The latest Quarterly report (Quarter 1, 2019/20 FY) has finally included some detailed data about Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). This is a further encouraging development following the market data release in October. The data shows some positive developments in the SDA market. Here is what the data tells us (data as of 30 September):
9,536 Participants have SDA payments in their Plans. This is up 678 people from the data released in October (8,858).
14,025 Participants have Supported Independent Living (SIL) payments in their Plans (7.1% of all active Participants).
65% of Participants receiving both SDA and SIL have an intellectual disability and 10% have autism. This is reflective of the fact that many current SDA Participants have transitioned from the state and territory systems.
According to the data, the average SDA payment is $10,000 per annum. The report states that this is reflective of “the high level of existing stock, with lower average annual price compared with new builds”.
The total financial commitment has grown from $80M (June 30) to $93.5M (September 30). This reflects the fact that 678 additional Participants were approved this quarter. However, the average payment for these 678 Participants jumps to $20,000, which indicates that there are some non-legacy / existing Participant approvals in the mix. This aligns with what DSC has been hearing about the increased flow of SDA approvals for new SDA properties.
The data indicates a rapid growth in registered dwellings. They have gone up from 1,679 in June to 2,243 by the end of September. The information also suggests that 14% of dwellings are either new or refurbishments. Troublingly, as of September, WA and SA still have nil enrolments however the information notes that registrations in both of these states will commence soon.
It is also important to note that the registered SDA Building Type and Design Category data has been expanded to now include a breakdown of legacy, existing and new build registrations (and category). The data goes down to Statistical Area Level 4 regions. This can be found in Appendix N of the report.
There are also some very encouraging statements in the report (with the possible exclusion of the first point). Here is an extract from the report:
The NDIA is undertaking a range of initiatives to increase options for Participants. This includes:
Providing greater market certainty in relation to pricing methodology by providing the SDA Provider and Investor Brief in April 2018
Regularly publishing more information on both demand and supply on the website since October 2018 and in this Quarterly report.
Providing regular and on-going briefings to potential investors in SDA
Improving and expediting the SDA planning process by having a dedicated team of senior specialists focused on SDA decisions since September 2018
Increasing the engagement with stakeholders by moving to establish a SDA stakeholder consultation group, in the same way as has been done with other groups such as hearing, mental health and autism
Receiving and responding to a paper from the Independent Advisory Council on innovative, contemporary housing models.
In recent months we have seen a real optimism finally emerging within the SDA market. Releasing information such as this is really needed as it helps to build faith in the market.
We are now eagerly awaiting the outcomes of the SDA framework review hopefully revealed in early December. If the review includes recommendations that provide more certainty about payment levels into the future, then I think we will finally have the foundation necessary for the SDA market to gain significant traction in the coming years.