Enrolling for the NDIS SDA Design Standard
The NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Design Standard will be mandatory from 1 July 2021. This Standard, released in October 2019, supersedes the Livable Housing Design Guidelines initially associated with SDA.
The NDIS SDA Design Standard details design requirements for new build SDA under the categories of Improved Liveability, Robust, Fully Accessible and High Physical Support. The Standard does not include the basic design category referred to in the NDIS Commission's SDA Design Category Requirements Guidelines, which only applies to Existing or Legacy Stock and not new builds or house conversions. The basic design category will be phased out of SDA registration once all Existing and Legacy SDA stock has been enrolled by 1 July 2021. The SDA Design Standard Implementation Plan details how the Design Standard will take effect.
This has implications for both the provider and residents. Under current Victorian legislation, the Residential Tenancies Act provides higher level lease protections only for residents in registered SDA properties. Providers who have not enrolled their properties as SDA by 1 July 2021 but have a tenancy and support relationship with tenants need to consider the implications of not enrolling.
There are two options to enrol as an SDA dwelling. A provider can enrol a dwelling against the new SDA Design Standard or the current Minimum Requirements, see NDIS's SDA registration and dwelling enrolment webpage.
Eventually, the SDA Design Standard will replace the current Minimum Requirements, noting exemptions may apply.
From 1 July 2021, all enrolment applications for an SDA dwelling will be required to include a certificate from an Accredited SDA Assessor.
SDA assessors will, as a part of the certification process, nominate the Design Category which the dwelling satisfies based on the Design Standards.