According to the AFR, SDA is predicted to be a $5 billion industry backed by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. With the introduction of the SDA funding model, the desire to construct houses for individuals with a disability is plentiful, however, the challenges accompanied with that desire have proven to be as equally extensive.
The issue predominantly resides in the understanding and interpreting of the SDA funding model along with its guidelines. Organisations are currently striving to find ways to obtain funding, meet the vaguely presented guidelines and occupy their properties with eligible participants.
The team at Criterion Conferences spoke to Keelin Byrne, Housing Coordinator, SDA at Hume Community Housing Australia about challenges and future opportunities a housing coordinator faces and the effects on the industry.
Here is what she had to say:
What is the importance of house participant matching?
Hume Housing is committed to fulfilling the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aim of enabling greater choice and control for people with disabilities through providing a collaborative, fair and transparent process to the tenancy and property management of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). Capitalising on our tenancy management experience of providing homes and service to more than 4,000 customers across New South Wales, Hume Housing’s SDA Program endeavours to work in partnership with new applicants, current customers, families, the Supported Independent Living (SIL) providers and other relevant supports to successfully fill vacancies, sustain tenancies and ensure positive outcomes for each household is achieved. Hume Housing understands the basis for a sustainable tenancy is choice and control – choice over where you live, who you live with and how the property can be transformed into a home. For this to occur, the compatibility process needs to be considered and conducted in a transparent and flexible manner that allows input from the range of people involved in transitioning a new customer into their new home. Potential customers are encouraged to search, view and apply for homes in the disability housing market through Go Nest, an online user-friendly house matching platform that captures applicant’s personal preferences and their accommodation and support requirements. We are excited about the future of housing for people with disability and the options available to support people with disabilities to access improved housing outcomes.
How does a Housing Coordinator deal with the challenges in the sector and the effect of these challenges on the industry?
The Housing Coordinator role is continuing to develop within Hume Housing. The first stage has been about establishing tenancies and complying with contractual arrangements. Hume Housing has captured their experience in property management and tenancy allocation, along with their diversity of staff experiences, to adopt strategies to be innovative within this area. It is now moving into a collaborative role with customers, their families and the SIL with a focus on developing a longer-term partnership focused on sustaining tenancies or supporting customers to find their long term home.Given the complexity of the sector and the challenges, Hume Housing understands the need for strong partnerships and good communication to get positive outcomes and enable the choice and control for the customers.
Hume Housing provides a continuity of support for customers and a variety of housing options best suited to individual needs and wants. Hume Housing continues to face the challenge of having SDA funding approved in a participants NDIS plan and continues to work in collaboration with others in this sector to face this ongoing challenge. We continue to be proactive in providing as much information and resources to potential customers around SDA funding and the eligibility for this early in the process. We advocate and provide flexibility with applicants who are waiting for outcomes on SDA funding.
Why are property partnerships important for success? What are some of the property partnership success stories at Hume?
Hume Housing understands the importance of effective and successful partnerships within the Community Housing Sector, especially focusing on finding a values-aligned developer who is investing for the long-term and willing to collaborate on developing a pipeline of properties that will respond to the demand data for SDA, but who is also willing to respond to an individual’s needs. Property partnerships are also imperative within the sector, especially by providing customers with opportunities around choice and independence, including long-term housing options, high quality support and high quality housing services. Having these supports available can lead to further opportunities for customers in employment, training and potentially home ownership. Hume has had the opportunity to advocate and support applicants in this process by providing long-term housing, in some cases, to the most vulnerable people. One such customer with high physical disability had been living at home without adequate support or appropriate funding. Through our partnerships, Hume was able to assist the customer in securing funding and subsequently, the customer was able to move into a Hume property that could support him in a home of his choice and that was better suited to his needs. Hume will continue to advocate and support our customers by our person-centered approach, creating opportunities for housing choice and by continuing to build strong partnerships within the sector.
Don’t miss Keelin Byrne at the Navigating the Complexities of Disability Housing Conference on the 29th & 30th of May 2019 in Sydney.
She will be sharing her experience and insights on working with Hume as a Housing Coordinator.