Questions to ask when choosing your new SIL home

Things to consider in your house hunt

This is the fourth article in our series on Supported Independent Living. Catch up on what SIL is, How Scope can help and Things to consider before moving out.

Has the time come to find a new home using either Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) or Supported Independent Living (SIL) funding? If you or someone you care for is ready to move out, here are some helpful questions to ask as you hunt for the perfect home.

Moving into your own home is a big decision. There are lots of things to consider – it’s important that the place not only feels right to you, but also has everything you need to live comfortably. From the vibe you get from potential housemates and the ways they contribute to your everyday life, to physical features of the home itself, the more you can uncover at the start, the better off you’ll be.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong answers to questions like those listed below. The right answer will differ from person to person – but hopefully you’ll get a sense of whether the answers are right for you.

Who are your housemates?

Most people who use SDA funding to live independently will move into shared accommodation. That said, depending on your needs and circumstances, your SDA funding may support you to live by yourself. If you’ll be moving into shared accommodation, then you’ll need to think about your ideal housemates and the general atmosphere in the house.

Questions to ask:

  • What activities do the residents enjoy?
  • Time spent doing group activities? What about solo time?
  • Do staff encourage independence and participation from residents, such as cooking or making decisions about meals?
  • What is the atmosphere like in the house? Is it loud, fun, and busy? Calm, quiet, and relaxed?
  • Does it have a ‘homey’ feel, with signs of the different housemates who live there?

What’s the house like?

Another important area to investigate is the house itself. You need to thoroughly assess the property to make sure it suits your needs and hopes for a home. The more you can find out, the better you’ll be able to judge if it’s right for you.

Questions to ask:

  • What’s the outdoor space like? Is there a backyard? A space outside to sit and relax? What about a veggie garden?
Celebrations at Scope's SIL Home
  • Does the house suit your particular needs? For example, do the hallways easily accommodate wheelchairs? What’s the situation with steps?
  • How many living areas and bathrooms are there, and does the overall layout suit what you’re after?
  • What condition is the house in? Does it look clean and well-maintained?
  • What are residents expected to supply themselves? For example, bedding, linen and bedroom furniture including mattresses, recliners, and beds?
  • Can you see yourself feeling at home in the property?
  • Is there access to a vehicle, and if so, does it suit your needs? Are there any restrictions when it comes to using the vehicle?
  • What’s the location like? Is the house close to local services and public transport, to help you live independently?

Who’s helping out?

Your next line of questioning is all about the support that comes with the home. You want to make sure that your support crew is there for you, when and how you need them. For example, when you choose Supported Independent Living at Scope, our staff will help you create a place you can call home and live independently. Highly trained and experienced staff provide support tailored to your needs, so you can lead a full and enjoyable life.

Questions to ask:

  • What training and accreditations do the staff have? For example, do they have their First Aid and CPR certificates?
  • Does the current staffing situation meet your care needs? For example, is someone there overnight or just during the day?
  • Are the support workers in the house permanent and familiar with each customers’ needs and preferences?

How do you seal the deal?

If you think you’ve found the perfect home, then it’s time to ask the practical questions around rental agreements and paying rent.

Questions to ask:

  • What’s the monthly rent and lodging information?
  • Are there any other additional expenses that residents need to incur, like utilities or other services?
  • When do you start paying rent? Is it after the Residential Statement and Service Agreement has been issued? And how soon will these documents be issued?
  • Are there any ‘house rules’? Things like having pets, sharing resources and household items, having visitors stay overnight or come for meals, or smoking areas?

Start out with Scope

The best place to start when choosing a SIL home? At Scope! Providing support in over 250 SDA homes around Victoria, we can help you find the perfect house. In fact, you can start searching our available properties right now.

Our Vacancy Coordination Team will be by your side the whole time – from sorting out your funding, to house inspections, to your application for tenancy.

Ready to get started? Contact our Vacancy Coordination Team today.