Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is available to approximately 6% of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. It is designed for NDIS recipients with the highest impairments and care needs. The Australian government relies on investors to boost the supply of specialist disability accommodation by providing SDA funding incentives for anyone who builds or buys an NDIS investment property.
SDA property can be categorised as an ‘ethical investment’.
What is an ethical investment?
An ethical investment is one that’s made based on moral principles. It is a rapidly growing sector in Australia and globally. There is a moral return on these investments, not just a financial one.
Types of ethical investments
There are four main types of ethical investments, and some of these sectors overlap with each other to some extent:
Socially responsible investing
Socially responsible investing involves only investing in projects that meet strict ethical criteria. Projects that don’t meet these criteria are avoided.
Impact investing includes investments that help organisations to develop programs or complete projects that are designed to quickly make an impact on society.
Sustainable investing includes investments that will make more of a long-term impact on society. In other words, investments in sustainable projects or programs.
ESG is an acronym for environmental, social and governance. ESG investments are those that focus on achieving environmental, social or corporate governance outcomes.
How is SDA housing an ethical investment?
The NDIS Commission was set up to advance and protect the rights of people with a disability in Australia, including the right to live with dignity and respect. Approximately 400,000 Australians are eligible for the NDIS, but just 24,000 of those meet the eligibility criteria for SDA housing.
Unfortunately, the shortage of SDA homes means that many young NDIS recipients live in aged care facilities due to their high support needs. Investing in SDA housing helps to improve the quality of life for these vulnerable NDIS participants. It assists these participants to live as independently as possible, while also helping their families and support staff provide them with the necessary high level of care.
There are four main SDA dwelling categories:
1) improved livability SDA
These dwellings have special provisions for SDA recipients with intellectual, cognitive or sensory impairments.
2) robust SDA
This accommodation is designed to withstand the impact of NDIS participants who have complex behavioural issues.
3) fully accessible SDA
Fully accessible SDA accommodation includes features such as full wheelchair accessibility throughout internal and external areas, as well as both seated and standing access to appliances.
4) high physical support SDA
These dwellings are for SDA recipients with the highest support needs. They include provisions for assistive devices such as ceiling hoists and advanced communication technology.
All SDA accommodation must meet strict design criteria to be accredited in one of the four categories listed above.
Financing an NDIS SDA housing investment property
Even though financial returns are not the sole aim of ethical investments, the federal government provides incentives for investing in SDA housing that can serve to make it an attractive asset with above-average returns.
In addition, once you have an eligible tenant in the SDA house that you build, their rental income from the NDIS is government-backed. You don’t get that sort of guarantee in the wider rental market!
If you’d like to learn more about investing in an SDA home, please get in touch.