If you’re keen to move into your own place to have more independence, there are several NDIS housing options you should consider. The right option for you comes down to a range of factors, including the level of support you require, the ways in which your informal support network can assist with your day-to-day life, and your NDIS goals.
1. If you require a bit of day-to-day support
Sometimes receiving a bit of help around the house can make a huge difference. Individualised Living Options (ILO) allow you to live independently by creating the perfect package of supports for the living situation you want.
After working closely with you to explore and identify the best NDIS housing options for you, ILO then funds a support worker to come into your home to help with key day-to-day tasks. The amount of support you receive is based on your individual situation, including your in-house support needs and what assistance your friends, family and informal support network can provide. ILO is aimed at those with lower to medium support needs. As a general rule, seven hours of support a day is the most that ILO will fund.
2. If you need around the clock support
If you need more support than ILO allows for, a shared living arrangement paired with Supported Independent Living (SIL) may be for you. A group home can allow you to stay connected, receive assistance, and socialise with others in a supportive environment – usually with between two and five other housemates. And because most shared accommodation pairs you with people of similar ages and interests, there’s often a nice sense of community in the house. SIL is one of the most common ways that NDIS participants receive support while in group homes. It can fund around the clock (24/7/) support with day-to-day activities, like personal care, accessing the community, and other household tasks such as cooking and cleaning. SIL only funds the supports you receive and doesn’t cover any costs associated with the accommodation itself.
3. If you want to move into a modified home
If you have very high and complex support needs and require significant modifications to your home, Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) s likely the most suited. SDA is bricks and mortar accommodation that’s purpose built for you and your specific needs. By literally designing the house around you and your lived experience, SDA allows you to build your independence through tailor-made solutions. These can include lowered kitchen counters, wider doorways, raised light switches and power points, and modified bathrooms. Funding for SDA covers the costs of constructing and modifying the house or apartment itself. It does not cover the cost of staying in it, so you will need to pay rent yourself – either out of your own pocket or with the support of another program, such as the disability support pension. Most SDA providers will look at your individual circumstance and income when determining your rent, to ensure you’re not put under financial strain. While staying in SDA, you can choose how you manage your supports. Many people in SDA also receive SIL (so much so, the two supports are often confused for one), but you can also receive drop-in support if you have a strong informal support network around you.
4. Modifying your existing home
Another option the NDIS can fund is to make modifications to your existing house or apartment. This allows you to stay in your own home, ensuring you can get around and perform day-to-day tasks safely and comfortably. Modifications can be relatively minor, like lowering light switches, or more significant, like adjusting the layout to be more accommodating to your needs. To get home modifications included in your plan, you will need to show that your house is no longer fit for you and is negatively impacting your care arrangements. An occupational therapist’s (OT) report will help show that modifications are the most suitable option to improve your quality of life.
5. A place to stay while you wait…
Because sometimes it’s not possible to move into your long term housing solution straight away, the NDIS can provide you with funding for a temporary place to stay. Medium Term Accommodation (MTA) is an NDIS support that can fund up to three months in temporary accommodation until your long term solution is ready for you. So, if you’re waiting for your SDA home to be ready, a modification to be made to your existing house, or a piece of adaptive equipment to be delivered, MTA can cover you in the meantime.
Getting the right NDIS housing solution for your situation with support coordination
The right housing option for you will depend on a range of factors, including your support needs, informal support network, where you would like to live, and your general housing goals. Consider each of these, as well as the solutions outlined in this article and discuss your options with an LAC.
Speaking with a support coordinator can be a great place to start, as they can discuss your options and look at how to get an NDIS plan that will allow you to achieve your goals. All NDIS participants with housing goals in their plan will receive funding for support coordination, as it’s such a useful and important service. Learn more about support coordination and how you can request to have it included in your plan…
A useful steppingstone
Short Term Accommodation (STA) can be a great way to begin your NDIS housing journey. While a stay in respite is designed to give you and your informal support network a break, it also allows you the chance to get a taste of living independently, so you can establish the level of support you may require and the living arrangement most suited to you.