to ensure high quality supports and safe environments for all NDIS participants.

It has important information for residents in SDA housing, and their primary contacts.

learn more and view the framework at www.dss.gov.au

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission

NDIS participants have the right to be safe and to receive quality services from NDIS providers and workers.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is an independent agency that regulates NDIS providers. It works to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

The commission’s website contains useful information for participants and includes links to a portal for submitting complaints online.

Learn more at www.ndiscommission.gov.au/participants

Frequently Asked Questions

Top
  • The SDA NDIS eligibility criteria are detailed in the application process. To be eligible for SDA funding you must be an NDIS participant and have extreme functional impairment or very high needs that requires specially designed housing.

    The NDIS will assess any application for SDA using these general principles. It will ask if putting SDA in an NDIS plan:

    • assists a participant to reach their goals and aspirations
    • facilitates the participant’s social and economic participation
    • represents value for money, relative to benefits achieved and costs of alternative supports
    • is good practice and is likely to be beneficial to the participant
    • consider what’s reasonable for parents, carers, informal networks and the community to provide
    • is most appropriately funded through the NDIS or via other funding and support options

    It is important to know that before it determines NDIS SDA eligibility, the NDIA will explore all other possible housing solutions and supports.

  • It can take a long time to get SDA into a plan (up to 12 months), so start early. The application process is extensive and includes submitting Allied Health reports that use evidence-based assessments. SDA eligibility is usually assessed for inclusion at existing NDIS plan reviews.

    Often people wait until the health of a person with a disability, or that of their parents or carers, starts to deteriorate. You can apply to get SDA into a plan before it is needed, or a specific SDA property has been chosen.

  • SDA funding is detailed under Capital Supports in your NDIS plan. It is different to NDIS SIL and other living support funding.

    The plan will identify the specific design category, building type and property location approved for SDA.

  • You can get SDA funding in a your NDIS plan to use in the future. This can be very helpful if your health, your parents or carers’ health deteriorates quickly.

  • If you already have an NDIS plan you should be able to submit a change of circumstances application. No need to start from scratch!

  • The SDA Rules require all SDA providers be registered with the NDIS and for all dwellings to be enrolled with the NDIA. Eligible SDA participants must be provided with a private bedroom and access to a bathroom that satisfy the minimum design requirements for the SDA design category specified in their plan.

    The full set of SDA rules can be found on the Australian Government’s Federal Register of Legislation HERE https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00769

  • The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) which administers the NDIS works with SDA providers, such as Home In Place, investors and developers to support the growth and sustainability of the SDA housing market.

    Some of its initiatives include setting SDA Design Standards, the SDA Innovation Plan, providing SDA market updates and introducing the interactive SDA Finder to help NDIS participants find vacant and suitable SDA homes.

    Home In Place works with developers and investors looking to build more SDA housing. So, talk to us about your specialist disability accommodation needs.

  • All SDA housing needs to meet the NDIS SDA Design Standard for it be an accredited dwelling. The Standard guides architects, builders and the community to build more high quality specialist disability accommodation.

    It details NDIS SDA design requirements for new housing around four categories -Improved Liveability, Robust, Fully Accessible, and High Physical Support.