Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) was designed and implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to assist with housing for people with a disability, and is specific for people whose disability makes it difficult for them to live safely in an unmodified home.
SDA is split into four types of design categories: Improved Liveability, Robust, Fully Accessible and High Physical Support. There are also other factors that are included in determining SDA funding for an individual – including Dwelling Types, residents per home, rooms per resident, location, and other determinations made in relation to an eligible person’s individual needs in relation to their built environment.
These dwellings are built for people who have intellectual, cognitive, and sensory impairments. The properties in this category are designed to help tenants navigate the space more easily, with features like luminance contrasts, open rooms and spaces, tactile pieces on the wall or within the door.
This is very resilient housing, designed for people who may have some behaviours which could place them or the people that support them at risk. Its purpose and focus is to keep people as safe as possible. Robust homes are also built to reduce the likelihood of reactive maintenance.
Some of the building standards include secure windows, doors and external areas, high impact wall lining, fittings and fixtures such as blinds and door handles, soundproofing, and laminated glass. Designed and built to provide areas of sanctuary for residents and staff.
Fully Accessible housing is designed for people who regularly use mobility aids such as wheelchairs. These homes include provision of wheelchair passage throughout the entire dwelling, as well as access from a seated or standing position to things like kitchen and laundry benchtops, and appliances.
High Physical Support
High Physical Support housing includes the same requirements as the Fully Accessible Design category, with a few added features such as structural provisions for ceiling hoists and clear opening width doors to all rooms. There is also assistive technology which uses voice control to assist with room window coverings, TV, and door activation, as well as emergency power solutions to cater for a minimum two-hour power outage.
Accessible Homes Australia builds High Physical Support dwellings, which means our properties are specialised for people who are wheelchair users. This also means our homes are suitable to those living with Fully Accessible SDA participant registration.
A House refers to a standalone property on a block of land, and is always a shared living environment with other people with SDA funding. Within the SDA framework, the minimum amount of SDA-eligible people in a House is 2, and the maximum is 3*. Houses generally have space for staff members (referred to as “OOA” – Overnight Onsite Assistance or “OSS” – Onsite Shared Support) in the form of an in-house additional bedroom. This type of housing works well for people who have significant need of personal support, as it allows for quick, in-home delivery of care services. It also provides opportunity for line-of-sight supervision, if that is required.
A Townhouse/Villa/Duplex are considered the same type of housing, in the sense they attract the same level of funding for a participant seeking this type of home. This type of housing is often clustered to some home dwellings, whether that be a collection of 2 or more. The minimum amount of SDA-eligible people in a single Townhouse/Villa/Duplex is 1, and the maximum is 3. The provision of OOA or OSS in a Townhouse/Villa/Duplex can either be in-home, similar to that of a house, or a separate on-site dwelling nearby the SDA homes.
Generally, apartments attract a higher level of SDA funding than the other dwelling types, as they are considered Class 2, commercial builds. Apartments may be stand-alone in a residential complex, clustered in a residential complex, or a whole apartment consisting only of SDA-compliant apartments. The number of SDA-eligible inhabitants can range from 1-SDA participant to 2-SDA participants.
Unlike the other properties, people that receive SDA outcomes with apartments as the dwelling type, have outcomes that outlines how many bedrooms are to be included in the property. This ranges from 2-bedrooms for 1 person (generally only provided to people with very complex support or medical needs), to 1-bedroom for 1person, 2-bedrooms for 2 SDA-eligible residents, and 3-bedrooms for 2 SDA-eligible residents.
In an apartment SDA, the OOA or OSS is always another, separate apartment or office within the building.
AHA focuses on single-SDA participant occupancy housing, with housing styles specific to the particular location. This means AHA homes are designed and built for a single SDA participant only, however the single SDA participant tenant is free to live with other non-SDA participant friends or family of their choosing.
In metro settings such as the Gold Coast, AHA builds apartments. In regional locations, AHA specializes in villa properties in a community precinct.
AHA’s SDA properties are always located close to where the utilities, amenities, job opportunities, and community events are in that particular location, with housing styles that make sense for the local setting. Our properties suit individuals just as much as they suit families, couples or friends who want to remain living together in independent settings.
Other SDA Considerations
SDA outcomes contain other considerations too – such as the location of the property, and some other inclusions such as fire-sprinklers, break-out rooms, and Onsite Overnight Assistance. Some of these factors overlap and are interlinked, and others are stand-alone features that are approved dependent on participant need. The NDIA decides which of these features best suit a participant based on their SDA application, and the supporting evidence that outlines functional capacity.
It is good to have an understanding on how each of these components impact or improve your ability to live in the type of home you want. We encourage you to reach out to our team to discuss your individual circumstances to assist with how you apply for this funding.