On 8 February 2019 the Hon Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services, announced ‘immediate reforms’ to Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) to improve choice and control for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and boost market confidence.
Original Source from Summer Foundation, download full report below: https://www.summerfoundation.org.au/resources/summary-of-changes-to-specialist-disability-accommodation-framework/
These changes are across the following SDA documents:
- The SDA Price Guide. The SDA Price Guide for 2018-19 was released on 8 February 2019. This new Price Guide indexes existing prices by CPI. Further changes will be made to the Price Guide later in 2019, following an immediate review of pricing assumptions.
- SDA Rules and SDA Operational Guidelines: Changes to the SDA Rules are in train and will be finalised in coming weeks. Some rule changes are still being worked out and will take effect later in 2019.
We asked Anthony Ryan CEO of Youngcare for his vision of what the changes are going to look like, here is what he had to say:
In essence , what happened with the report that came out last year created a market investor brief that was meant to stimulate the market and it did. However , there were some unintended messages that created confusion and unease. All those sorts of things for an investor particularly in this space are very discouraging to hear, because there has been so much work going on for what they thought was going to be an investment scenario and then they realised maybe it is not the way it appears to be.
What happened in that space afterwards was that a lot of, particularly youngcare and Summer Foundation, institutional investors worked strongly with the government to try and make them aware of exactly how that language had halted the investor market in SDA and that they needed to bring confidence back.
So KPMG were enlisted to do a new paper that looked into rescuing the language and about redefining and examining why an apparently good investment scheme that was approved by government and NDIS wasn’t getting traction in the market.
What came out of this, was an unintended disconnect, when participants were trying to get SDA as part of their overall package, they were not getting approved and one of the main reasons was they couldn’t show where the SDA market was headed.
So, for instance, they would tell a client, if you weren’t SDA approved where are you going to live? There is nothing out there and we are not going to give it to you. In that scenario, from an investor’s perspective, those that were trying to get SDA as part of their package have to actually get approved so the investors could feel confident in spending the money to build. They couldn’t because there were no SDA approvals coming through and that is where the unintended disconnect was.
There weren’t any SDA approvals from the NDIA, and there were no SDA’s being built because no one could see the approvals.
So the KPMG report has stated that individuals now can actually be approved for SDA as part of the package without having to demonstrate where that build is going to be. So all of a sudden there is going to be data coming up over the quarters that will say, these are the SDA’s that are approved in the market and it’ll get the investors to go, ‘Great I’m ready to build’.
It is only 6% of the NDIS market, but it is still a valuable percentage from the investors perspective.T hey will start seeing the rubber hitting the road and new builds going out. What we want to understand now with these changes is how they can best offer a care product that can be scalable, can hit a very high standard and at the same time be able to stay afloat as a business.
I don’t think there will be many policy changes at all as a result of the federal election. There is an action plan that will be announced later on in a weeks’ time at Youngcare by the Minister for Families and Social Services and that will answer the question of how we are going to fast track the 6,000 individuals a quarter in aged care nursing homes. But in my opinion, there is not going to be significant policy changes.
Anthony will be sharing his insights on “Unpacking how the SDA framework review shapes the industry” at Navigating the Complexities of Disability Housing Conference, 29th & 30th May 2019, Sydney.