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FAQs

Australian Disability Homes

Australian Disability Homes (ADH) is a supplier of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in Queensland, and New South Wales.

Property Specialists Australia

Property Specialists Australia (PSA) is a registered Service Provider of SDA with the NDIS and is also a Licensed Real Estate Corporation.
The Company names are indicative of what each has to offer.
ADH supplies the SDA to PSA which then presents it to Participants for purchase or rent as their home.
We arrived at where we are today by firstly conducting extensive research over a three year period.

Following conversations with many services in the Disabled Persons’ Space, including many Participants and potential Participants, PSA found that
Participants prefer to not share accommodation.

PSA's extensive research is reflected in the designs and additional features in each and every ADH SDA Home are
included to satisfy Participant’s comfort in their “own home”.

The answers in this document are gleaned from experience gained through this research and further study of the NDIS and the Disabled Persons Space.

We may not have all the answers but we believe we have covered the most probable questions Participants may have.

  • What is the NDIS?

    The NDIS provides support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

    The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency whose role is to
    implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    For many people it will be the first time they receive the disability support they need and, for some Participants,
    the NDIS will fund Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in their Plan.

  • What is Specialist Disability Accommodation?

    Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a form of housing designed in new and innovative ways to
    enable eligible NDIS Participants to receive the support they need to live in the community.

    These new SDA dwellings diversify from group homes sharing supports towards contemporary, smaller, dwellings with innovative models providing individual support to Participants.

  • What does Participant mean?

    A Participant is a person with a Disability whose application to the NDIS has been successful in that he/she is eligible to receive the funds in their “Plan” for the necessary supports they need.

  • What is the difference between an SDA and SIL Provider?

    Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider (SDA) is registered with the NDIS as supplying/providing specialist disability accommodation supports.

    Supported Independent Living Provider (SIL) is registered with the NDIS as providing assistance with and/or supervising tasks of daily life to develop the skills of individuals to live as autonomously as possible – support services.

  • Can an SDA Property be purchased by a Participant

    Yes, it can and Participant’s NDIS Payment can be used to pay the Mortgage.

  • Is there anything special to do/setup when purchasing an SDA property?

    A Family Trust is worth considering for holding this type of investment, especially due to its tax and other benefits, but we suggest Investors speak to an Accountant or Financial Advisor for advice on these matters.

  • Is it easy to secure Finance for the purchase of an NDIS SDA Property?

    Being fairly new to the market, SDA borrowing has offered some challenges more so with Valuations than the borrowing.

    Valuers traditionally make comparisons to past sales of property and SDA being new with little or no resale, offers them no comparison.

    Although normal in appearance, Specialist Disability Accommodation is constructed to meet stringent SDA Design Standards especially in floor areas and technology, thereby substantially value adding to the cost of a standard home.

    We can refer Participants to the few Lenders who understand the product and specialise in SDA. Usual Terms and Conditions will apply.

  • Are SDA Homes built to a Specific Standard or Different Levels of build?

    As of July1, 2021, all SDA Homes must be designed and constructed to meet the NDIS Specialist DisabilityAccommodation Design Standard Edition 1.1 Issue Date 25th October 2019.

    Every “SDA Wattle, Banksia and Acacia” Series High Physical Support Category Homes include 33 mandatory criteria to meet the NDIS SDA Design Standard.

    Every “SDA Wattle and Banksia” Series High Physical Support Category Home also includes 52 more upgrades and the “Acacia” Series 56 more, to meet the ADH SDA Design Standard Edition 1.2 30th October 2022 adding those little extras that make a Participant’s living in an ADH SDA Home more desirable.

  • How long will it take to build an SDA home?

    In today’s restrictive construction Industry, allow around 10 - 12 months to build an NDIS SDA home.

    Construction starts on the settled Land when the already registered SDA Plans are approved by the relative Local Government.

  • Is there a Construction Warranty for the property?

    Each home has a normal 6 year structural warranty from the time of practical completion. This warranty covers structural items and any faults of the original workmanship. This can vary from State to State.

  • Is there any Warranty for Fixtures and Fittings?

    There is a 6 month maintenance period on the build so any maintenance issues or defects that come to light within this period are the responsibility of the builder to make good at no cost to the Home Owner.

    Fixtures and Fittings are covered by the Manufacturer's Warranty e.g. Kitchen whitegoods vary from 12 to 24 months; Specialist items, Maintenance and Warranty agreements are in place.

  • What are Categories in SDA?

    SDA Design and Outcome comprises four categories to cater for Participants specific needs.
    These are set out in the SDA Design Standard and the SDA Rules.

    The Four Design Categories are:
    a) Improved Liveability
    b) Robust
    c) Fully Accessible
    d) High Physical Support

  • Who assists the Participant/Tenant find a suitable SDA property?

    Property Specialists Australia (PSA) is the SDA service provider and extends its services to the managament og the SDA Property.

    These Services fall under both NDIS (SDA Conditions) Rules 2018, and the Queensland Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.

    It is a specialised field and PSA will source eligible Participant / Tenants directly or in conjunction with a Participant’s intermediaries taking into consideration the needs and requirements of the potential Participant / Tenant. An intermediary may be a Family Carer, Support Worker, Support Coordinator, Occupational Therapist, Local Area Coordinator or a SIL Provider.

    PSA will assist qualified eligible Participants with application and placement in the desired SDA Property.

    Both parties will commit by authorising the relevant Service Agreement and Tenancy Agreement, outlining both the Participant/Tenant’s rights and those of the Investor/Landlord.

  • How does a Participant secure an NDIS SDA Plan?

    Talk to your Support Coordinator or Planner - Many people with a disability are eligible for SDA payments and are unaware of the available NDIS Plans. Ask them about the inclusion of “SDA” in a Plan for the High Physical Support category. The intention is to have the Participant in residence as soon as possible after the final enrolment of the SDA with the NDIA.

  • What is the length of a typical SDA rental lease?

    Initial leases will be for 12 - 24 months where possible.
    PSA believes Participants will stay longer especially in ADH SDA because all the included extras are designed for the
    Participant/Tenant’s comfort.

  • What happens if an SDA Property becomes Vacant?

    Participants, like any tenant, may leave at the end of a Tenancy Agreement term, the only difference being that Participants have the support of family, carers and their SIL Providers who all meet to resolve any issues that may arise.

    Recent research indicates that when many Participants find a home with which they are happy they usually want to “stay for life” hence the nickname "their forever home".

    It is rare Participants want to move as they appreciate the stability after experiencing difficulty in selecting a Home of their liking - where would they go?

  • Is there a Bond payable by the Tenant for an NDIS SDA Property?

    Under the Queensland Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act a Bond is required.

    For general tenancies the law says if the rent is $700 or less per week, the maximum bond amount is 4 weeks rent. Ifthe weekly rent is higher than $700, the amount of bond should be negotiated between the property manager / owner and tenant.

    The agreed Bond is to be paid when due at the beginning of the Tenancy or if required arrangements can be made to
    pay off the amount over a short period to make it more manageable.

    The Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy provides rental bond loans and rental grants to eligible tenants.

  • What is “Enrolment” and how is that facilitated?

    In order for a Dwelling to be classified as Specialist Disability Accommodation it must be enrolled with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) as SDA in its specific Category.

    PSA will obtain a Certification of the Dwelling at Design Stage as “High Physical Support” and it is then registered with the NDIS and the Certified Plans become part of the Construction Contract.

    PSA will obtain Final Certification of the Dwelling and Category on completion. PSA will then Enrol the Dwelling with the NDIA as Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) in the “High Physical Support” category.

    This can take up to 28 days with the NDIA so interested parties need to allow for this as Participants can only take up occupancy after the SDA is enrolled.

  • Who manages the SDA Property?

    An NDIS SDA home must be managed by the Property Management entity that is also the registered Service Provider of SDA under the NDIS Q&SC.

    As of July 1, 2021, under NDIA Rules and Regulations an SDA Service Provider must be registered to be able to firstly offer the property for Rent or Sale to Tenants or Owners and subsequently enrol the Property with the NDIA as Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

  • Who manages the Participant’s NDIS SDA Payments?

    Each Participant/Tenant’s payment is made up of several parts:

    1. The Service Provider, Property Specialists Australia, will invoice the NDIS for the Participants SDA amount from his/her Plan. The NDIS pays this amount monthly in arrears.

    2. Maximum Reasonable Rent Contribution (MRRC) is made up of 3 parts of regulated calculations of:

      a) Disability Support Pension (DSP) is paid fortnightly by the Participant/Tenant.
      b) Pension Supplement (PS) is paid fortnightly by the Participant/Tenant.
      c) Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) IS paid fortnightly by the Participant / Tenant.

    PSA will facilitate the NDIS portal registration and submit and receipt the SDA payments and any other forms of Rental as agreed with the Participant on behalf of the Property Investor/Landlord.

    The rental payments will be paid to the Investor/Landlord by Property Specialists Australia, within normal Property Management criteria, at the end of each calendar month.

  • Who is responsible for Maintenance and the associated costs?

    The Participant/Tenant is responsible for the general maintenance of the home, however lawn mowing and basic garden maintenance services are facilitated by Australian Disability Homes Maintenance Team.

  • Who is responsible for Utilities?

    The Investor/Landlord is responsible for connecting the NBN to the House. The Tenant is responsible for Power, Water, NBN and Telephone and shared accordingly with the resident SIL Provider. Power should be relatively low due to a substantial Solar System installed in each ADH SDA Home.

Excerpts from The NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Provider and Investor Brief - April 2018

  • Is SDA funding here to stay?

    Yes. SDA funding under the NDIS is a legislated commitment of Australia’s Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, set out in the NDIS SDA Rules (2016) under the NDIS Act (2013). This legislation provides the foundation for government’s long-term and firm commitment to SDA funding under the NDIS.

    Beyond the legislative commitment, SDA funding enables eligible participants to achieve better outcomes while representing value for money for the NDIS. This is due to high-quality fit-for-purpose dwellings making it easier and less expensive to provide the range of person-to-person supports that SDA eligible participants require.

    Broad benefits to all parties including participants, providers and the NDIS underpin the long-term commitment to SDA funding.

  • Is there a cap on the total number of SDA Participants?

    No. There is no arbitrary cap on the number of SDA participants. All participants who meet the eligibility criteria will receive SDA funding. However, due to the specific eligibility requirements there are only likely to ever be a small percentage of NDIS participants who meet the criteria for SDA.

    Note: Density restrictions limit the number of residents within a single SDA dwelling, and the number of SDA participants on a single parcel of land. These are in place to prevent the development of large residential centres or sites which have been consistently demonstrated to provide poorer outcomes for people with disability including providing significant barriers to social and community inclusion. These restrictions are outlined in the SDA Rules.

  • Is there a cap on the number of SDA dwellings to be enrolled under the NDIS?

    No. There is no cap on the number of SDA dwellings that will be enrolled under the NDIS. Given the market- based approach of the NDIS, market forces will determine the supply of SDA dwellings required to meet participant demand. This may be informed by supply and demand data the NDIA is working to collect and release.

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