Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and SDA Housing: Explained

specialist disability accommodation

Table of Contents

Looking for a home that meets your needs and allows you to be more independent? Then, Specialist Disability Accommodation can be the best option for you. 

The process of getting Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding is complicated, but there are some steps you can take to improve your chances. In this article, we’ve put together a guide to help you in navigating SDA. 


What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

SDA (Specialist Disability Accommodation) is a housing model designed for people with disabilities and high support needs. The SDA homes are equipped with accessibility features that enable residents to live independently and provide better and safer support to others. Individuals eligible for the SDA include: 

  • Individuals with Impairments and High Needs 
  • Individuals who meet NDIS funding criteria and SDA need requirements.  

The NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodations programme ensures that participants have access to high-quality, modern, accessible, thoughtful, and well-designed housing. This funding will go directly to the SDA provider to pay for construction and maintenance. All participants will only need to pay a reasonable rent and cover basic daily living expenses such as utilities.  

The SDA does not provide funding for one-on-one support as it is only available to pay for the capital (bricks and mortar) costs of the dwelling and to promote investment in high-quality SDA dwellings.

For example, if you have an acquired brain injury, complex mobility issues or an intellectual disability, then the SDA will make sure you have a home that meets your needs so that you can receive the care you require.

SDA gives people with disabilities choices in living environments and ensures that housing designs are suitable for people with disabilities, including lighting, access spaces and amenities. The SDA homes range from dedicated homes in mixed developments to converted single-family homes. 


The Benefits of SDA Accommodation 

There are numerous advantages to specialised accommodation. They are as follows: 

Unlock Your Path to Independence and Care with Expert NDIS Support!

A stress-free schedule 

SDA housing is tailored to each participant’s specific needs, circumstances, and preferences. Family and friends can also rest assured that they will receive appropriate medical attention and care. 

A chance to be Independent

SDA allows people to gain independence by completing simple tasks and enables them to take control of their lives with SDA housing and be self-sufficient. These can include doing your own housework, participating in activities you enjoy, and socialising with whomever you want. 

A chain of support 

The Group Homes, through SDA housing, also provide a lot of mutual support to participants. People who live together can understand what others are going through and help them.

This helps build a sound support system and will make you feel less lonely by connecting with people. 

Extra assistance and services are available 

With SDA funding, the SDA accommodation will be tailored and designed to be more usable and accessible. These houses have the following features: 

  • They are a location that allows for line-of-sight assistance. 
  • Make use of sensory-responsive lighting. 
  • Design that is adaptable and adaptable 
  • Different characteristics support various physical, sensory, and cognitive abilities. 
  • There are personalised support options available to meet your specific requirements. 


What does Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) involve? 

You can choose from a variety of SDA accommodation options as an NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation participant. They are as follows: 

  • Group homes: These houses have 6-8 residents at a time and provide 24-hour care to all NDIS participants.
  • Shared living accommodation: This accommodation is available to any NDIS participant who wishes to live independently. They will, however, receive assistance with tasks such as cooking and cleaning. They will have their own room and will share common areas such as the living room and kitchen.
  • Residential aged care facility: This is available to any NDIS participant over the age of 65. It combines nursing, residential, and dementia care. 


 What are the Eligibility requirements for SDA?

Aside from having very high support needs or an extreme functional impairment, the NDIA wants to make sure you’ve considered all other housing options, such as home modifications, assistive technology, and Supported Independent Living (SIL) supports, before pursuing SDA. If you’ve done this and are still having difficulty getting out of bed, dressing, moving around, preparing meals, or accessing the community, SDA may be an option to consider. 


What is covered by SDA funding? 

SDA will contribute to the cost of the physical environment in which eligible NDIS participants will live and receive their daily support. 

While features will vary depending on the building and SDA provider, here are a few examples that can distinguish an SDA home:

  • Cooking surfaces that are easily accessible 
  • Bathrooms and amenities for people in wheelchairs 
  • Hoists and other assistive technology 
  • Touch and voice activation of lights, window coverings, and other smart technology 


What should you look for in an SDA provider? 

There are a few things to consider when you are looking for a good SDA provider, these are: 

  • The property should be owned by a fully registered NDIS provider. 
  • The conflicts of interest are managed by the SDA provider. Accommodation providers should always act in the best interests of the participants and provide up-to-date information on available housing options. 
  • Meeting relevant design needs is one of the NDIS enrolment requirements for SDA properties. 
  • The new home of the participants must match the dwelling location, type, and features specified in the NDIS plan. 
  • You’ll define which support services you’ll receive, the price, the quality, and the rules you agree to with an SDA provider’s contract. 


How to access SDA funding? 

SDA funding is only available to a small percentage of NDIS participants (around 6%) who have a severe functional impairment or remarkably high support needs and meet specific eligibility criteria. 

With an extreme functional impairment, you have a lot of difficulties or are unable to perform daily tasks on your own. You might have a challenging time: 

  • Getting in and out of bed 
  • Putting on clothes 
  • Getting around 
  • Cooking meals 
  • Getting into the community 

It also implies that you will need a great deal of help from others to complete these tasks. This is required in addition to any assistive technology or home modifications.

If you have “very high support needs,” you may be eligible for SDA as well. This implies: 

  • Your ‘informal support,’ such as family or friends, is unable to meet your personal care needs.
  • You have spent an extended period of time in a group home or residential aged care.
  • It could be dangerous for family or friends to assist you, or it could be dangerous for you. 

To determine whether you have these types of support needs, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which administers the NDIS, takes into account a number of factors. This includes the following: 

  • Any advice is given by your doctor or other health professionals.
  • Any information from your current providers 
  • Your daily assistance requirements 

The NDIA will also consider whether you will receive long-term benefits from SDA for the following:

  • Achieving your goals 
  • Increasing your functional capability (help you do more things with less support)
  • Reducing your need for one-on-one assistance 
  • Creating stronger bonds with your family, community, health care, education, and at your job

The SDA funding eligibility is considered during plan approval and plan review. Your initial NDIS plan may include funding for Support Coordination and Therapeutic Support in order to conduct assessments and explore suitable housing alternatives. 

The Activities of Daily Living (ADL) assessment, General Living Skills or Functional Capacity assessment, and Balance and Mobility assessment are all required to determine whether SDA funding should be allocated (as part of the Functional Capacity Assessment). 

The NDIS will use this information to determine whether SDA payments are reasonable and necessary support for you. SDA funding could then be incorporated into your next plan review.

If the NDIS determines that you are eligible for SDA payments, they will appear as “Capital Support” in your NDIS Plan. Details about the type of dwelling, the SDA housing design category, and the location funded by your plan will be included.

To be eligible for SDA funding, you must not only demonstrate to the NDIS that you require high-level assistance, but you must also emphasise that there are no other suitable options available and be prepared to back this up in your planning meeting.

Inform the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) that your primary goal is to live independently and that you will need SDA funding to do so.


How much will you pay for rent in SDA? 

Eligible participants who require SDA will have funding included in their plan to cover any disability-related housing costs that are in excess of the normal costs of housing and living, such as groceries, bills, and rent.

You must still make a ‘reasonable rent contribution,’ which is as follows:

  • 25% of your Disability Support Pension 
  • and 100% of your Commonwealth Rent Assistance 


How do SDA payments work? 

When you have access to SDA, the NDIS will make SDA payments directly to the SDA provider after you have signed a tenancy or occupancy agreement and moved into your SDA property. 

The payment is for the actual property (‘bricks and mortar’) and is added to your NDIS Plan’s other supports.

Please visit the NDIS website for more information on SDA pricing and payments. 


What characteristics define the ideal SDA provider? 

To provide specialist disability accommodation, a good SDA provider should be fully registered. When selecting a provider, consider what is important to you. Are you looking for a place close to your family and friends? Do you require specialised equipment that isn’t available in your area? It is critical that the accommodation feels like a home away from home. Workers should be friendly and welcoming, and the environment should be comfortable for when you need a break or are ill. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions; this is your chance to learn everything you need to know about the specialist disability accommodation, services available, and fees. If you don’t understand something or are uncomfortable, please ask questions. Specialist disability accommodation and NDIS providers are there to help you. Ascertain that they are aware of your preferences and needs. 

The specialist disability accommodation plan is available to Australians with any type of disability. Disability sector and government incentives have created an excellent opportunity for SDA providers to create better and more accessible accommodations for people with disabilities. You can begin looking for a home after the NDIA approves your SDA funding application request. 




What is the difference between SDA and SIL? 

SDA refers to the physical homes where support services are provided rather than the services themselves. The NDIS assesses and funds these supports as Supported Independent Living (SIL) costs separately. 

SIL funding is approved for participants who want to live as independently as possible, as opposed to SDA funding, which is typically approved for participants with severe disabilities or high support needs.

You may be approved for both SDA and SIL; however, your NDIS Plan will fund them separately. You can choose different providers for SDA and SIL funding if your plan includes both. This can provide you with more options and control, as well as the best possible support.


Is the funding provided by the SDA sufficient to cover rent and utilities? 

No, it does not. SDA, as the name implies, finances building or home-related costs such as maintenance or repairs. There will still be expenses such as rent (paid to the SDA provider), utilities, and other living expenses. Furthermore, SDA does not include funding for services or on-site assistance. 

When combined with Commonwealth Rent Assistance, your maximum rent contribution is 25%. 


Is it possible for families to live together in SDA? 

Participants may live with their spouses and children without restriction, but the entire department of families cannot live with their parents in SDA. 


Unlock a World of Compassionate Care

How does the SDA NDIS work? 

Individual participant plans fund SDA as part of the NDIS. After receiving NDIS funding, eligible participants can look for a suitable enrolled dwelling in their area by approaching the market, residential statement, or SDA supply. 


Wrapping Up!

SDA is a type of housing designed specifically for people with disabilities. Individuals with physical, intellectual, sensory, or cognitive disabilities will find this type of housing to be equipped with a variety of modifications that promote independence while also facilitating accessibility and safety. 

At Auspire Care,  we offer SDA that is not only accessible but also modern, comfortable, and tailored to the individual’s preferences. We believe that everyone has the right to call a place their home. And it is our goal over time to deliver smart and healthy SDA homes, this is how we enable extraordinary lives.

We’re excited to share some information that will help you or someone you care for on their SDA journey based on our experience developing, building, operating, and finding the right SDA home for our loved one. 

We would be delighted to assist you or someone you know who is looking for SDA. Our Tenant Empowerment team is well-versed in the needs of individuals and the complexities of finding the perfect home. 

Most importantly, we are committed to making your journey a pleasant one. So, what are you holding out for? Contact us today, and let’s work together to make extraordinary lives a reality. Inquire now or get in touch with us. 




Our Services

  • Aged (Home) Care
  • Disability Care
  • Support Coordination
  • Core Supports and Capacity Building Support
  • NDIS Household Task
  • NDIS Gardening Services

Send us a message

Follow Us:

Latest Posts

Essential manual handling equipment for Elderly and Disabled Adults

Ensuring the safety and comfort of your loved ones as they journey through their golden…

How do I find and choose my NDIS service provider?

Imagine a world where over 500,000 Australians with disabilities have discovered a pathway to the…

Level 4 home Care Package: What does it include?

Did you know that, as per health.gov.au, around 500,000 older individuals actively seek access to…