Learn everything about Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and SDA housing  

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How would you feel if you owned your own home someday? You can find housing or apartments designed specifically for your needs with the assistance of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). 

Among the many services funded by the NDIS is specialist disability housing. It is the perfect place if you’re looking for information on Specialist Disability Accommodation! 

We aim to explain what SDA funding includes, its eligibility requirements, and how it differs from Supported Independent Living (SIL) with pricing support requirements for the NDIS investment property and rental properties. 


What is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)? 

In the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) allows people with disabilities the opportunity to live in the community and receive the support they need. 

Participants with severe impairment or a high level of support are eligible for SDA funding and are encouraged to live more independently.  

The SDA provides funding to purchase high-quality SDA dwellings and capital costs (bricks and mortar), instead of individual services or support. 

Registered NDIS providers will need new and innovative approaches to meet the diverse needs of participants. More unique, smaller dwellings with innovative models will replace group homes with shared in-home support, often constructed under different state and Victorian government systems as the market develops. 

From specially constructed apartments to mixed developments to modified freestanding houses, SDA homes can suit a variety of lifestyles based on the range of housing designed. 

In addition, it is essential to remember that SDA does not provide housing for people with disabilities in general; it only supports people who serve need specialist housing solutions. 


Does a person with a disability qualify for SDA housing? 

SDA is among the most popular tenancy and living support options available through the NDIS. In order to get enrolled with the NDIA for the SDA, the NDIS plans should include SDA funding to purchase new SDA homes or buildings. 

Home and Living Support requires Request Forms to determine your eligibility for specialist disability accommodation. You should be able to tell the NDIA if living in a specialized home will work for you if you provide the information described above.  

Depending on your needs, they may recommend other home and living supports with the residential tenancy agreement. Allied health professionals (such as occupational therapists) may also be asked to provide documentation in regard to the participants’ situation before releasing the amount of funding. 

Your plan will include SDA funding if you are determined eligible for it. 


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How to obtain specialist disability accommodation funding? 

Following the NDIS (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2016, the NDIA assesses whether a person is eligible for SDA.  

For example, the participant may require a single-bedroom unit (dwelling type) in Sydney (location). 

The NDIA will provide funding to eligible participants if they qualify to live in SDA. As part of the SDA funding calculation, the NDIA takes into account the participant’s goals and preferences; 

  • Based on the participant’s support needs, the design category is selected; 
  • A participant’s goals and needs determine the type of dwelling they may require to reach those goals; and 
  • Choosing a location based on the participant’s goal, and ensuring value for money is vital. 

As a result of this funding, the participants can relocate into a dwelling that meets their goals and provides them with the support they need. Participants receive funding for their participation, not for a residence, so they can move from one dwelling to another as they wish. 


What is the SDA design for a dwelling with high support needs? 

NDIS plans will show SDA payments as ‘capital support.’ In addition to housing type, SDA category, and location, your NDIS plan will also include information about the dwelling type. 

A NDIS provider cannot receive SDA funding unless the property gets enrolled as SDA. 

You will be able to determine which SDA housing design category is best for your independence based on the information in your Housing Plan.  

There are four categories stated under the SDA practice; 

  • Improved liveability – Providing reasonable physical accessibility and enhanced provisions make it easier for people with sensory impairments, mental disabilities, and cognitive impairments to live comfortably.  
  • Robust construction – The housing is designed to have a high level of physical accessibility and be very resilient, which reduces the likelihood of reactive maintenance and thereby reduces the risk to the participants and the community. A few of the instances are laminated windows, secure doors and windows, proper fixtures, and fittings inside the dwellings.  
  • Fully accessible – Housing built for people with disabilities can provide a high level of accessibility to people with disabilities. A few of the instances include adding necessary handrails in bathrooms, wheelchair-accessible indoor/ outdoor areas, power supply on the door and necessary areas with accessible seats and cabinets in the kitchen area. 
  • High physical support – Housing is designed for people with significant physical disabilities requiring very high levels of support and physical access. 


A few of the instances include assistive technology and video intercoms with emergency power solutions for sudden power outages. 


What are the building types associated with SDA dwellings? 

SDAs are types of housing designed to enable disabled participants to live in the community with the support they need. The SDA fund is available to people with a high need for support and/or extreme functional impairment. 

The following are the four SDA building types associated with SDA. 

House – Besides having a garden or courtyard area, these are detached low-rise dwellings. 

Apartment – A condominium consists of several self-contained units within the boundaries of a larger residential complex. 

Group home – There are more residents in group accommodation compared to other forms of accommodation  

Townhouse or villa- As opposed to townhouses, there is a villa, both independent but semi-attached properties within a single land title. A fire-resistant wall separates the dwelling from one or more adjacent dwellings. 


SDA vs. Supported Independent Living (SIL): What’s the difference? 

As the name implies, supported independent living refers to support services you may need while living in your purpose-built accommodation. 

Individuals with higher support needs can benefit from Supported Independent Living. You can build your skills and live as independently as possible with the assistance of your support workers. For instance, they can help you with daily household tasks like grocery shopping. 

There is a difference between SDA and SIL under the NDIS 

Participants with higher support needs may benefit from SIL, also known as Supported Independent Living. It refers to people who need 24-hour supervision or support seven days a week. 

You can build your skills by doing your grocery shopping and cooking meals if you have higher support needs. Family members and other informal support networks cannot provide this level of assistance to people living with disabilities. 

Most SIL participants reside in specially constructed and furnished SIL homes or live with other SIL participants who NDIS funds. 

In addition to allowing participants to live independently, SIL support also enables them to develop friendships by living with others with similar needs. 

People with very high or extreme needs may be able to live in Specialist Disability Accommodations (SDA). 

Accessing support will be made easier through this program. A shared home is usually a part of an SDA. 

In addition, if SDA best suits your needs and circumstances, you might be able to live independently. 

SDA funding includes housing costs. SDA residents will still have to pay rent and other personal expenses. 

The amount does not include home care or support. 

As long as your providers work closely together, you may be able to receive both SDA and SIL in the same SDA dwelling. But if you only want SIL funding, you can also do that. 


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What is the SDA price for the NDIS disability homes? 

The amount of SDA funding allocated in your plan depends on several factors, including the type of building you require, the number of residents, its location, and any additional features needed.

Furthermore, the NDIA will provide details on the process of determining a reasonable rent contribution that individuals are required to make. It’s important to note that SDA funding doesn’t cover support services for residents in their own homes; these services are provided separately through the NDIS.

The provided pricing information below represents the Annual Base Price per Participant for post-2023 new builds, indicating the range of costs associated with different types of dwellings and the number of SDA-eligible residents by NDIS.

For a 1 bedroom, 1 SDA eligible resident dwelling without onsite overnight accommodation, the price ranges are:

  • Group home: $29,542  to $35,944
  • House: $61,092 to $74,405 
  • Villa/Duplex/Townhouse: $53,073 to $62,368
  • Apartment: $73,36 to $82,230 

For a 1 bedroom, 1 SDA eligible resident dwelling with onsite overnight accommodation, the price ranges are:

  • Group home: $31,090  to $37,997
  • House: $66,946  to $80,268
  • Villa/Duplex/Townhouse: $55,373  to $65,237 
  • Apartment: $85,597  to $94,458

These prices will vary and potentially increase due to several factors like location, market trends, inflation, customisation and many more!

SDA price for the NDIS disability homes in Sydney

The SDA price for NDIS disability homes in Sydney varies depending on factors such as the type of dwelling, number of eligible residents, and location within Sydney. However, the SDA NDIS base price ranges mentioned earlier are reflective of the annual averages that encompass Sydney.


How to find the best SDA provider & SDA homes? 

There are usually a lot of vacancies for newly built SDA positions advertised on the SDA Finder. Still, if you’re having trouble finding one in your area, you can contact your local area coordinator or support coordinator. 

SDA Finder can help you locate vacancies for specialist disability accommodation. It also helps you find accommodation that meets your needs by providing an interactive tool.  

The search allows you to filter vacancies based on location, building type, and maximum price per person per year. 

Results of searches include SDA vacancies and information about SDA providers.  



What is the purpose of SDA? 

Special disability accommodation (SDA) is housing specifically designed for people with severe disabilities or complex needs. SDA dwellings offer accessible features that provide the residents with greater independence with safer access to other supports. 


How does the SDA standard work? 

Accommodations for people requiring specialist housing solutions that meet their high support needs are known as SDA. Rather than the actual support services, SDAs refer to the homes in which the services are provided. 


Is SDA funding sufficient to cover rent and utilities? 

The answer is no. As the name suggests, SDA finances the costs associated with the building or homes, such as maintenance or repairs. There will still be costs associated with day-to-day living, such as rent (paid to the SDA provider), utilities, and other expenses. In addition, SDA does not include funding for services or on-site support. 

Combined with Commonwealth Rent Assistance, your maximum price limit for the rent contribution is 25%. 


Does SDA allow families to live together? 

There is no restriction on participants living with their spouses and children, but the whole department of families cannot live with their parents in SDA. 


Is the NDIS going to pay for my house? 

There may also be opportunities for people receiving SDA payments to own their homes. Participants or family members can buy a property with SDA payments and use them for mortgage payments. 


How do SDA payments work? 

To keep the house available for disability housing, the amount is paid directly to the company that built and maintained the house. There are certain conditions and eligibility that one must meet for the SDA payment, for this, you can coordinate with your local area coordinator. 


In what ways does SDA NDIS work? 

As part of the NDIS, SDA is funded by individual participant plans. Upon receiving funding from the NDIS, eligible participants can find a suitable enrolled dwelling by approaching the market, residential statement or SDA supply available in your location. 


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