Myth busting the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – respite and housing

Posted on 06 January 2016 by Yooralla

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme represents an exciting, yet challenging, change for the disability sector.

Over coming weeks on the Yooralla blog, we will answer some of the most frequent questions and bust common myths about the scheme. This week’s blog focuses on respite and housing.

“Respite is not funded under the NDIS”

There is an intention to increase the level of independence for participants under the NDIS. This includes support that engages participants in activities at home or in the community with less reliance on family members or housemates.

For example, previous in home respite accessed through Home and Community Care (HACC) programs, often provides respite at a time specified by the program, for a specified number of hours on a regular basis and provides one staff member regardless of the number of people in the household who require support. This is because the respite is perceived to be for the carer and not the person with disability.

Where a view is taken that facilitates outcomes for both the person with disability and their family, ‘respite’ hours become more flexible, purpose or goal oriented and of increased value to both the person and their family member.  With greater choice and control, people can access hours when they want to undertake activities they choose.

Facility based respite can be funded in an NDIS plan where this is the best option to meet the needs of the participant and their family or carers. In the NDIS, facility based respite is funded as a shared support cost per day to replace the current block funding model for respite providers.

In the price list it is called ‘Short term accommodation and assistance’, item 14 022, at a price of $462.09. It is categorised under the ‘Daily tasks/shared living’ cluster.

“Shared Supported Accommodation Services will close down under NDIS”

Access to affordable, accessible housing is one of the biggest issues for participants in the NDIS trial sites and will continue to be an issue until a market is stimulated that supports existing options and generates new, innovative housing options for people with disability. 

There are line items in the NDIS price list that are specifically to support the shared component of support provided in these settings, and participants then include additional individual support where required for additional activities outside of the accommodation service or related specifically to their individual circumstance.

In the Barwon trial site, most residents of shared supported accommodation have chosen to remain where they are in their first plan.  For those who have indicated future plans to move, projects relating to housing will be very important. There are a large number of participants who are currently living with family who have included goals to live independently in their plans. 

The Every Australian Counts Campaign undertook a housing survey in 2015 and produced a paper ‘Every Australian Counts (EAC) Campaign – Housing Stories - A place I can proudly call home’

EAC paper found that:

  • 6381 young people currently live in aged care facilities.
  • A growing number of people with disability have ageing parents (78 000 in 2012) who despair about what will happen to their children when they pass away or can no longer support their child.
  • There are massive waiting lists for accessible and affordable housing.
  • There will be up to 122 000 NDIS participants without affordable accessible housing by 2020 if no action is taken.

The EAC paper also said “from 2018 the NDIS will have up to $700 million each year to invest in stimulating the construction of disability housing”.  Housing projects are being announced in the Geelong trial site and will inform how shared supported accommodation fits within the range of accommodation options that will be required to meet the needs of NDIS participants.

Learn more about the NDIS



DATE: 04 Apr 2016 11:23am

Great article, I'll come back to this site.

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