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In order to move into a shared home with disability supports, you need to find a suitable house and also secure suitable funding.

One type of funding you need is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). Not sure about whether you would qualify for SDA funding, or whether it’s right for you?

Here, we explore how SDA funding works and how you can start your journey in finding the right home.

Remember, at any point in your journey towards securing funding or finding a home, Scope is here to help answer any questions.

What is SDA funding?

SDA funding is money towards a bricks and mortar home for you to live in. It exists to help people who have extreme functional impairment or high support needs live as independently as possible.

There are four types of homes available with SDA funding, depending on your needs. These are known as Design Categories, and include:

  1. Improved Liveability – this type of home must have a ‘reasonable’ level of physical access for people with sensory, intellectual, or cognitive impairment.
  2. Fully Accessible – this type of home must have a ‘high’ level of physical access for people with significant physical impairment, including wheelchair accessibility in the bathroom, kitchen, and external areas.
  3. High Physical Support – this type of home has a very high level of specialised design and physical access, for example ceiling hoists, assistive and communication technologies, and emergency power solutions.
  4. Robust – this type of home needs good physical access, as well as extra safety features like retreat areas for participants and staff, and impact-resistant materials.

All you need to know at this stage is that the NDIA will assess the SDA application and determine which category of home is right for you based your individual support needs.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for SDA funding from the NDIS, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have very high support needs and an extreme functional impairment
  • You can show that SDA will help you pursue your NDIS goals, provide opportunities to develop your skills, and deliver long-term benefits

In other words, you need to demonstrate that your request for SDA funding is reasonable and necessary to help improve your independence, quality of life, and wellbeing.

You’ll usually show this through getting an occupational therapy assessment highlighting your NDIS housing goals, and how the ‘bricks and mortar’ home will prevent long-term health deterioration and assist in building your capacity.

How do I apply for SDA funding?

Your first step is to get a Housing Assessment Report. Your occupational therapist will do a comprehensive assessment (which typically takes between 12 to 15 hours) to work out whether you’re eligible for funding and what type of home best suits your support needs.

As well as the Housing Assessment Report from the occupational therapist, it’s a good idea to include additional supporting documents such as:

  • A statement of support from a health provider – this could be your GP, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, and any other allied health practitioner
  • A Housing Plan to show that the funding is reasonable and necessary – this is another report done by your Support Coordinator or Occupational Therapist summing up your current living situation, what your needs are and what’s expected for your future home

Once you have all the documentation ready, you can apply to the NDIA. Your Support Coordinator should be able to help.

If you don’t have a Support Coordinator, you can complete the Home and Living Supporting Evidence Form and provide this, along with your supporting documents, to the NDIA. You can do this by email, postal mail, or in person at a Local Area Coordinator or NDIS office in your area.

While you wait for funding

After you’ve applied to the NDIA for SDA funding, you can register your interest with us, and we’ll keep you updated about future home opportunities.

Whether you’re looking for a new build opportunity or prefer to move into existing disability accommodation, contact us and we’ll put you on our waitlist to get in touch if anything that suits your needs comes up.

I’m approved for SDA funding. What next?

If your application for SDA funding is approved by the NDIA, then it’s time to start looking for a house. Scope’s Vacancy Coordination Team can help you on this journey. If we don’t have the right vacancy now, we’ll work together with SDA providers in your journey to finding the right home.

Whatever the case, we will work with you to find the right house for your needs. We’re also here to answer any questions you have along the way.

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