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DHHS releases sample Disability Accommodation Collaboration Agreement

Clients and support workers in front yard


The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a sample Disability Accommodation Collaboration Agreement laying out the terms and responsibilities for disability service providers and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers operating accommodation services.

A Collaboration Agreement will be required for SDA providers and providers delivering residential services under the Disability Act 2006 in order to meet transitional quality and safeguarding requirements under the Disability Act - which will be in force until June 2019.

The sample Collaboration Agreement is intended as a guide only, and NDS recommends that SDA and support providers seek their own independent legal advice in relation to whether the model Collaboration Agreement is suitable for their purposes.

A Collaboration Agreement attempts to reconcile the responsibilities of a residential service under the Disability Act with the separation of housing and support under the NDIS. It outlines the responsibilities of a residential service and SDA provider, recognising that under previous arrangements residential service providers acted as 'landlords.'

The Department's Collaboration Agreement can be found on the DHHS website at this link.

Residential service providers are still required to have a residential statement with residents in place, however they are also able to, by arrangement with the SDA provider, negotiate the allocation of relevant responsibilities stipulated in the residential statement to SDA providers (e.g. maintenance and repairs).

Providers might consider including this information in their Collaboration Agreement. For more information about the transitional quality and safeguarding framework for residential services, please refer to Module 4: Guide to Suitability of the NDIS Provider Toolkit.

It is important to note that not all support providers delivering residential-like services are defined as residential services under the Disability Act. DHHS is currently in the process of developing practice guidance to assist providers and DHHS in determining when Supported Independent Living (SIL) is a residential service. NDS anticipates that this document will be released shortly.

NDS continues to tease out the implications of the interim arrangements during NDIS transition and provide guidance and support to providers navigating the new disability housing environment.

NDS is seeking feedback from members on current practices of vacancy management and other provider experiences in relation to SDA. Please provide feedback by email or phone to Liza Brown-Pinsky on 03 8341 4309 or at .

Contact information
Pascale Dreyer, NDIS Transition Advisor,