01 May 2023
NDIS review to get fully underway
On the 18th of April 2023 at a Press Club presentation, NDIS Minister the Hon Bill Shorten MP addressed increasing concerns about the future of the NDIS. He outlined six policy directions to work on, to ‘deliver better outcomes for people with disability and, in the process, help secure the ongoing sustainability of the Scheme’.
Of particular interest to the SDA sector is his forth priority area: Better outcomes from Supported Independent Living. SIL has become a by-word for the supports associated with group homes, where often there is no effective separation between the provider of supports and the provider of the housing itself – something that was identified as a key change that would be brought in via the Scheme. It means that people don’t have to move house if their ‘in-home’ supports aren’t working, they can change their support provider where they live instead.
What we are seeing though, is the SDA sector currently in effective standstill, awaiting a price review (new updated pricing to begin in July 2023), unable to know what we can afford to plan and build. We are also hearing lots about ‘SIL Houses’, and SIL expenditure getting out of control.
In the meantime, new SDA dwelling numbers are still way behind the NDIS original target:
‘just $271 million paid out to participants last year out of an estimated maximum annual spending of $700 million’ (AFR, April 27th 2023).
Guardian Living Australia, like many SDA providers, want to increase the number and quality of housing and supports available to people with a disability, and have dedicated 10 years of work to this purpose. We await, with keen interest, how the NDIS review will tackle this particular policy priority. We will support any moves that improve the quality of housing and support services, improved choice for Participants, and opportunity to continue creating new and innovative housing options under the SDA system.