New website upgrades! What’s new

All New 'Pricing Arrangements for SDA'

More than just the new name, Brent covers the good and the complex in the 2021/22 SDA Price Guide.

By Brent Woolgar

Updated 15 Apr 202415 Jul 2021

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Price Guide is now out, except this year it has a new name and, of course, new content. Let’s take a look! 

 

So, what has changed and what is new?

As previously reported (and questioned) in our recent article, SDA prices have received CPI increases (1.1%). But note that there is some doubt as to whether these increases will automatically be indexed in participant plans – stay tuned for more information on this topic.  

The SDA Terms of Business are now included as Appendix H in the SDA Pricing Arrangements document. This is a welcome addition to ensure that these requirements are not missed by providers. 

There are also somewhat complex details about what happens when SDA-eligible participants share accommodation with individuals who are not eligible for SDA. These appear in Appendix G and come with some complicated formulas and definitions.The document also notes that SDA-eligible participants with high incomes pay the same Maximum Reasonable Rent Contribution (MRRC) as those on the disability support pension (DSP). Of greater concern is the reference to participants being able to pay, at their discretion, more than the MRRC amount.  

The document highlights (quite firmly) that SDA providers must only claim SDA payments in arrears. This may be due to the fact that the portal may (or may not) enable payments to be claimed in advance at the present time.

Getting into some of the technical details, the Definitions of Building Types (i.e., apartments, houses, townhouses, etc.). Table 4 in the SDA Pricing Arrangements document no longer includes the word “typical” before “Building Code of Australia Classification”, which may lead to confusion around which National Construction Code (NCC) classification is required for each building type. This may also cause further confusion for apartments, as it states these must be Class 2 (not Class 3, which is typical for many apartments due to building certifiers’ preferences). This is all very complicated, so feel free to reach out if you are feeling a bit baffled.  

The SDA Calculator now includes an MRRC calculator with a full breakdown of calculations, except for any residents who are not eligible for SDA. For those participants, the rent amount is uncapped. This could cause some concerns around the Individual Living Options (ILO) flat mate model, as uncapped rent could mean flat mates who do not receive SDA or even NDIS payments may be exposed to high rents, reducing the support budgets of operating within a flat mate ILO support model. It may also have some influence on the maximum SDA payment that can be claimed for the people with SDA. 

Finally, and somewhat curiously, a few location factors have been increased, but only for five-person group homes – and wait for it – legacy stock, but only in a couple of the inner regions of Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney Northern beaches have also had a slight reduction in apartment location factors, which is baffling to say the least.

 So, there is some good and some confusing updates in the Pricing Arrangement for SDA document. The recent Home and Living Consultation paper (which you can read about here) has also provided some subtle information about people with SDA sharing with others who are not receiving or even eligible for SDA. All in all, this will be an interesting space to watch. 

Authors

Brent Woolgar

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