Specialist Disability Accommodation

Room within a specialist disability accomodation - kitchen

What is Specialist Disability Accommodation and who does it support?
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a form of housing that is designed to enable eligible National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to receive the support they need to live in the community and improve the delivery of their supports.

Participants who are eligible for SDA funding are those with extreme functional impairment or those who have very high support needs.

SDA funding is provided to cover the capital (bricks and mortar) costs of the dwelling and to support investment in high quality SDA dwellings, and is not for person-to-person supports.

Providers will need to meet diverse participant needs in new and innovative ways. As the market develops the SDA dwellings will diversify away from group homes with shared in-home supports, which were most commonly constructed under state and territory systems, and towards newer, smaller, dwellings with innovative models of providing support to participants.

The opportunity
Funding for SDA is expected to grow to approximately $700 million per year at full Scheme. This funding has already begun to attract investment and stimulate the development of new dwellings. 

Accessing Specialist Disability Accommodation funding
The NDIA assesses whether a person is eligible for SDA in line with the NDIS (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2020

Where a participant is eligible for SDA the NDIA will provide that participant with an amount of funding. The NDIA considers the participant’s goals and preferences, and calculates the amount of SDA funding based on:

  • Design category, which is determined by the participant’s support needs;
  • Dwelling type, which is determined by both the goals and needs of the participant to achieve those goals; and
  • Location, which is determined by both the goals and needs of the participant, and which represents value for money.

For example, the participant may need a robust dwelling (design category) that is a single-bedroom unit (dwelling type) in Collingwood (location).

The participant can then use that funding to find a dwelling to move into that is consistent with their goals and support needs. SDA funding is provided to a participant not a dwelling, and a participant can move from one dwelling to another.

How providers are paid under SDA
When a participant moves into a dwelling that has been enrolled as SDA, the provider can then claim against that participant’s NDIS SDA funding.

Different SDA price limits are set depending on the dwelling type. The price limits funded for SDA can be found on the NDIS SDA Pricing and Payments page, noting that this will increase with CPI every year.

Finding tenants
For help finding tenants, visit the Housing Hub website, funded by the Australian Government's Sector Development Fund, and NEST. Both websites aim to match people with disability with SDA housing that meet their funding and support requirements.

Support resources
Connect with a Boosting the Local Care Workforce Regional Coordinator to receive localised support and help in identifying opportunities in your area. 

Through the Sector Development Fund, the Australian Government funded the Summer Foundation to develop a toolkit for providers who are transitioning to SDA delivery (separating services and accommodation).

The NDIA Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider and Investor Brief provides more information about SDA eligibility and funding, the provision of SDA and how to connect with participants.

SGS Economics has analysed where the current SDA supply is located and locations that are undersupplied in the SDA Market Insights Report.