Tips for Thinking About a Change to Your Home
Perhaps you’ve started thinking about a change because you’ve outgrown your current living arrangements? Or maybe you need more or different supports, or you’ve realised your house no longer suits you?
Thinking about a change to your home can be a daunting but exciting process. Even just the thought of wanting something different may lead you to think about a change!
For me, what led to thinking about a change was discovering that Summer Housing was starting to build Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) apartments around Perth. I had heard about their model of support and the high quality of their apartments from several interstate friends, so as soon as I was shown an article about the apartments my mind started ticking over about what a change could look like for me!
For me, a change would mean changing who I lived with, where I lived, and what my supports looked like. For that reason – I’ve broken down my tips for thinking about change into who, what, when, where, and why.
Who do you currently live with and how would you like this to change?
For me, I currently live with my parents and sister. But a change to my home will mean that I am able to live on my own, in my own place – something every young person should have a chance to do! It also means I will rely less on my family for support and more on paid support workers.
But you might be currently living in a group home or residential aged care and would like to make a change so you can live alone. Or you might want to share a place with a housemate that you get along well with. Or you might be relying quite heavily on informal supports and would like to increase your ability to have paid support workers carry out personal care.
What about your current home isn’t right and what needs to change?
You might like to make a list of things that aren’t suitable for you, or even things that are unsafe. Perhaps you can’t access your bathroom safely, or the layout of your kitchen means you are unable to cook independently? For me, both of these things are true. My bathroom is too small for me to access and my kitchen isn’t set up in a way that allows me to assist with food preparation or cooking. My home also isn’t set up with home automation, which would allow me to independently control my environment. So a change is important to me so that I can increase my participation in everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and just generally being in control of my home and environment!
When do you need the change to be made?
Do you need something pretty quickly, or are you able to wait to find the perfect solution? The answer to this might determine the type of NDIS funding you’d be looking to apply for.
If home modifications will take longer than you are able to wait, would the purchase of assistive technology work for now? Or perhaps you need to move into more appropriate housing such as SDA, but there is no SDA in your area – in which case medium-term accommodation (MTA) might be more appropriate in the meantime. I am lucky I am able to wait until the perfect SDA is built. I have SDA funding in my NDIS plan but am waiting until some high-physical support apartments in the Perth CBD open up for applications!
Where do you currently live and where do you regularly spend time?
This question is particularly important if you are thinking about changing where you live, and not just an aspect of your current home. You might like to think of looking for a home close to where your friends and family live, where you work or study, and where you like to hang out. Ideally, a change to your location should move you closer to the areas that you most frequently visit. I decided a move to the Perth CBD would suit me. Being in a central location will allow me to be close to all the places I go to weekly – including for powerchair football, work, study and volunteering.
Finally, why do you need to make this change or changes?
The top answer to this should be: To assist me to reach my goals. Any change to your home involving funding from the NDIS needs to be related to the goals in your NDIS plan.
So if you need to change your home, you might need to start by looking at your NDIS goals. For example, you might have a goal to increase your social networks, get paid employment, or increase your independence. The change in your home needs to benefit you!
All of these questions are important in working out what a change to your home might look like! Write down some of your ideas for each of the points above and you’ll soon be on your way to working out what change best suits you!
Article published: June 2022
Rebecca is the Housing Hub’s Lived Experience Team Lead. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Curtin University.
Rebecca has SDA funding in her NDIS plan and is now living in a High Physical Support apartment in Melbourne's CBD.
Rebecca is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and ensuring they have access to the information they need to live their best life, particularly regarding housing and the NDIS.
If you want to learn more about what housing and support options are possible for you, check out our Housing Options online learning package.
Call our NDIS Housing Advice line
For people with disability, families, and supporters. Monday – Friday 10.00am – 3.00pm AEDT. You can also email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.