Constructing the scale of housing needed for Australia’s specialist disability accommodation market may inspire up to $10 billion in private sector investment.

Yet in spite of the possibilities of the nascent asset class, its ability to leverage private capital by way of specialist disability accommodation (SDA) payments is encountering challenges.

In its most recent SDA Supply in Australia report, Summer Foundation said SDA funding is being paid to 53 per cent of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants anticipated to be eligible for SDA.

It reveals that the development of the sector is being hindered by the fact that the majority of NDIS participants that do include SDA payments in their plans do not have SDA approval at a level that empowers them to move into freshly built accommodation.

Summer Foundation was started in 2006 by occupational therapist Di Winkler, who will speak at The Urban Developer Disability Housing vSummit Nov. 25.

Its report includes a summary of the present and future supply of SDA in Australia intended to educate people with disabilities, market players and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The market has the possibility to stimulate between $5 billion and $10 billion in terms of private sector investment, the Summer Foundation report revealed.

It is believed that up to 30,000 people with disabilities will be getting SDA payments by 2025.

Yet considering the most recent data, the report stated that the level of unfulfilled demand and the scale of new housing required is far larger.

By mid-2021, 16,033 people were getting SDA payments, and $204 million of the $700 million annual budget had been designated in NDIS participant plans, it read.

The 14,000 remaining individuals anticipated to be eligible for SDA funding are supposed to be residing in government housing, hostels, residential aged care, or with family members.

There also exists a need to replace standing old stock with current SDA. This indicates that true demand for new housing could be substantially higher.

As much as two-thirds of the SDA constructed before 2016 must be reconstructed or reconfigured to adhere to current standards and consumer needs.

Yet, says the report, challenges revealed by SDA providers proves that while demand should be outstripping supply, true demand, being the quantity of NDIS participants with SDA funding in their plans, is lacking.

Immediate action is needed to trigger demand by pinpointing the remaining 14,000 individuals likely to qualify for SDA funding … and thus raise the number of NDIS participants with SDA included in their plan.

Pipeline data revealed by 59 SDA providers for the Summer Foundation report revealed that 2366 places in SDA were being developed in the form of 1661 dwellings.

In addition, three-quarters of all homes were being developed in Queensland (28.8 per cent), New South Wales (24.7 per cent), and Victoria (23.6 per cent).

Apartments reign as the most frequent building type being developed but the percentage of villas-duplexes-townhouses and houses also being developed is going up as well.

A total of 51 per cent of all SDA places being developed took the form of dwellings for a single occupant, revealing that the SDA market has continued to shift toward single housing choices and away from more sizable settings, like group homes.

Says the Summer Foundation, the developing SDA market is suited for advanced investors with a significant portfolio who want to diversify and make good investments.

The SDA market has the possibility to inspire world-class innovation in disability housing, including smart home technology, it said.



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