If you have a disability and you are not happy with the place you live in and your current housing is making it difficult for you to access your community and health centres, participating in work or study and is causing you extra trouble in your daily life you might consider getting yourself more acquainted with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).  Inappropriate housing can make life difficult and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) could be a good opportunity for you to look for more suitable housing which is designed specially to suit your personal needs.

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) refers to accommodation and purpose-built houses for people who require specialist housing solutions in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Specialist disability accommodation (SDA) is specially designed or modified to suit the needs of people with disability who have ‘extreme functional impairment’ or ‘very high support needs’.

This includes assisting with the delivery of supports that cater for their extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. SDA does not refer to the support services, but the homes in which these are delivered.

It is important to note that SDA is not housing for all people with a disability.

The NDIA expects that around 6% of participants will meet the requirements for SDA funding.

People with Extreme Functional Impairment that even with home modifications or assistive technology, they still need support with their daily activities such as; getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, moving around, preparing meals, accessing the community, etc.


People with Very High Support NeedsThis can be translated for people whom; Informal support like family and friends cannot meet their personal care need, has Spent a long time in Residential Age Care or Group homes, their behaviours may pose a risk to themselves or others.

NDIA relies on the advice and professional judgement of allied health practitioners to determine whether NDIS participants receive funding for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), and the type and level of this funding.

A housing assessment from an allied health professional familiar with the SDA rules and specialist assessment report will assist to determine whether or not the person meets the SDA eligibility criteria. If the person does not have an ‘extreme functional impairment’ or ‘very high support needs’ then they are unlikely to be eligible for SDA.

SDA payments are made by NDIS to SDA providers for the cost of housing a person with an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs. The payment is for the actual property and is separated from the cost of support.

SDA payments is indicated as a ‘capital support’ in your NDIS Plan. You can also see information about the SDA dwelling type, SDA Design Category and the location funded in your NDIS Plan.

When you have signed a tenancy or occupancy agreement with your SDA provider and moved into your SDA property, the NDIS will make SDA payments directly to the provider of the SDA.

        Basic design refers to housing without specialist design features but with a location or other features that cater for the needs of people with disability and assist with the delivery of support services.

This type of SDA is for existing housing and is for participants who would like to remain in their current group home.


        Improved liveability design refers to housing that has been designed to improve ‘liveability’ for people with Sensory , Intellectual or Cognitive Impairment. 


        Fully accessible design refers to housing that has been designed to for people with significant physical impairment. This can include wheelchair users.


        Robust design refers to housing that has been designed for people with complex behaviours and may be a risk for themselves or community. This type of housings is usually designed with safeguards, secure windows and doors, laminated glass and soundproof.


        High physical support design, which refers to housing that has been designed to incorporate a high level of physical access provision for people with significant physical impairment and requiring very high levels of support.

  • Apartments, are self-contained units occupying only part of a larger residential building. Apartments are typically classified as Building Class 2 under the Building Code of Australia;
  • Duplexes, Villas and Townhouses, are separate but semi-attached properties within a single land or area. The dwellings will be separated from one or more adjoining dwellings by a fire-resisting wall. Each villa, duplex or townhouse must have a separate and reasonably accessible entry
  • Houses, which are detached low-rise dwellings with garden or courtyard areas. To be a house, the dwelling must be located on a separate piece of land and must not share a wall, roof, entry area, driveway, car parking or outdoor area with any dwelling other than an additional villa, townhouse, duplex with no more than one resident.
  • Group homes, are houses that are enrolled or will be enrolled to house four or five long-term residents.
  • Larger dwellings, which are enrolled or will be enrolled to house more than five long-term residents

Sensory Impairments is when one of your senses is no longer normal and it includes Sight, Hearing, Smell, Touch, Taste and Spatial Awareness Impairment.

Cognitive Impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. This may include Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Psychosis, Intellectual impairments.

SDA funding is paid directly to your SDA provider. In addition to your SDA funding, SDA pricing assumes the SDA tenant pays a Reasonable Rent Contribution (RRC)to SDA Provider which comprises:

  • 25% of Disability Support Pension, plus
  • 100% of Commonwealth Rent Assistance

EDEN Housing could assist you if you are looking to:

  • Specific EDEN Housing Accommodation
  • Renting SDA property
  • Purchasing your own SDA Property
  • Building your own SDA and customising your new home to meet your individual needs
  • Test your Eligibility for SDA 
  • Undertake SDA Eligibility Assessments
  • Develop your Housing Preferences
  • Prepare your Housing Plan
  • Submitting your SDA Application
  • Developing you Knowledge around SDA


I have a Disability and I am not happy with my Current Housing;

If you have a disability and inappropriate housing is preventing you from living your daily life. If you have difficulty participating in communities and accessing your work or study due to your current housing features and you are considering to build your knowledge around Specialist Disability Accommodation SDA and how National Disability Insurance NDIS could assist you with your disability housing , the following resource could help you decide where and how to start your SDA journey. 

I am considering to get SDA in my Plan;

If you are in the process of SDA application and you need more information about your SDA Eligibility. If you want to know what documents and evidence you need to get SDA funding in your plan and who can assist you with developing your plans and reports, the following resources could help you with your SDA funding.

I already have SDA in my Plan;

If you already have SDA funding in your plan and you want to make the most of your SDA payments. If SDA payments are included in your Plan, you might consider looking into SDA properties that are already built or finding the best match who you could live with in SDA property. You also might want to find out whether SDA payments could provide you with a pathway to home ownership. Or you may want to go further and would like to talk to developers and SDA providers who could work with you to build your own customised housing to best suit your needs.  

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