Housing for People with a Disability Framework

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is driving growth and diversity in the development of housing for people with a disability at an unprecedented rate. To support the best possible outcomes the  “Housing for People with a Disability Framework” has been developed to highlight the key components of any project. Each of these components has a number of elements often set along a continuum.  In most cases these elements are shared with housing for other groups as well.

The eight components in “Housing for People with a Disability Framework” are:

what uses1.What are the uses of and residential target groups for the building?

Spaces in any development may be put to a variety of uses often in combination.

uses - elements

The residential component may have a variety of target groups.

Uses - Groups

How specialized

2. How specialised is the housing in meeting NDIS and/or Government housing standards?

Modified housing stock for people with a disability has been described by the Australian Government as:

  • Livable house — designed to meet the changing needs of most home occupants throughout their lifetime without the need for specialisation.
  • Accessible house — designed to meet the needs of people requiring higher level access from the outset, and usually designed and built with a specific person’s needs in mind. An accessible house meets Australian Standard AS 1428.1-2001, Designed for access and mobility, and is able to accommodate wheelchair users in all areas of the dwelling.
  • Adaptable house — adopts the idea of a livable house but in addition is able to be easily adapted to become an accessible house if the need should arise

The NDIS has its own design standards for its Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) based on the Livable Housing Australia standards.

Design Standards NDIS

In addition in Victoria the Victorian Government imposes property standards for support provision in Residential Services.

How many

3. How many people/people with a disability/NDIS participants live under each roof and in total on the site?

The question of “how many?” can relate to both number of people under one roof and how many on one site. It may refer to people, people with disability, NDIS participants or Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) recipients. Complexity is added when staff rooms and/or other spaces are added to the requirements.

How many

what supports

4. What supports including both frequency and intensity provided and by how many providers?

The impact on housing of support provision is by and large defined by intensity and frequency of provision as well as number of providers accessing the site.

Support Frequency

No of Providers

What tenure

5. What tenure do people have as defined by both length and security?

Tenure can be defined by both how long people live their or their legal right to occupy the property.

Tenure length

Tenure security


cost & funding

6. What was the cost and how was it funded including identifying where the land/building/cash came from?

Broadly property development requires the cost development and project development for either new build or refurbishment met from a variety of sources including potentially, borrowings.

cost component

Resources from a range of potential contributors.

Source of funds


how developed

7.  How was it developed i.e. who developed the project, assembled resources and took the risk?

Housing projects for people with a disability may be developed by a variety of organisations and individuals with varying levels of expertise, resources and risk appetite.

who developes

In some cases funds are raised through sales.


how managed

8. How is it managed?

The management of the site may be undertaken in a variety of ways.

Who managaes

The move to separate housing and support management (of Supported Independent Living [SIL]) adds to the complexity of relationships.

Management roles



The application of this framework, particularly when populated with an array of existing projects will quickly highlight where existing knowledge about inherent risk and development pathways can be sourced.