The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have recently made some announcements about specialist disability accommodation and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

On 1 June, the NDIA released their decision paper on the pricing and payments of specialist disability accommodation. This paper clarifies when and how accommodation will fit in with the NDIS. The release of the decision paper is an important step in the development of a more sustainable and inclusive housing market that meets the housing needs of NDIS participants.

About specialist disability accommodation and the NDIS:

Specialist disability accommodation is housing for some people with NDIS individual packages who require specialist housing solutions due to physical needs and/or requiring a high level of support. This could include current housing (such as group homes and supported residential centres) and new models of housing.  Not all NDIS participants would need this type of accommodation. It is estimated 28,000 NDIS participants will be eligible for specialist disability accommodation.

Prior to the release of the decision paper:

  • In November 2015 the Disability Reform Council authorised the Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments Framework.
  • In February 2016 the NDIA held open consultations to provide feedback and ideas on specialist housing and the NDIS.
  • On the 1 April 2016 the NDIA released a draft position paper on Specialist Disability Accommodation Pricing and Payments requesting feedback.
  • In April and May 2016 the NDIA held two housing showcases to find out people’s ideas on new models of housing. Click here to read more about what was talked about at the Sydney showcase.

Previously, specialist disability accommodation funding has been the NSW Government’s responsibility. From 1 July 2016 the funding will begin transitioning to the NDIS. Other housing that isn’t specialist disability accommodation will still be the NSW Government’s responsibility.

The future of specialist disability accommodation and the NDIS:

The long-term focus will be on moving away from previous accommodation options, where people were segregated from the broader community, to new approaches which support choice and inclusion. The NDIA’s approach is for a smooth transition for existing housing to the NDIS and encouraging new housing models for long-term supply. The NDIA has chosen the Barwon (Victoria) trial site for specialist disability accommodation housing projects to be piloted. This is similar to the move towards deinstitulisation in mental health reform, where there has been a shift from people living long-term in psychiatric hospitals to community based care networks. The Mental Health Commission of NSW report Living Well: Putting people are the Centre of mental health reform in NSW provides a brief history of deinstitulisation.

BEING is pleased to see the decision paper mentions a separation of housing and disability support. This means people will have more choice and control over accommodation and disability services, as they can change one without the other being affected.

For more information:

The NDIA has developed a fact sheet for NDIS participants about specialist disability accommodation. It covers topics such as eligibility, paying for the accommodation and finding the accommodation.  Click here to access the NDIA website for further information and the reports listed in this article.



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