Ever since the introduction of Supported Disability Accommodation funding through the NDIS, housing for people living with disability in Australia has been remodelled (or is in the process) from a traditional grants-based funding system to a market-based funding system. This means that people living with disability get to have more say, on how their home funding is put to use. Government-sponsored projections put the SDA funding initiative market to grow by over AUD $5 billion in the next four years.
Drivers of an Effective SDA Market
A paper jointly released by the Summer Foundation and PwC titled: “NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation: Pathway to a Mature Market” identified the following features as prerequisite for an effective and mature SDA market.
- Ample supply of various housing options designed to meet different accessibility needs across multiple locations
- Availability of different financing options which include both dent and equity from banks, investors, developers, high net worth individuals and social infrastructure bonds among many others
- High transparency of a functional portal that brings together consumers or participants and providers or property managers
- Stability of, and transparency from, a regulatory regime that nurtures and attracts investments while providing support to existing parties
- A proper understanding of the SDA regime by all market players’ especially in matters regarding scope, pricing, payments, availability, building costs and location choice
- Efficiency and safety in providing disability support services in SDA housing with a strong emphasis on location and coordination between providers and participants
Estimates put the number of young people living in aged care at least 6,200; with about 2,000 more entering aged care each year. In some regions in Australia, young people occupy more than 20% of all aged care facilities. With an annual budget of more than AUD $700 million, SDA clearly has the capacity to mitigate this imminent disaster.
Over the next few years, SDA properties in Australia are expected to collectively hold a value of more than AUD $11.5 billion broken down as follows:
- AUD $6.5 billion for replacement, renovation and management of disability housing in existence prior to the NDIS Act
- AUD $2.5 billion covering housing for 6000 youth in aged care
- AUD $2.5 billion covering other people with SDA needs that are yet to be met
SDA funding has since moved from the policy design stage to the implementation stage. What we are seeing now are the wheels moving. SDA houses are being set up across Australian cities and the market is responding. Large financial institutions have begun processing transactions and more large developers are starting to get in on the action as well to meet the estimated a couple dozen SDA housing units needed over the next four years. SDA funding initiative seems to have taken off quite well and the market is responding.