Reviewing Your SDA Registration for a Change When You Want to Live Alone

Aha Team
About the Author

Do you have a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) eligibility outcome for a group home arrangement, when you’re wanting to live independently? You are not alone, but it’s not the end of your journey.

When  reviewing applications for SDA  and determining outcomes for registration, the NDIA only acts on the information given by the Participant or the Participant’s representative. Such information might not always tell the whole story or may be written in ways that can be interpreted by the NDIA differently to how the Participant intended. This means sometimes SDA eligibility outcomes granted by the NDIA are quite different to the recommendations within the support documentation.

For some Participants, there are opportunities to reapply, or have existing registration reviewed, for single Participant housing under the AHA model of individual homes, with an element of shared care.

Here’s how…

The problem

To be successfully registered by the NDIA for SDA funding, Participants of the NDIS must apply to the Home and Living team of the NDIA. The team decides where Participants can live and what supports are most appropriate, based on the supporting evidence in the application. 

Typically, unless there is very specific and clearly articulated detail regarding the housing and care model appropriate for the Participant, written by someone who understands the extensive range of housing models that exist within the SDA framework, the NDIA most often approve Participants for funding to live in a shared home environment. Historically (and sometimes controversially) this has been considered the safest and most cost-effective way for people with high support needs to live. 

However, both the recent Disability Royal Commission and NDIS Review recommended the ultimate closure of group homes, citing increased risk of abuse and neglect of those residing within such settings – particularly, as is commonly found, when one organisation operates as both the accommodation provider and the care provider.

So why is the NDIS still approving Participants to live in that setting?

At AHA we believe it’s because the NDIA haven’t yet found a viable solution that provides independence, choice and control, and cost-effective supports for people to live safely. A  A ‘win-win’, if you like, where a Participant’s choice and ability to live independently can be matched by offering such a living option at a cost saving for the NDIA to the traditional group home alternative. 

And that’s where AHA comes in.

 

The solution

Our model of ‘single Participant dwellings in a shared care setting’ ticks the boxes – it gives Participants choice in who they want to live with (by themselves or with people of their own choosing – like family), with 24/7 care available on-site, at a cost saving to the NDIS over the traditional group home model.

If this is of interest, AHA can help you understand if you might be someone who the NDIA, by way of the SDA Rules and Operational Guidelines, may consider appropriate for independent, single Participant clustered SDA housing. 

If you’re deemed eligible and choose to live in an AHA community, you have the choice to live completely independently, or with friends or family, whilst still receiving the support you need.

 

Our model

It has been internationally determined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (‘CRPD’), which Australia is a signatory to, that people living with disability have the right to choose where and with whom they live.

AHA has found a way to deliver NDIS Participants this choice through a model that offers independent living with control over care providers at a cost reduction to the NDIS for the same level of support in a group-home setting.

Our tenants live in wheelchair-accessible, automated, custom-designed homes in everyday communities. They have their own, individual support provider for their schedulable assistance shifts including tasks such as personal care, cleaning, and meal preparation, while also have access to secondary shared support – a 24-hour, onsite care service that can be used for ad hoc or emergency support available to all tenants in the community.

While these ‘shared care’ services, or secondary care providers, are onsite, they are not in-home. Instead, when AHA builds its SDA communities, we include additional, separate accommodation for onsite care providers to live-in, ensuring a carer is available in our communities around the clock.

This 24/7 care model is delivered at a cost saving to the Participant and the NDIS compared with 24/7 in-home shared services such as Supported Independent Living (SIL).  

The providers

The on-site providers are chosen, and reviewed annually, by the tenants in the community, to decide if the care team should continue another year or, instead, be replaced by a different care provider – a right rarely exercised in alternative support models due to the logistic difficulties of replacing an in-home 24/7 care provider supporting a group of housemates. 

Get in touch

If you’d like the opportunity to live in a safe, purpose-built home with shared amenities like accessible pools, gardens, and barbeques, in an everyday community with easy access to allied health, healthcare and transport, please reach out.

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