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The National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) approach to housing has radically changed the way people with disability find housing and the way providers create and manage housing for people with disability. 

Managing vacancies in disability accommodation is transitioning from State and Territory governments towards being managed by the market.

Background 

The NDIS’ Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) policy and principles of separation of housing and support have brought new stakeholders into the disability housing market.

Together these 2 changes have created a new need for a market driven disability accommodation Tenancy Matching Service. The biggest benefits of this approach are:

  1. Specialist tenancy matching expertise: Many new SDA providers do not have experience working directly with people with disability or assessing their suitability for housing. NDIS participants and their families require a supported journey to identify their true housing preferences.
  2. Aggregating demand for SDA: It is more efficient to share the cost of educating participants and support coordinators about SDA, building networks and waiting lists for accessible housing.

Our approach to connecting NDIS participants and housing providers

The Summer Foundation has 2 housing matching initiatives: Tenancy Matching Service (TMS) and the Housing Hub, a housing vacancy website. These have been developed to connect participants and housing providers for existing and new housing as it becomes available.

The Summer Foundation’s TMS team works directly with SDA providers to shape their tenant selection criteria and provide advice on developing their marketing and promotional materials. Our team advertises vacancies on behalf of providers to promote the vacancies and connect with potential future tenants.

The TMS team assesses applicants and ranks them against the provider’s criteria. TMS uses a tailored engagement approach to connect to local networks to find potential tenants utilising our internal expertise, knowledge and established processes to match people with disability to housing options. This is a resource intensive service with multiple activity stages required to fill each vacancy.

The TMS team is able to undertake TMS services for SDA Properties with 1 or 2 residents. For projects where there are 2 residents living together, we have developed an approach for the tenants to choose their housemates. This is an additional TMS stage that applies to all projects where 2 residents live in the same dwelling.

TMS Process

The activity undertaken as part of the TMS is shown below. A typical project takes at least six months with four key stages of commencing, engaging, reporting and handover:

*Timeframes are averages and are dependent on the schedule set and agreed by SDA provider and TMS team

STAGE 1 | Commencement | 2 months

  • Establish project plan 
  • Commencement meeting
  • Resource planning
  • Establishment of criteria (Provide feedback to provider on their selection criteria, requirements and application form)
  • Provide coaching session to provider to create ads on the Housing Hub
  • Provide guidance on promotional products and language

STAGE 2 | Engagement and screening | 3 months

  • Develop targeted community engagement strategy 
  • Deliver community engagement strategy schedule of events and activities
  • Manage targeted social media and external media campaigns
  • Community information sessions
  • Screening enquiries and applications management 
  • Respond to potential applicant enquiries via phone or email
  • Conduct screening calls to determine potential eligibility for vacancy
  • Guidance to applicant on completing the application form
  • Face-to-face assistance to applicants to complete application form if required (by exception)

STAGE 3 | Report preparation and mentoring for SDA action plans | 3 months

  • Review applications for information gaps and request additional information where required (participant SDA Action Plans)
  • Meet applicants for further information if necessary
  • Produce a ranked list of applicants based on TMS team’s assessment of each applicant against eligibility and criteria set by the SDA provider
  • Prepare summary reports for each applicant for the SDA provider with an assessment of the applicant’s likelihood of getting SDA at the required design type, building type and location
  • Workshop for provider “ethical considerations for decision-making” on potential applicants
  • Facilitate and host tenant selection panel session with SDA provider

STAGE 4 | Handover | 2 months

Prepare a plan showing steps and timing so that applicants can choose their housemates including:

  • Applicant compatibility co-tenancy questionnaires 
  • Compatibility and co-tenant matching interviews and meetings 
  • Suitable co-tenant matches identified

Benefits of our Service

  • Expertise and experience in connecting with hard to reach tenant cohort
  • Established links and networks within the health, disability and aged care sector
  • Experience in finding and matching tenants across a range of SDA new build developments
  • Internal knowledge and expertise of the NDIS and SDA eligibility requirement
  • Provision of applicant summary reports to support NDIS SDA housing applications
  • Providing a brokerage service that reduces SDA providers’ need to engage in the identification and selection process of potential tenants
  • Prominent listings with the Housing Hub

Pricing 

If you would like a proposal from TMS for your new SDA properties, please contact us using the below enquiry form and we will be in touch. 

Some general information about our pricing:

  • Our TMS service fee starts at $12,000 + GST per tenant for a project identifying at least 8 tenants
  • This amount can vary if your location is outside of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide 
  • Non-standard TMS service requests or expert consultation can be quoted on an individual basis
  • Our proposal will include our terms of business

Interested or want to find out more?

Please complete our TMS Enquiry form and provide us with some information so that we can come back to you with a proposal. 

Or contact the Housing Matching Team via phone on 1300 626 560 and speak to Jessica Simms.  You can also contact us via email tenancymatching@summerfoundation.org.au. 

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