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Last week, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released its Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Decision Paper. Following on from earlier papers, the Decision Paper clarifies when and how accommodation will be included in a person’s reasonable and necessary supports under the NDIS.

We are pleased to see the Decision Paper promoting choice and control in housing for people with disability, as strongly advocated by NCOSS and the Disability Network Forum.

Choice and control is promoted by:

  • Incentives for SDA providers to develop smaller and innovative forms of accommodation, including one, two and three bedroom dwellings.  The NDIA will provide payments for the SDA that participants choose to live in, allowing the market to directly respond to their needs and preferences.
  • Allowing for discretionary additional contributions People with disability (or their families) will also be allowed to make discretionary contributions in addition to their funding if they want to live in a higher cost category of SDA than is funded as a reasonable and necessary support, such as a different location or a particular property with preferred features. This promotes choice on the same basis as the rest of the community.
  • Separation of housing and support Importantly, the paper highlights the expectation that housing and disability support will not be provided by the same service. This will give people with disability the choice to change either their housing or support provider without the other being affected. People with disability will also be given a service agreement, highlighting their role as tenants.