Hello, in case you haven't seen me in one of the earliest chapters, my name is Lydia, and I'm from the Housing Hub team here at the summer foundation. Many Australians dream of owning their own home. If you have SDA funding in your NDIS plan, it's possible to use it to buy or build an SDA property. If you do this, it's called becoming a self provider of SDA. You will also need to be registered with the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission. Your property must also meet all the SDA enrollment requirements. If you already own your own home, or you buy a non-SDA home, the NDIS can fund home modifications to help you make the property suitable for your needs. It is possible to be your own SDA provider and use SDA payments to pay back your home loan. To do this, your property must be enrolled as SDA.
You must also register yourself as an SDA provider or get another SDA provider to enrol your property in an arrangement called a head lease. The enrollment process and the registration process are both complicated. There are a few things to think about. The first is your mobility needs as well as the needs of other people you might live with. Do you need a space for a house where there might be a few people using wheelchairs? Next, think about who you want to work with. Working with the a designer and a builder who knows a lot about SDA design standards and is experienced in building housing for people with disability is a big bonus. You need all of the property features to meet the design standards so that your property can be registered as SDA. This will stop you having to make costly changes later. You need to be aware of the extra cost to you compared to what SDA funding will cover.
When you are an SDA provider to yourself and others, you will have to pay for compliance and auditing costs. Remember buying a property is a longterm commitment. It is important to think about your financial position carefully and seek expert financial advice. You need to think about being able to cover home loan repayments if there is a delay in SDA payments from the NDIS. You also need to make sure that you have all the assessments needed for an SDA funding application. Some people with disabilities already own a home. NDIS funding for home modifications will help make the home suitable for their needs, or if you buy a home, the NDIS may provide funding for home modifications and assistive technology that you need. Home modifications or changes to the structure, layout or fitting of your home so that you can move around safely and comfortably.
Some home modifications that NDIS will fund are bathroom modifications, exterior pathways, lifts, kitchen modifications to improve use and access, lighting and switch accessibility. Home modifications may be included in your plan if due to the impact of your disability, you or your carers cannot reasonably access rooms and spaces in your home, your home and its current condition means that you cannot live there longterm or receive your care arrangements safely. As suitably qualified, occupational therapist has performed an assessment and recommended home modifications thinking about all possible alternatives, including the use of equipment. As with any building work, there are laws and regulations that need to be followed when doing home modifications. If you are interested in home modifications, make sure you engage with an occupational therapist who is experienced and skilled with home modifications and the NDIS processes. Next, watch Kirby and Michelle stories about their experiences buying an accessible home. After that, you can join me in the next chapter about supported independent living or SIL.