With 127,000 people expected to need housing under the NDIS, a new report has highlighted the need for urgent action on addressing the chronic shortage of affordable and accessible housing for people with disability.
The Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS has recognised the “significant and urgent need” for more affordable and accessible housing for people with disability across Australia.
The Committee’s report says that between 35,000 and 55,000 NDIS participants will fall through the housing cracks in the first 10 years of the scheme unless the issue is addressed.
While the NDIS will help by funding disability supports and access it won’t fund new housing, which means it will need to work with partners to ensure that enough appropriate housing is available.
In short a lack of affordable and accessible housing is undermining the key reason for the NDIS – to give people with disability choice and control over how they live their lives.
“Ultimately it restricts their ability to participate in society and live an ordinary live,” the report says.
The Committee makes six recommendations to fix the shortage:
- State and Federal governments work with disability organisations and the Australian Building Codes Board to update the Building Code of Australia to make more housing more accessible for people with disability;
- Accommodation for people with disability be front and centre of any affordable and social housing policies;
- The Government explore all possible proposals for disability accommodation and how it can help make them happen;
- The Government should assesses how affordable any proposals are for people with disability and their families;
- The Department of Social Services clarify the status of the Supported Accommodation Innovation fund and, and if it’s no longer available, help with the development of innovative housing solutions for people with disability; and
- The Government should explore options such as capital sharing, securitisation and joint ownership to see if they will work in providing appropriate accommodation for people with disability.
Every Australian Counts supporters have identified the lack of housing as a key concern when the full roll out begins from July.
The Committee’s report is a great start – and more evidence that we need solutions quickly so that every Australian can get the most out of the NDIS Every Australian Counts supporters fought so hard for.
Read the full report here.