Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

Obtaining suitable accommodation that meets your needs can be challenging.  To help address the lack of accessible housing options for people with disability, the NDIS has created a new funding stream called Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

SDA enables people with disability to live as independently as possible through funding that encourages development of purpose-built housing options. These housing options will be designed to meet the needs of participants who require specialist housing solutions to assist with the delivery of their supports and cater for their extreme functional impairment or high support needs.

SDA funding does not refer to the support services delivered within the home, this funding is a separate funding stream (Supported Independent Living (SIL)). However, the intent of SDA is to reduce the need for person-to-person supports, or improve the effectiveness of the delivery of person-to-person supports, through the provision of a specialised housing solution.

To assist you to better understand the process and explore whether SDA is an option for you, we have collaborated with others within the sector to develop two informed resources:  The Customer Journey and The SDA Eligibility Checklist.

If you would like more information, need support with pre-planning, or have already secured SDA funding in your plan and want to take the next step, contact our Customer Engagement team on 08 9387 0555 or email hello@activ.asn.au.

For information on the rules, pricing and framework relating to SDA, click here.

Another useful resource includes Summer Foundation’s guide ‘Living more independently’. Click here to view.

Regional WA’s first SDA houses

Introducing regional WA’s first SDA houses, West End Villas. The modern and customisable homes will be incredibly beneficial to Activ’s customers and their independence, offering greater choice and control of where, how and with whom they live.

Bespoke floor plans and assistive technology will be used in the homes to increase accessibility, meaning Activ’s customers will be better able to complete daily living tasks within their homes, enabling them to live more independently.

Watch the video to hear from Activ customer and resident Diane about how her new home will improve her independence!

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Vacancies

West End Villa

West End Villas is conveniently located in the heart of Geraldton. Close to many amenities, this exceptional location will allow you to easily live the life you choose. This modern, purpose-built SDA home has been designed to maximise your independence! We have a vacancy for our one-bedroom villa.

As this home is a Specialist Disability Accommodation property, you must have SDA funding in your NDIS plan to be eligible.

View vacancy

Frequently Asked Questions

To read the answer, click on each question.

What is SDA?

SDA is an NDIS initiative to fund the design and build of specialised properties to meet the unique and specific support needs of individuals living with disability.

SDA housing is customisable and individualised, making it possible for people with disability to live in a house, unit or apartment that enables them to achieve greater independence and receive support services such as Supported Independent Living (SIL) services or Independent Living Options (ILO).

Why did the NDIS introduce SDA?

Unfortunately, many existing housing options for people with disability are not fit-for-purpose. SDA seeks to change that, and was introduced by the NDIS after recognising the need for affordable, purpose-built and accessible housing for people with disability.

SDA housing promotes community inclusion and provides opportunities to decrease the number of residents living in any one household. As a result, residents of SDA housing are better able to build their capacity towards longer-term outcomes and increase their independence.

What are the different levels to SDA housing?

SDA houses are built to fit within one of the five SDA categories:

  1. Basic – housing that doesn’t include specific design features, and was normally built before the NDIS rolled out. Funding for this is only included in an NDIS plan if an individual has lived in ‘basic’-level housing before, and chooses to continue living there.

  2. Improved Liveability – housing that includes better physical access and has features for people with sensory, intellectual or cognitive impairments.

  3. Fully Accessible – housing that includes a high level of physical access features for people with physical challenges.

  4. Robust Construction – housing that includes a high level of physical access, is strong and durable, and is built to make daily living safe for everyone, making them ideal properties for individuals who display behaviours of concern.

  5. High Physical Support – housing that includes a high level of physical access for people with significant physical disabilities, designed to support people who require very high levels of support.

The category of housing depends on the specific support needs of the individual residents, that are determined in a functional assessment.

The five categories have differing minimum accessibility requirements.

What are the benefits to SDA?

SDA housing enables people with disability to achieve greater independence at home.

With bespoke and spacious floor plans, and assistive technology that caters to the individual support requirements of each resident, modern SDA housing enables people with disability to complete daily living tasks with more independence

What is the eligibility criteria for SDA?

NDIS participants who could be eligible for SDA housing are those who meet specific criteria with very high support needs and/or extreme functional impairment.

This is not a black and white set of parameters, so Activ will work with you to test your eligibility.

Is eligibility criteria restricted to physical disabilities?

No, individuals with cognitive and intellectual disabilities can also be eligible for SDA housing.

What happens if I am not eligible for SDA?

Customers who are not eligible for SDA may still access other support services that enable more independent living, such as SIL services in an Activ shared accommodation home, or ILO.

If I’m not eligible, is there going to be a difference in the supports provided in SDA homes and Activ’s other supported accommodation homes?

No. The accommodation support services that customers receive in SDA homes are the same supports received by Activ’s customers who do not live in SDA homes.

All of Activ’s staff are managed and trained in the same way, and all of our staff are committed to supporting our customers achieve their independence goals.

The only difference will be the physical property itself.

How do I get SDA approval/eligibility?

This can be a complex and lengthy process, but Activ will work with you throughout the entire journey.

Here are the basic steps of the SDA process:

  1. Undertake a pre-planning meeting with Activ, to ensure you’re ready and have all the required documentation before your NDIS plan review meeting.
  2. Attend your initial plan or plan review meeting with the NDIA. It is helpful if an Activ staff member attends this meeting with you.At this meeting you will need to demonstrate that you meet the SDA eligibility criteria. Your NDIS plan then needs to have support coordination and a housing goal included, so that you can explore your eligibility for SDA housing
  3. Collaboration needs to happen between your support coordinator and an occupational therapist, to develop an SDA-focused functional capacity assessment (FCA).
  4. This FCA then informs a report, written by specialist support coordinators, meeting the guidelines for SDA as set out by the NDIA. At Activ, we have a number of established relationships with specialist support coordination organisations, who are experts in developing these reports. Once developed, the report is submitted to the NDIA’s SDA Panel for approval. This panel is located in Victoria.
  5. Once the panel approves your housing plan, Activ will work with all other parties to enable you to move in to an SDA home, built to your needs.



How long does the process of enquiring about SDA and moving into an SDA home usually take?

In our experience, the entire process, from exploring eligibility to moving in, can take approximately 9-12 months.

What is the difference between SDA and SIL or ILO?

SDA funding is for the design and build of the physical property, whereas SIL or ILO funding is to cover the support services received in the home.

What is the lifespan of the SDA scheme?

The lifespan of the SDA initiative is 20 years, with a guarantee that funding cannot reduce over time, it can only increase. This guarantees that once an individual has received SDA eligibility and funding, if their support needs increase over time, their SDA funding can only increase.

We look forward to speaking with you.