Once you know your needs and restrictions and have defined the type of housing that you want it is time to search and apply for the house and the funding.
It can be a juggle getting the timing right as sometimes you need the housing first to apply for the funding and sometimes you need the funding to apply for the house.
Providers and Real Estate agents are aware of this juggle so the best thing to do is be honest and keep them up to date with where you are at.
When it's time to search and apply for funding, here are the options:
The NDIS funding includes 4 disability housing options:
SDA is the specialised building you live in.
- SIL is the supports you receive from people paid to help you live independently in your house.
- CORE is supports that can be used in the house or in the community ‘flexibly’.
- ILO is funding to find, create and manage a specialised housing arrangement.
1. SDA – Specialist Disability Accommodation
If the design of a house could make you more independent or safer then SDA may be for you.
How can I apply for SDA?
- You need a Housing Goal - Include housing goal in NDIS plan
- Create a Housing Plan including housing needs. This will usually be done by your Support Coordinator and an Occupational Therapist (or by yourself and any Allied Health professional that helps you).
- Send this to NDIA and they will assess if you need SDA funding.
If you do they will fit you into one of four ‘Design Standards’ (below) which defines your SDA level. Your SDA level is yours for life, you do not need to reapply unless you want the level reassessed.
4 ‘Design Standards'
- Improved Liveability - Basic physical needs such as wider doors or luminous contrasts
- Fully Accessible - Physical needs such as wheelchair access to the bathroom and kitchen.
- High Physical Support - Higher physical needs such as ceiling hoists and communicative technology.
- Robust - Behaviour resilient with strong walls, lines of sight and retreat areas for staff and persons.
TIP: Read Valid’s Top 10 Things to Know About SDA (Plain English Guide – also explains SIL)
2. SIL - Supported Independent Living
The intent of SIL is to support participants to improve their capacity for independent living, rather than provide day-to-day activities for the participant.
It is generally for 24/7 care in a house where care is shared amongst the housemates.
If you are unhappy with the SIL provider you can change at any time. This is tricky if you are in a share house and the SIL provider is shared amongst you all.
Some rental agreements lock a SIL provider into the contract so you may not be able to change until the contract expires.
How can I apply for SIL?
You need a Housing Goal - Include housing goal in your NDIS plan
Provide reports and assessments to NDIA to show supports required to assist in achieving your independent living goal
SIL will be included in your plan as Quote Pending (if approved)
SIL provider (an organisation that offers SIL) quotes their services after you have found the house you want to live in.
This is sent directly to NDIA who, if approved, will add the funding to your NDIS plan but will pay and liaise directly with the SIL provider.
This includes supports that enable NDIS participants to complete activities of daily living and enable participants to work towards their goals and meet their objectives.
Transport and assistance with household tasks are examples of core supports.
TIP: Read the NDIS Booklet 3 (page 6) for and explanation of CORE
4. ILO - Individual Living Options:
These are living arrangements that focus on the individual. They include Living Alone, Co-Residency, Host Arrangements and Living Together options. They are an alternative to group home services. The packages are tailored and flexible and closely monitored.
To get an ILO you would use an ILO provider to help you define what you want then find and create it. The ILO provider would create a quote which you would then email to NDIS for review.
ILO is still in pilot phase so it is not yet widely funded yet. Stay tuned. MyCareSpace is following its progress closely.
Home modifications are changes to the structure, layout or fittings of a participant’s home so they safely access it and move around comfortably in areas they frequently use.
The process would be to get quotes for the modifications (including equipment, labour and servicing) and send to the NDIA with reports from an Allied Health to back up the need.
TIP: See the NDIS doc Home Modifications Explained.
It is very important not to limit your options to ‘disability services’.
Even if you have daily support needs, you can live anywhere. Just find the house and use your Core funding to organise support staff to help you when you need it.
You can view houses for sale and rent by asking in local offices for their listings or going online:
Buying a Home
Purchasing houses can be made using Trusts (Special Disability Trust and other types of Trusts are also used) which protect vulnerable people with a disability so they have a home forever.
Shared Home Ownership is offered through the government for low income earners and is another option.
To get a loan to buy a home you need to have saved up a deposit which is usually around 20% of the total purchase price and apply through a bank. Usually you get bank approval first and then look for a house.
To rent you find a rental that you like and apply either directly through the Real Estate agency or online.
They will want you to:
- prove your income,
- prove your ID, and
- Show a rental history or letter of recommendation that you are a good tenant (ie clean, pays rent on time, does not damage house).
If you are approved, you will need to pay 1 month's rent in advance and a bond (also 1 month rent). You get the bond refunded to you when you move out if you have not damaged the property.
State Housing Services
NRAS – National Rental Affordability Scheme
It is also important not to give up if you have a low income.
The National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) direct each State to deliver services to support low cost housing, social inclusion and crisis supports.
Each State and Territory has a different approach:
Most state services offer:
- Crisis & emergency accommodation
- Help if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness or family violence
Social, Public and Community housing
Social housing is short and long-term rental housing, made up of public and community housing (cheaper rent than mainstream but there is usually a long waiting list so put your name down asap as a long-term plan)
Movable units are movable buildings that can be set up in the backyard of a friend, relative or carer's home (these can also be purchased privately at a cost)
Rental Assistance and Bond Loan Assistance
Rental Assistance can be fortnightly with your Disability Support Pension (Centrelink) or one-off payments when you are in need. Bond Loan Assistance will pay the whole bond (when you move into a Rental this is usually 1 months rent) and is paid back when you leave the property (the full bond is returned if the house is clean and has no damage)
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
Disability Specific Housing Services
Search, find, call and go through the provider's Intake process.
- Disability housing (mostly SDA and SSA)
- Disability housing (mostly SDA and SSA) and Housemate matching
- Disability-friendly housing (SDA, social housing and Real Estate listings)
- Housemate Matching for Accessible, Inclusive and Assistive Homes
This Blog is part of our Disability Accommodation series:
- 4 Steps to Disability Housing Success
- Step 1: Setting Disability Housing Goals
- Step 2: What Disability Housing Options Are There?
- Step 3: Find the House and Get It!
- Step 4: Moving Out