Changes to SDA pricing paves way for sustainable disability housing sector

    The Access 2 Place team with one of their tenants in front of a new purpose built project.

    On Friday, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) announced its first SDA (Specialised Disability Accommodation) Pricing Review since the national roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) started in 2016.

    The NDIA is required to undertake a review every five years to ensure it still meets the needs of participants and continues to support a sustainable SDA market.

    Since the announcement of the SDA pricing review last year, the NDIA considered over 100 research, submissions and expert consultations to come to the 19 recommendations presented in the final report.

    These recommendations include updated annual SDA amounts for new builds and existing housing stock, annual indexation of annual benchmark SDA amounts, research into the cost and benefits of making fire sprinklers mandatory in new SDA dwellings, the development of a National construction code and improved regulation of the SDA industry as a whole.

    In addition, the report suggests looking into any SDA housing owned by states and territories to be refurbished or redeveloped to meet the latest standards.

    The SDA Alliance, peak body of a number of Australia’s SDA providers and investors, has welcomed the government funding injection into the sector “to support the much needed growth of good practice SDA for the benefit of people with disability”.

    As the leading SDA provider in South Australia and a founding member of the SDA Alliance, Access 2 Place Housing (A2P) contributed to the submission prepared by the Alliance which provided the NDIA with the results of a study on SDA pricing back in March. The Alliance is pleased with an overarching positive result in the uptake of its recommendations.

    Trent Lines, Chief Executive Officer of A2P, welcomes the recommendations in the final report and says “The increase in funding to detached 2 and 3 bedroom homes demonstrates the NDIA’s commitment that investment in good practice, contemporary SDA housing is fundamental in improving the lives of people living with a disability.

    Access 2 Place Housing is an independent community housing provider that creates high quality purpose-built homes that are affordable and independent from support services.

    Mr Lines says, “The SDA pricing review has set the foundations of a more sustainable and attractive SDA market moving forward, which will ultimately benefit NDIS participants and their families.”

    SDA is funded under the NDIS for participants with extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. SDA dwellings have accessible features to help residents live more independently and allow other supports to be delivered better or more safely.

    For more information or to read the full SDA Pricing Review visit the NDIS website.