The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) prioritises the individual needs of Australians who live with permanent impairments and disabilities. From medical support to housing, the independent government organisation wants to ensure participants are supported so they can have a good quality of life.
However, due to lack of awareness, many people living with disabilities can be unaware of the benefits provided by the NDIS, particularly housing. The NDIS housing initiative is one of the most beneficial schemes for people with a disability, it gives applicants the support needed to live independent from their parents.
What is NDIS Housing?
NDIS housing is an NDIS initiative that helps fund housing arrangements for Australians living with disabilities. NDIS creates a plan for eligible applicants where they receive direct funding support from the organisation and the Housing System.
Primarily, NDIS will handle housing support related to your disability, while the Housing System takes care of your living arrangements. Additionally, NDIS works with the National Disability Insurance Agency to help identify applicants who qualify for these support services.
Types of Home and Living Support Services
NDIS funds a wide range of housing supports for long-term and short-term stays. This may include:
- Home modifications to private or rental properties. However, permission must be granted by the landlord for those living in rental properties.
- Case-by-case home modifications for those in social housing buildings.
Support that will improve your skills in household management, independent living, money management, and social and behavioural growth.
- Support for participants who need in-house help due to their disability. For example, people with disabilities who need help showering, cooking, cleaning the home, or dressing up can apply for SDA.
What about the Housing System Under NDIS?
The housing system under the NDIS helps people with disabilities access affordable housing through renting, owning a home, or social housing. Generally, state and territory governments and other independent bodies are responsible for funding the housing systems at NDIS. The housing supports include-
- The state and territory governments provide people with disabilities affordable housing options in the general rental housing market. As a result, you can access social and community housing.
- NDIS provides access to homelessness and emergency accommodation services countrywide for the homeless.
- The Commonwealth Rent Assistance assists qualified applicants with living costs by making payments through Services Australia.
- The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) includes people with disability in most of their affordable rental homes across Australia.
All these funding bodies partner with NDIS to identify deserving applicants. Moreover, although the NDIS doesn’t fund your housing costs, the organisation can step in to fund accommodation needs in unique situations. For example, if you need specialised housing due to a disability, NDIS can fund the accommodation costs through the NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation program.
What is the Specialist Disability Accommodation?
The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a programme by the NDIS to fund accommodation costs for people living with extreme disabilities. When your disability is high-risk and impairs your ability to lead a normal life, the NDIS will cover your housing costs. Primarily, the SDA standard aims to improve liveability, design fully accessible homes, provide physical support, and encourage robust construction.
SDA participants will live independently or in a shared home with a few people to facilitate adequate support. THE SDA covers the cost of the home, but you will still need to cater to other housing costs like groceries and personal utilities.
To qualify for SDA, you must have visibly high needs due to your disability, which requires specialised housing. Other eligibility requirements are similar to those without extreme housing needs. The SDA finder on NDIS’ website will help you find vacancies in your area.
Who Qualifies for NDIS Home and Living Support?
Generally, the NDIS and NDIA identify participants on a case-by-case basis. That is because disability needs are different for everybody, and NDIS lists a wide range of disabilities that require different supports. However, here are some of the applicants who can qualify for the NDIS housing fund.
- Individuals who are constrained to health care facilities due to a lack of a conducive living environment upon discharge.
- Individuals with limited mobility around the home or building due to disability. For example, due to your disability, you can’t use the bathroom or staircase in your house.
- Individuals who need specialised living solutions to provide a stable and supervised environment.
- Applicants who need to move to a better accommodation to improve their disability, as part of the treatment.
- People who become disabled later in life and their current living conditions don’t accommodate their disability.
- People living in unsafe or temporary accommodations that don’t provide adequate support for their disability.
Homeless people with disabilities.
- People with disabilities who can’t afford their current homes due to bankruptcy or unemployment. Other housing systems, like the National Rental Affordability Scheme, give you access to affordable properties.
What You Should Know
Overall, people with disability in Australia can benefit from an array of housing support directly from the NDIS or partner organisations. If your home doesn’t accommodate your disability, you can apply for NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation or a simple home modification to ensure safety.
NDIS makes it easier for you to lead a normal and fulfilling life. However, you must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a Protected Special Category visa. In addition, applicants must be between 7 and 65 years old and provide solid proof that they suffer from any of the listed disabilities.
If you’re below 7 years old, NDIS will provide the support that helps your family improve your skills earlier. The organisation also helps participants above 65 years to transition into residential aged care programs before discontinuing their services.
Clearly, NDIS does a great job helping millions of Australians stabilise their lives. However, due to many applicants, it is challenging to access funding on time. For this reason, you should work with NDIS registered providers to find support promptly.
NDSP Plan Managers are valuable NDIS providers, that can connect you with the right housing supports at NDIS. You can also access medical, assisted technology, and other services through NDSP Plan Managers. Contact the support staff for a detailed list of NDIS services and advice on the disability application.