The steps to SDA

HomeHelp & Resources

The process for getting Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding can seem really complex. The key is to take it one step at a time. The steps are outlined in this video. You can read more about each step below.

If you have any questions about applying for SDA, SDA funding or how it works please contact us on 1300 61 64 63 or email us at

Step 1 – Housing Goal

Tell the NDIS that you need to move house. You can do this even if you don’t want to move straight away. The NDIS cannot think about what kind of new funding you need if it doesn’t know that you are going to make a change.

You need a goal about housing in your NDIS Plan. A housing goal says what you want to happen with your housing. In your housing goal, you need to use the right words for the NDIS. 

Your housing goal should talk about: 

  • Moving out of where you live now and say where you want to move to
  • How many people  you want to live with
  • The way you want to be supported
  • Having choice

You can ask to change your goals at any time. To do this call the NDIS on 1800 800 110 or email

The NDIS can fund a range of supports to help you find the right house for you. This funding is called Investigating Housing Solutions and can include: 

  • Funding for Allied Health assessments 
  • Short Term Accommodation 
  • Capacity Building Programs
  • Support Coordination

Helpful Resources

SDA Pathway and approval process for NDIS Participants

Video: NDIS Housing Goal Writing

Guide: Looking for somewhere to live

Step 2 – Get evidence about your need for SDA

The NDIS needs to be sure that SDA is right for you before it will pay for you to live in SDA. So you need to put together evidence for the NDIS. The NDIS can provide you with extra support coordination and allied health funding to help with this. This funding is called Investigating Housing Solutions. You should request this in your planning meeting.

It is very important that your evidence talks about why you need SDA according to the SDA Rules.  

Your paperwork needs to include: 

  • A housing goal in your NDIS plan 
  • A Participant Housing Statement
  • A functional capacity assessment by a suitable allied health professional
  • Additional assessments to support the application if needed
  • Home and living supporting evidence form (previously called 'home and living supports requests form')
  • If your functional capacity assessment has gaps or is not thorough enough for SDA, you may choose to also complete a Housing Plan.

Helpful resources

Home and living supporting evidence form (previously called 'Home and living supports request form')

SDA Operational Guidelines

SDA Rules 2020

Looking for somewhere to live guide 

NDIS Housing Pathway (flowchart)

Participant Housing Statement (guide and template)

Allied Health Housing Assessment guide

Guide to Completing Home and Living Support Request form

SDA Eligibility Criteria

How to write a Housing Plan (guide and template)

Step 3 – SDA Decision

When your reports and assessments are done you can submit them to the NDIS at any time. A panel of people at the NDIS will decide if you are eligible for SDA.

If you are eligible, the NDIS will put this information in your NDIS plan: 

  • SDA building type
  • SDA design category
  • Number of bedrooms in your SDA property
  • Number of residents – how many NDIS participants you will live with or if you will live on your own 
  • Location – where you can live 
  • The amount of SDA funding you will get per year. This will be based on all the things above using the SDA Price Guide (see below)

What the NDIS decides about your SDA is called a ‘reviewable decision’. This means that if what has been decided isn’t right for you, you can ask the NDIS to look at it again. You should make sure that the information about your SDA funding is given to you in writing. 

Helpful Resources

Video: Types of SDA

SDA Price Guide

Step 4 – Search for your new home

You can create a profile on the Housing Hub to help you search for the right home. This is where you tell us: 

  • Where you want to live
  • Who you want to live with 
  • What design features you need

Any listings on the website that we think you might like will be sent to you.

Click here to sign up now

Helpful Resources

Setting up your Housing Seeker Profile

Step 5 – Choose your home

You can choose a home that matches the details of the SDA funding in your NDIS Plan: 

  • SDA building type 
  • SDA design category 
  • Number of SDA residents you are living with 
  • Number of bedrooms 
  • Location

You can apply for an SDA property that costs less than the amount the NDIS has allocated in your NDIS Plan. You can also choose to live in an SDA property that is a different design category, building type or number of residents, but the cost must be the same or less than what is in your plan. 

Before you apply for an SDA home that is different to what you have been funded for, it is good to think about why these things were approved for you and make sure the home you apply for is going to meet your needs. You should also check with the NDIS first if you plan to do this.

Step 6 – Contracts and Money

Make a tenancy agreement with the SDA provider

This is where you are given your tenancy agreement to read and accept. Make sure that you (or your decision maker) understands the agreement before you sign it. 

Remember, Housing and support is best when it is provided by separate organisations. This means your SIL provider and SDA provider should be separate. You have a right to choice and control and your NDIS supports should not be limited by your choice of SDA property or provider.

NDIS pays your SDA provider

This is where the NDIS will pay the SDA provider the payment they have allocated you when they approved SDA in your plan. If you have chosen a property that costs less, they will pay the provider the amount that the property costs. 

The amount shown in your NDIS Plan is a yearly amount. 

You pay the SDA provider a rent component

This is where you pay the SDA provider your share of the costs of renting the home.

This is generally:

  • 25% of your Disability Support Pension
  • any Commonwealth Rent Assistance that you receive

Step 7 – Moving

Some things are best organised before you move, like a bed and any equipment you need.

If there will need to be changes to your support team, it's best to get to know those people make sure they are right before you move.

There might also be some skills you need or want to learn before you move.


If NDIS decides not to fund SDA for you, or not to fund the type of SDA you believe you need, you can ask the NDIS to review their decision.

It's really important that you understand why the decision was made, so ask for it in writing. You might need to give the NDIS additional evidence about your need for the type of SDA you are seeking. You may also decide that a different type of housing may be right for you.

If the review decision from the NDIS still isn't favourable, you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Questions about NDIS Housing?

Call our NDIS Housing Advice line

1300 61 64 63

For people with disability, families, and supporters. Monday – Friday 10.00am – 3.00pm AEDT. You can also email us anytime at