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NDIS housing – How to choose the best SDA provider

Published - 08/15/2023
Author - Enliven Housing


If you’re researching NDIS housing options for yourself or someone you know, it can be a complicated process without the right information or guidance. This comprehensive guide will help you understand National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) housing and how to ultimately choose the best Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider to work alongside you to ensure your needs and requirements are met.

Quick Links:

• What is NDIS housing?
• NDIS housing options – Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)
• How do I choose the right SDA provider?
• Do you picture yourself living in an SDA apartment?

What is NDIS housing?

The purpose of the NDIS housing and living support is to empower you to live independently – be able to choose where to live and whom you want to live with. People often consider factors like location, amenities, nearby services, and the surrounding environment when choosing where to live. NDIS housing in the appropriate location can provide you with increased independence, stronger ties to your local community, and access to informal support networks. Your NDIS housing and living arrangements can greatly impact your way of life.

What housing supports are provided by the NDIS?

The NDIS provides assistance that strengthens your ability to live independently in the community, including:

  • Capacity building: Strengthening living abilities, financial and housekeeping skills, social and communication capacities, and managing behaviour.
  • Personal care: Provide aid such as bathing and clothing aid, as well as aid with duties around the home in cases in which the participant is not able to fulfil them because of their disability, including assistance with cleaning and laundry.
  • NDIS housing and living support: There are different types of support that may be included in your plan. These include Short Term Accommodation (STA), Medium Term Accommodations (MTA), Supported Independent Living (SIL), Individualised Living Options (ILO) Specialised Disability Accommodation (SDA), and home modifications.

NDIS housing options – Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA)

When it comes to getting NDIS housing, you should take a look at the several choices available with the NDIS. The best solution for you will depend on a couple of considerations such as how much help you need, the assistance you require from people you are close to, and the goals you are trying to achieve with the NDIS.

At Enliven Housing, we specialise in SDA and our mission is to empower our tenants to ensure they’re at the centre of the decision-making process, and in turn, give them the best chance of living their best independent life. 

Specialist Disability Accommodation

SDA refers to housing specifically designed for individuals with extreme functional impairments or extensive support requirements. SDA homes are equipped with accessible and specialised features and can be fitted with Assistive Technology (AT) that promotes independent living and enhances the delivery of necessary assistance.

SDA is for participants with SDA funding in their NDIS plans. SDA funding is directly allocated to SDA providers (such as Enliven Housing) to cover the expenses associated with building and maintenance. Participants contribute a reasonable rent payment and handle day-to-day living costs, such as electricity bills.

To be eligible for SDA, you must have a significant functional impairment or intensive support needs. Also, you must fulfil the SDA requirements and the funding criteria of the NDIS.

For more information about SDA and eligibility, check out our SDA Housing Guide blog.

How do I choose the right SDA provider?

with the NDIS and follows particular guidelines and policies to guarantee your safety and provide you with the high-quality assistance you deserve.

There are numerous SDA providers to choose from and you have plenty of options available. However, making a good decision requires careful consideration of several important factors. To help you choose the right SDA provider and housing option for you, it’s essential to consider the following:

What are my SDA needs?

a. SDA Design Categories

The type of housing you choose whether it be a house or an apartment, should align with the kind of living space you need, as outlined in your NDIS plan. Based on your needs, you’ll be assessed and approved for one of the following SDA design categories: 

  • Basic 
  • Improved Liveability 
  • Fully Accessible 
  • High Physical Support 
  • Robust 

For more information about SDA Design Categories, check out our SDA Housing Guide blog.

Enliven Housing provides a distinctive way to assist you with your NDIS housing needs. We specialise in three important SDA design categories: Improved Liveability, Fully Accessible, and High Physical Support SDA. 

What makes us different from other providers is our “Blended Model” of support. While other providers typically offer only one SDA design category per apartment, we go beyond that. Most, if not all our apartments are designed to accommodate all three SDA categories. This means we have the flexibility to support you in multiple areas without any restrictions or limitations.

b. Assistive Technology (AT)

Assistive Technology is used in SDA to help you in accomplishing everyday activities and ultimately give you the best chance at long-term independent living. AT can consist of communication tools to connect with your support team, mechanisms to control lighting and window coverings, and automated devices like fans and door openers.

c. Space

A spacious apartment means ample room for you to comfortably move around your home. Typically, SDA apartments are designed with spacious doorways, hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms to prioritise accessibility and accommodate tenants using wheelchairs.

Enliven Housing utilises as much storage in your apartment as possible. Most of our apartments also have storage cages in the underground car park area.

What additional expenses should I take into consideration beyond the SDA funding?

If you qualify for SDA funding, you will receive financial support to cover the extra housing costs beyond your regular expenses such as food, bills, and rent. However, you will still need to contribute a reasonable amount towards the rent. This contribution will be 25% of your Disability Support Pension, 25% of your Pension Supplement, and the full amount of Commonwealth Rent Assistance.

Am I better off on my own, or would I prefer living with others?

With SDA, you have the freedom to choose your living arrangement. You have the option to live on your own or with others. There are some advantages and disadvantages, but choosing what best suits your goals and needs is up to you.

Living with others

– Meet new people
– A sense of community
– Sharing the cost of some support        
– You rely on others to make decisions
– You are sharing your space with other people 24/7

Living on your own

– Independence
– Your home, your way
– You can create a lifestyle that suits you
– Interaction with other people is dependent on you.

When you decide to live in an Enliven Housing apartment, it’s important to note that it functions independently from your formal support arrangements. It’s not like living in a SIL home or a Group Home. Instead, we offer you the opportunity to become a member of a Community Cooperative.

In this setup, there are no shared housing decisions to be made. However, there will be shared support, which means decisions about support services will be made collectively. The Community Cooperative serves as the governing body for making these decisions. By being part of the Community Cooperative, you can enjoy the advantages of optimising your NDIS funding for enhanced support while actively participating in a strong community.

Is the location suitable for my needs?

The location of your home is important for your long-term happiness and well-being. It’s crucial that your home is in a safe neighbourhood and near your support system. Plus, it should be conveniently situated close to the places you frequently visit, like a shopping centre, parks, or medical centre. To make sure you’re making the right choice, here are a few key things to consider:


Living in a safe neighbourhood is important. When you feel secure in your surroundings, you can fully embrace and enjoy every part of your life. If you live in a safe area, you can freely explore the outdoors with your friends without the fear that something bad might happen. 

Before deciding, check if a particular postcode is safe by looking into the crime statistics of that area. For example, if you are living in NSW, you can use the NSW Crime Tool to check the crime statistics for a specific postcode. It helps you compare the safety of the area you’re interested in with other neighbourhoods.

Public transport

If you depend on buses or trains to get around, finding SDA close to accessible public transport is important. It’s much easier and more convenient to live close to a train station or bus stop, as it will help you reach your appointment on time and without added stress. When looking for a place to live, consider how easily accessible public transport is, as it can greatly improve your lifestyle.

Shopping centre

Living near a shopping centre is convenient as it provides easy access to places to eat, supermarket options, stores for general shopping, a chemist and more. It’s also a great spot to socialise with family and friends. 

Medical facility

Living close to a hospital, medical centre, or chemist has advantages. It’s handy and saves you time when you need to visit your healthcare providers. This also brings you peace of mind, as you know you can quickly and effortlessly access these services whenever you require them.

At Enliven Housing, we build our properties based on these key points. Our SDA apartments are conveniently located near transportation, medical facilities, shopping centres, and entertainment. We carefully choose these places while considering your needs, so you can live in a comfortable and safe environment. Check out our website for our SDA apartments near you.

Everyone deserves a place to call home. A place of your own, where you can feel safe, respected, and connected to your local community.

Do you picture yourself living in an SDA apartment?

Before you choose an SDA provider, it’s important to personally visit the property the provider is advertising. This will help you determine if the apartment’s design, features, accessibility, and security align with your needs. Also, consider the location’s proximity to places that are important to you. Take note of the overall feel of the area, nearby facilities, and how easy it is to move around the neighbourhood. By gathering this information, you can make an informed decision about your housing choice.

Enliven Housing organises regular Open Homes, where you can explore our SDA apartments, meet our friendly team and have all your questions answered. We can also arrange a special appointment for you if you prefer.

We have a fabulous collection of suburb profile videos, which showcase the accessibility features in the suburbs in which our apartments are located around Australia. We have identified wheelchair-accessible and mobility-friendly activities and locations in these areas.

Furthermore, we have a fully operational SDA display space in Granville, NSW. Here, you can see the latest technology available to support participants in living independently. This technology is designed to make your home life more comfortable and ensure safety where needed. 

How capable are the SDA provider’s staff?

Before you decide to move into your new SDA apartment, it’s important to understand the team members of the SDA provider you’ll be dealing with. Here are some important things to consider:

  1. Experience and Skills: Find out if the team has previous experience and the necessary skills in handling SDA matters.
  2. Attitude and Respect: Are they friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested in listening to your questions and concerns? Do they treat you with respect and value your opinions?
  3. Teamwork: It’s important that all team members work together efficiently to provide you with the best possible service and support.
  4. Tenant Satisfaction: Check if the current tenants are satisfied with the services and support they receive from the team.

Additionally, discuss how they handle issues related to your home. Ask about the process for giving feedback and what steps the provider will take to address and resolve any problems or concerns you may have. 

At Enliven Housing, our team is experienced and has unique skills in all areas of the SDA journey. We respect and value your opinions by making sure that you are always at the centre of the decision-making process. 

Our team members are all in-house – we do not outsource anything! This is important because it ensures that our services are reliable and best cater to your needs. 

Check out what our tenants and partners think of us: Google reviews

Hopefully, this guide has been helpful to you but if you’re still unsure about NDIS housing or what SDA providers can do for you, call us and have a conversation with one of our SDA specialists. 


Speak to our team

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