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Resources for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) providers

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What is SDA?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is the 'bricks and mortar' capital component of disability accommodation supports funded by the NDIS.

New build SDA is designed and built for the purpose of meeting the support requirements of people with extreme functional impairmentor very high support needs. Not all people with disability receive an SDA housing response to meet their accommodation needswith only 6 per cent of NDIS participants receiving SDA in their NDIS plans.

When a person is eligible for SDA, the NDIA will include funding in their NDIS plan. SDA is funding for the cost of the home or building the person lives in. SDA does not include the services or support the person might receive in that homeUsually, the person will still need to pay rent or other personal costs to live in an SDA.

What is an SDA provider?

All SDA providers must be registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

An SDA provider may or may not own the dwelling and may or may not include:

  • Private landlords
  • Family members of people with disability
  • Organisations (not-for-profit or for-profit)

An SDA provider will receive funding from the NDIA and can also charge controlled rent directly from each resident. The NDIA payment is a contribution to the cost of capital and a contribution to the associated business activities and costs relevant to the delivery of SDA: for example, property maintenance and vacancy procedures.

How do I become a SDA provider?

Below are some initial steps you may consider if you wish to become a SDA provider:

  • Ensure compliance with the SDA Rules 2020 – The Rules are applicable to all SDA properties - take note of density restrictions and build types
  • Ensure design meets the SDA Design Standard
  • Consider if your organisation will build SDA and be the SDA provider. The owner/builder does not need to also be the SDA provider and this may be contracted to a disability organisation.
  • If your organisation is also the SDA provider:
    • Ensure compliance with the SDA Price Guide and policy
    • Ensure compliance with the NDIS operational guidelines and other policy set by the NDIA and found on the NDIS website
    • All SDA providers must be registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, refer to their website for registration, compliance and audit information – notably the NDIS Practice Standards SDA module.
    • Steps to providing SDA
      Step 1: Become an approved NDIS Registered Provider
      Step 2: The SDA registration group must be approved and added to your NDIS registration
      Step 3: Each of your individual SDA dwellings must be able to be enrolled (in that they meet all requirements), and be enrolled with the NDIA
      Step 4: A participant with SDA in their plan must reside in the dwelling with a written service agreement in place
    • For further information about all of these steps go to SDA Pricing and Payments

Once you are ready to enrol the property the SDA registration and dwelling enrolment page of the NDIS website will provide details of how to contact the NDIA and take those steps, ensuring that registration with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has commenced if your organisation wishes to also be the provider (as above).

NDS is a member organisation and can support members to further understand and apply the above rules, policies and guidelines. Contact our membership team for further details.

Supported Independent Living (SIL)

Supported Independent Living (SIL) refers to daily personalised supports.  The delivery of SDA and the delivery of SIL are separate under the NDIS. A provider may deliver both supports to the same individual with stringent conflict of interest policies and practices in place.

SDA and SIL providers will have a close working relationship, with roles and responsibilities established through a robust collaboration agreement. There may be instances where more than one SIL provider is operating in a single SDA dwelling.

Visit the NDIS Supported Independent Living webpage for further information.