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Housing and living supports

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The panel’s vision

Good housing and living supports are the foundation for greater social, economic and community participation. Everyone should have a safe, secure and accessible home in their community. We want to make sure decisions about housing and living are fair and consistent. Participants with similar levels of need should get similar amounts of funding.

Housing and living supports should strengthen connections to family, friends and community and encourage independence. We want people to have more flexible budgets and support to find and try options that will work well for them.

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What is the problem?

You told us many participants with NDIS housing and living supports still have little or no choice about where they live, who supports them and who they live with. Many people still live in large or small group homes where they can’t choose their housemates or their service providers.

Planning decisions don’t seem to consider housing and support in a connected way – and decisions are not always clear and consistent. Participants with similar levels of need and circumstances often don’t receive similar levels of funding.

Participants and families worry about the future. They feel there is no certainty that housing and living support will continue.

Few people are supported to explore different options. There has not been much innovation in housing and living support design. There are not enough Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) homes to meet people’s needs. Many old, large and poorly designed houses need to be redeveloped or replaced.

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What is the solution?

We want participants to have more choice about their living arrangements. Funding decisions should be fair, consistent and based on the needs of participants.

Fairer, consistent housing and living supports that encourage choice

  • The budget for housing and living support should be set after a support needs assessment. It should include funds for home modifications if necessary. The housing and living budget would be separate from the flexible budget for other supports.
  • Once a budget has been set, a specialist housing and living navigator should help people find options that work for them. People could trial alternative housing solutions.
  • Participants who need 24/7 living supports would generally be funded at a 1:3 support ratio.
  • Sharing supports does not mean people have to share a home if they don’t want to. We want to encourage new and better ways to enable people to live the way they want while still sharing support.
  • There will be exceptions to the 1:3 support ratio. Sometimes participants can’t share supports. They might need more support because they have higher individual needs or are in more complex circumstances.
  • Participants who share their home with other people will have access to a new shared support facilitator, whose job will be to help everyone to have a say in how the house and support is organised.

Reforms to SDA to better meet needs

  • SDA categories and design standards should be reviewed to ensure they meet needs, remove the “Improved Liveability” category and create a new “Shared Living Support” category.
  • SDA and living supports should be from separate providers.
  • State and territory governments should agree to upgrade or repurpose ageing SDA accommodation and transition participants to housing in line with their needs and preferences. The NDIA should change its policies to reduce the bedroom count of ageing SDA dwellings.
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Who will this benefit?

Participants with similar levels of need and in similar circumstances should have a similar budget for their housing and living needs. Participants who need 24/7 living supports should be able to trial new living arrangements before they commit to them. Housing and living navigators would help participants and families find housing and support options that work for them. This should help people exercise more control and choice. Clear rules and consistent decision making should enable new and better housing and support arrangements.

Families should be confident that supported housing and living will be stable, safe and secure and enable connection with community, friends and family.

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What happens next?

We know these are big changes. That’s why we have recommended that changes should be introduced gradually to make sure everyone has time to get ready. No one will be forced to move from their current living arrangement. We strongly recommend that people with disability, their families and representative organisations should be closely involved in designing and testing changes to make sure they work well.

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How the future NDIS participant experience could work

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Want more information?

Read the final NDIS review report and recommendations, NDIS Review Guide, NDIS Review fact sheets and FAQ.

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