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08 January 2020

Housing and the NDIS: What your options are.

The saying “there’s no place like home” was made famous by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. And it’s true. Home is somewhere we feel at ease and have the freedom to be ourselves.

The NDIS delivers a range of supports to help people with a disability to live independently in their own home, rental properties or specialist disability accommodation.

Today we’ll take a look at housing and the types of housing-related supports that can be funded by the NDIS.

Types of supports.

Most NDIS participants will access housing in the private market through renting, owning a home or through social housing provided by the government.

The NDIS covers a range of supports that help people with a disability to live more independently in any of these settings. These can include:

  • Home modifications to your own home or private rental property (with owner and/or body corporate permission)
  • Modifications to social housing (assessed on a case by case basis)
  • Supports that help build capacity to live independently in the community
  • Supports that help to improve living skills, plus money and household management
  • Contributing to the cost of accommodation in situations where the participant has a need for specialised housing due to their disability.

Keep in mind that the NDIS only covers ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports that are directly related to a disability. It does not cover expenses related to daily living including rent, groceries, electricity or housing costs.

Housing supports provided by other programs.

The NDIS does not provide social or affordable housing. State and territory government programs support people to find affordable housing in the general rental housing market.

Housing-related supports funded by other systems other (not the NDIS) include:

  • Social and community housing
  • Homelessness and emergency accommodation services
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance
  • The National Rental Affordability Scheme.

Finding the right housing.

It’s important that where you live works for you and meets your individual needs. If you cannot search for housing on your own without support, the NDIS may provide Capacity Building funding to help you look for housing.

To ensure you receive funding for Capacity Building support in your next NDIS Plan, be sure to include ‘moving to a new home’ as a goal in your next NDIS Plan.

If you can’t access the housing you need through public or community housing, the NDIS may also be able to provide extra assistance, such as a local area coordinator (LAC), to discuss your needs with housing providers.

Support for living in your own home or rental property.

There are two main types of supports the NDIS can provide to help people be more independent at home:

1.      Home modifications.

The NDIS may fund home modifications to the participant’s own home or a rental property if they are deemed reasonable and necessary. Such modifications generally need to relate to resolving access issues, supporting care arrangements or improving accessibility.

An assessment by an occupational therapist is required. For more information read our previous article on Home modifications.

2.      In-home supports

The NDIS may fund equipment to help you with everyday tasks (called Assistive Technology). In-home supports and visits may also be approved to assist with household tasks and daily personal activities. Check out our previous story What supports will the NDIS fund in the home? for full details.

The NDIS and Specialist Disability Accommodation.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provides accommodation for a small number of people who need specialist housing.

NDIS funding is only available to NDIS participants who have extreme functional impairment or very high support needs and meet specific eligibility criteria.

Participants seeking eligibility for SDA must supply a Housing Plan to the NDIA that includes evidence of why SDA is required to help them achieve their goals and optimise their independence. This document is usually prepared by a support coordinator.

Leap in! can help.

If you need help to navigate housing and the NDIS, the Leap in! Crew are here to help. Call 1300 05 78 78, email or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.