The process to access the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is challenging but worth it.
There are no two ways about it: The SDA approval process for me was a tough and bumpy ride. When I applied for SDA in early 2018 the process was unfamiliar and new to all parties involved. To be honest, the confusion and distress this caused me was very difficult. Nobody should have to face such an anxious and uncertain future.
While my eligibility seemed pretty clear in my eyes, there were policy roadblocks at the time. As my experience shows, it is important not to let these things become a barrier to applying for your desired SDA.
My pathway to SDA needed a housing plan, but at the time there was no clarity on what content was required to submit for my housing plan. My advice to housing seekers and their support team is: Be prepared to provide detail including any other formal applications for alternative housing and recommendations from specialists to use as evidence to support the need to change your living arrangement. This evidence was extremely helpful to demonstrate that other options had been done and also explored.
My SDA journey involved receiving letters from the SDA provider stating my tenancy was at risk due to not having the funding in my NDIS plan. These days, you can get the SDA funding sorted out first then apply for a place to live that matches that funding, so you can avoid the uncertainty and anxiety this caused me.
Try not to panic, it’s just a process that takes time and by staying connected with the Housing Hub you are provided with more guidance and support.
I know it’s difficult but be patient, stay motivated and determined, the end result is absolutely worth it.
Liz has worked as a Lived Experience Facilitator in the Summer Foundation's Housing Hub Team since June 2020. Liz brings personal experience of having lived in various types of housing and now lives in an SDA apartment.
Liz has also been on the Committee of Management for the Association of Children with a Disability since 2013 and currently serves as its Secretary. With qualification in Social Work Liz is also currently undertaking study in Cert IV Training and Assessment
Liz is passionate about people with disability taking control of their own housing journeys and being supported to explore housing and support options that suit them.