To get young people out of nursing homes, we need to back up the NDIS with housing – here’s how

3 May 2016

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released a Specialist Disability Accommodation Position Paper on Draft Pricing and Payments. This is the NDIA’s strategy to increase the long-term supply of housing for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. It aims to foster the development of innovative housing solutions.

Young people with disability living in nursing homes are one of the most marginalised and isolated groups of people in our society. More than 6,200 people under the age of 65 are stuck in nursing homes. Another 200 people under 50 are admitted to nursing homes each year. This is a serious social issue that can and must be fixed. The NDIS will provide crucial funding for the support that these people need to live in the community. However, the NDIS cannot on its own stop the inappropriate placement of young people in nursing homes. More accessible and affordable housing needs to be built.

The policy outlined in NDIA Special Disability Accommodation position paper is designed to pay for the cost of housing for 28,000 NDIS participants with high support needs. The housing payment rates set by the NDIA cover the high costs of development and ongoing maintenance required by people with disability.

After decades of underinvestment, governments have made the funding available to replicate and scale a range of innovative housing and support options. For people with disability who have the highest need for support and accessibility, the NDIS housing payment will bridge the gap between what people with disability can reasonably afford and the cost of building highly accessible housing. This policy lays the foundation for developing the range and scale of housing needed.

The NDIS housing payment and policy provides a unique opportunity to trial some innovative, transformative financing models that could be used to fund social housing for other disadvantaged people, including a broader group of people with disability.

The next step is for investors and the housing sector to come together and create the revolution in housing that young people in nursing homes have been waiting for.

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