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The Must-Knows of Special Disability Accommodation Property

If you’re thinking of investing in property under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) SDA, there are some key things that you need to know.

This knowledge will help to both maximise your returns and improve the living conditions of a person living with a significant disability.  

Specialist disability accommodation

NDIS funded property is known as specialist disability accommodation (SDA). It’s accommodation specifically designed for NDIS recipients who have extreme functional impairments and the highest support needs.

SDA property shortage

Only about 6% of NDIS participants are eligible for specialist disability accommodation (SDA) and funding, and there is a current shortage of SDA housing across Australia.

This shortage is more acute in some areas than others. It forces many disabled people to either live prematurely in aged care accommodation or to live in their family home with ageing parents.

Investments in SDA helps eligible recipients to live more independent lives in housing designed to suit their needs.

Types of NDIS SDA property

SDA properties must be approved to meet at least one of four SDA accommodation design standards.

  1. Improved Liveability (for people with intellectual, cognitive or sensory disabilities).
  2. Robust (designed to be more resilient and less susceptible to damage).
  3. Fully Accessible (to encourage full access for people with significant physical disabilities).
  4. High Physical Support (for people with significant physical disabilities who have very high support needs).

Provided they meet one or more of the above criteria, SDA homes could be any of the following  

  • an apartment     
  • a villa        
  • a duplex   
  • a townhouse        
  • a freestanding house.

Are NDIS properties a good investment?

The shortage of SDA in Australia along with the guaranteed NDIS federal government SDA funding for it makes it an attractive property investment in locations where there is high demand. It can enable you to get above-average returns.

As with any real estate investment, location is crucial.

What features make a good NDIS property investment?

A good NDIS property has suitable features to assist the specific daily living needs of an eligible SDA recipient.

It’s also important for it to be located in an area where there is easy access to the support services that the recipient needs.  

Do your research

It’s important to do your research to find areas with higher demand. You can access the NDIS’ demand data on its website to see the number of people who have expressed interest in SDA accommodation in different areas across Australia.

This data also shows demand by type of accommodation (i.e. improved liveability, robust, fully accessible and high physical support).

Obviously, you will maximise your return and rental income if you buy the right type of SDA in areas where there is high demand.

It’s important to understand that SDA is a highly specialised accommodation. If you can’t find suitable NDIS approved tenants, your property will most likely be vacant for longer periods.

Does the NDIS pay for properties?

Yes.

However, SDA properties must be supplied by a registered SDA provider. These providers also liaise with the NDIS to facilitate payments. If you’re thinking of buying an SDA property, make sure you deal with a reputable provider and that the home has all of the necessary approvals in place for it to be SDA compliant.

The NDIS pays SDA payments to SDA providers directly for building and maintenance costs for accommodation that meets their design criteria.

In addition, the NDIS provides payments directly to SDA recipients to use for their reasonable rent contribution as part of their approved NDIS plan. This NDIS plan funding will include the following amounts:       

The bottom line

SDA property can be a lucrative investment if you buy a suitable property in the right location.

For more insight into purchasing an SDA dwelling, please contact us.

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