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  • Writer's pictureHealthQ

Your SDA home: how-to-build instructions (and some new compliance requirements!)

The NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) has been in place since scheme commencement, and there has been a steady, but slow, growth of dwelling enrolments ever since. At 30 June 2019 there were 3,170 enrolled dwellings, of which only on 456 were "new builds" (refer further here).

The NDIA has been implementing a number of reforms to bolster this component of the scheme...

The NDIA is determined to see this growing market build. It wants investors, developers and existing providers to grow their confidence in SDA.

On the 25th October 2019 the NDIA released the SDA Design Standards.

The SDA Design Standard will not come into full effect until July 2021. They set out the future requirements of well designed SDA homes. If you are about to commence building the SDA Design Standards should be carefully considered (refer further here).

The improved clarity these standards bring should be welcomed! Those familiar with the Liveable Housing Australia design standards will see many similarities (and not surprising as they were integral to the development of the the standards!).

A new feature is the requirement, in the near future, for ALL SDA dwelling enrolment applications to have a pre-certification from a third party accredited SDA assessor at the design (pre-certification) and final "as built" stages.

The Price Guide

To coincide with her release above the NDIA has also updated the SDA Pricing Guide, increasing the "base price per participant" for has also been updated, with increases in payments made to the "fully accessible" and "robust" design categories (between 9% and 19% depending on the building type).

The implementation plan

Dwellings currently under construction are not subject to the SDA Design Standards.

The NDIA has set out an implementation plan, reconsigning that it does not want to disrupt the increase to the supply of SDA.

Key milestones in an ambitious implementation timeline are as follows:

1 January 2020

Dwelling enrolment is formally transferred from the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission to NDIA.

1 January 2020

NDIA will begin to accept documentary evidence required for enrolments that confirms the commitment/commencement of prospective SDA dwellings (prior to 30 April 2020) but which may extend past completion after July 2021. This refers specifically to New Build SDA designed under previous guidelines and where exemption from the SDA Design Standard is sought.

30 April 2020

Enrolments of New SDA will be accepted with evidence that the dwelling has been assessed at the design and final as built certification stages with verification of compliance with SDA Design Standard by an accredited third party SDA assessor.

1 July 2021

All dwellings proposed for New Build SDA enrolment will be required to demonstrate the design and final as-built certification by an accredited SDA Assessor.


If you would like support in:

  • considering the impacts on your SDA project,

  • assessing the exemption criteria for your planned or current SDA project, or

  • more general support in modelling and planning for an SDA build,

Please contact us, we would be pleased to assist. We have supported individuals and organisations to assess, plan and register their SDA projects.

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