SDA Housing or Specialist Disability Accommodation is a type of accommodation that is designed and purpose-built for people with a disability.  SDA Housing address two high level requirements for people with a disability:

One:  to help residents live independently the way they choose & control and

Two:  to allow for various levels of supports to be delivered in a safe and far better environment.

To obtain NDIS funding for SDA, there are certain criteria that need to be met.  This website is a useful place to start for more information.

SDA usually involves a shared home with a small number of people, maximum of about 3 (as of the date of this blog).  There are options to have a single participants live by himself / herself in the home, however this is subject to NDIS eligibility and circumstances.

The funding for SDA Homes does not include the cost of services or support that each participants receives.  They usually receive separate funding for that purpose.

Design

There are certain requirements and specifications that every SDA Home must meet before it can be suitable and approved by the NDIS.  There is a detailed document on the NDIS website that details the requirements and processes around ensuring compliance with the NDIS SDA guidelines.

Categories of Homes

There are 4 categories of SDA Home Designs:

Builder

This is not a build that any builder can do.  They have to have certain licenses to be able to build this type of builds.  In NSW, a builder must have a Class 3 building license and they must have certain consultants onboard to ensure that compliance when it comes to the design and building of an SDA Home.

If the builder falls short of any of these requirements / consultants / licenses, you (the investor) as well as the builder will be liable for anything that can potentially go wrong.

Ethical Investment

This is not an investment for everyone.  If you are looking at getting as many participants in the home with the cheapest possible build and lowest possible maintenance, then you are asking for trouble and chances are, you will have serious problems.

SDA Home:

  • has a maximum of 3 participant
  • has certain levels of requirements and compliance standards
  • must be built and consulted by the right contractors and builders

If you want to take a shortcut on any of these, then this is not an investment for you.

Remember that participants with a disability are your tenants, so you have an ethical and moral responsibility to do the right thing the right way!

Participant’s view

From the participant’s viewpoint, below is a high level process for funding & approval etc…  For more details, please visit www.ndis.gov.au

Investor’s view

There are several ways to own an SDA Home.

DIY

You can purchase a home & land from a builder or find a place to demolish and build an SDA Home.   You will then need to find an SDA assessor and SDA Provider (including a number of consultants and engineers) to ensure compliance, registrations and then tenancy.

Ready Made

You can find a builder that can connect all the dots from the very start to minimise your risk, maximise your returns and ensures delivery of the right SDA Home that complies and in demand.

Is it here to stay?

Short answer is YES.  The SDA Funding under the NDIS is a legislated commitment from the Federal, State and Territory Governments under the NDIS Act 2013.

This legislation provides the foundation for the Australian Government long-term commitment to SDA Funding under the Act.

Beyond the legislative aspect, this funding has many advantages, commercially and morally, including but not limited to:

  • It provides an amazing opportunity for people with a disability to find a place they can call home.  A place to live the way they choose and control while receiving the right type of support in a safe and more conducive environment for their well-being
  • It provides value for money for the government and saves a ton of money for the taxpayer should this type of accommodation is no longer available.    The stress on the Medicare system alone (if people with a disability are not supported adequately) is huge and not to mention the lack of appropriate places to house people with a disability in the right way.

The Money

Building an SDA home can be an expensive exercise due to the number of consultants involved as well as the requirements needed.  It requires a massive level of requirements that the builder must take their time to ensure everything is done properly and to the code.  These have direct and indirect costs which you as the investor must pay for.

From a return perspective, the returns are very healthy.  There is a calculator which you can find here.

Finance 

This is not a type of investment that the big 4 banks will finance (well as of the date of writing this blog anyway).  It’s important that you find a broker that 1) understands how NDIS SDA work, 2) have the ability to obtain the funding. 

It’s absolutely possible to obtain a loan and like obtaining any other loan; it has it’s own process.  Any half decent broker should know how to do this type of loans.  If they are not sure, then consult with another broker.

Do not take no for an answer

Finally

Please remember that this is my personal viewpoint of the world.  These are not governmental sources nor facts and the onus is on you to do your own due diligence.

However, I will leave you with this.  There is a serious need for this type of accommodation in NSW (I can only speak for NSW as I live and work in NSW) it’s important that you educate yourself properly before you can make the decision to spend your money in this type of ethical and moral investment.

 

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