Taking action on a movement for housing change
06 July 2020 | 5 min read
I work for the Summer Foundation’s Sydney Housing Matching Team. Our team is focussed on meeting NDIS participants who could be eligible for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) funding from the NDIS.
We have connected with people in hospitals and aged care facilities, people living with their families, people in group homes, mental health facilities, forensic hospitals and public housing.
These are people who face significant challenges in their ability to manage daily tasks and/or decision making (the NDIS calls this an extreme functional impairment in self care and/or self management functions). The people we are connecting with may have physical disability, intellectual disability, psychosocial disability or have multiple disabilities and health needs.
SDA can provide someone a long term housing solution and the opportunity for a different life.
There are many barriers in the way of understanding how the NDIS can support people with housing. For starters, many people who may be eligible for SDA funding haven’t even heard of it.
Another huge barrier is that, of course, people with disabilities have been forced to take whatever housing was on offer.
We need new housing to reflect the choices and preferences of people with disabilities. We need it to be built where people want to live. This is called a demand led market, as opposed to a supply (or building) led market.
For this to happen, we need to hear the voices of people with disabilities.
At the Summer Foundation, we have created a way of gathering this information and building a picture of what Sydney could look like if it is to follow the choices and preferences of people themselves. We know there are many barriers in a place like Sydney, but we know there is also huge opportunity. Imagine a real movement for change led by the needs and preferences of people with disability.
I am also a family member of someone who needs significant support in their home. Putting my family member hat on for a moment, I have reflected on the lack of opportunity prior to the NDIS and the hard slog of trying to create something out of nothing. What an incredible privilege to meet people now and have new possibilities to offer.
Are you a person who may benefit from learning more about housing and SDA?
Do you work with individuals or families who could connect with us?
People with disability, families and carers in Sydney and NSW can contact me directly at [email protected] or 0455 110 678.
These are our current upcoming sessions on SDA:
Libby Ellis is Housing Projects Coordinator for Summer Foundation. She works with people with disability, their families and supporters in NSW to connect them with appropriate housing and to build an understanding of the range of contemporary housing options available and new models of housing in the NDIS.