Transitioning to supported accommodation is a great way to kick start your independence journey.
If you’re someone living with an intellectual disability who would like to move out of home, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to make that happen.
There are a range of supported living and disability accommodation options available through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) that can help you achieve your goal.
If you are eligible for the NDIS and are approved for funding, you will be able to explore your supported accommodation options at your planning meeting.
1. Your NDIS planning meeting
The aim of your NDIS planning meeting is to discuss your personal goals and identify the best ways to use your funding.
To be considered for supported accommodation your plan must demonstrate that living independently is one of your core personal goals.
If you already have a NDIS plan in action, you can reach out to your support coordinator or local area coordinator for more guidance on how to approach this at your next review meeting.
2. Finding the right accommodation for you
Now that your NDIS plan includes a goal related to living independently, you can start to determine your eligibility for housing options.
As there are several types of disability accommodation, it is important to identify the model best suited to you, your goals, your lifestyle and your needs.
Your support coordinator will collaborate with other specialists to prepare a Functional Capacity Assessment and Housing Exploration Report on your behalf to determine your eligibility for supported accommodation.
Depending on your situation, you may be suited to sharing accommodation with access to support 24/7 or you may be able to live on your own with support provided as needed.
There are four main supported accommodation categories; mainstream housing, individual living options (ILO), supported independent living (SIL) and specialist disability accommodation (SDA).
If you do not require any supports, or only a few hours a week of support to live independently and are looking for an affordable living arrangement, you are best suited to mainstream housing options.
- Public housing
- Community housing, managed by a private housing provider
- National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)
- Private rentals, managed by private investors
You will need to work with your support coordinator to apply for funding to support you to undertake daily living activities such as budgeting or meal planning. You could also be eligible for rental or bond assistance through government funding that may assist in making your housing option more affordable for you.
Individual Living Options (ILO)
For those with medium support needs, there are a range of Individual Living Options (ILO) that may be appropriate.
- Host arrangement: You live with a host family or someone who is not related to you who provides support and assistance in return for payments from the NDIS.
- Co-Residence: In this living arrangement, you live in your own home with a person who provides companionship and an agreed level of supports in return for subsidised rent or payment.
- Living Together: Here you live in your own home with one or more other people, with or without a disability. There is no formal support provided in return for payment and all living costs are shared between everyone.
- Living alone: As the name suggests, you live alone in your own home with some support provided to you as required.
The supports provided within ILO are separate to your NDIS funding. A formal funding submission must be made to the NDIS for approval, along with evidence that demonstrates your need for ILO support.
Your support coordinator will be able to prepare the documentation for you.
Supported Independent Living (SIL)
If you’re looking for formal supports and accommodation, supported independent living may be the right option for you.
It involves rostered, 24/7 supports and is usually shared between two or more people who are living together in SIL managed accommodation.
Similar to ILO, SIL requires a separate request for funding, and it only covers the provided support. The cost of the accommodation is not covered by your NDIS Plan or your SIL funding.
Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
The NDIS provides accessible housing options for people living with a disability under Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).
As part of your NDIS plan, you may be eligible for SDA, however, this will only provide you with your physical accommodation.
For additional supports, you will need to apply for either ILO or SIL, depending on your personal needs.
3. The house hunting process
Once you know your eligibility and suitability for the different types of disability housing, your accommodation specialist will present you with options that fit in with your needs and preferences.
During this process, you will also be introduced to potential housemates if you have chosen to go with shared accommodation.
When you find an arrangement, you’re comfortable with, the next step will be to apply for your ILO or SIL funding if required.
It’s important to first secure a potential home before applying for funding as your submission could be impacted by a range of factors including the capacity of the home, the number of people living there and more.
The entire process could take anywhere from 3 to 9 months or longer, depending on availability of housing
Transitioning to supported accommodation
Once your accommodation funding is approved by the NDIS, a move-in date will be set, and you will be provided with support to help you transition into your new home.
Just like any other living arrangement, you will need to contribute towards the cost of rent, food, utilities, and transport.
For those accessing mainstream housing options, you may still be eligible for support during the transition phase under your NDIS plan.