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SDA Market Data Released

The Agency has just released first of its kind data on the progress of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). Brent dives into the numbers and analyses what they tell us about how SDA is tracking.

By Brent Woolgar

Updated 15 Apr 202415 Oct 2018

Update Feb 2020: The NDIA have since removed the market data mentioned in this article from their website but we have kept this article up for your historic reference. For more up to date SDA data, check out the NDIS quarterly reports.

In some exciting news for us data and SDA nerds, the NDIA has released the very first set of market data covering the numbers of SDA Participants and dwelling registrations. Lets take a look at what the numbers reveal.



The NDIA has taken a very encouraging step in supplying this data. The SDA market has been quite subdued since the Provider and Investor Brief in April. Hopefully, the release of this information will help restore some faith in the market.

Some key takeaways are:

  • 8,858 Participants have an SDA payment in their Plans
  • 1,679 SDA dwellings have been registered so far
  • $80M in SDA payments has been committed


This is the first time that we have seen any data on the number Participants with SDA funding in an active Plan. Here they are by state / territory:

(Current at 30 June 2018)

The NDIA has also confirmed that 28,000 people receiving SDA funding at full Scheme is still their best estimate. Therefore, as of June 2018, 32% of people who will receive an SDA payment have already been funded.

As stated above, it is encouraging that the NDIA has finally publicly released some data. Hopefully, in the near future, we will see these numbers further refined to include information on how many SDA recipients were already living in disability accommodation, and the accessibility level at which recipients are being funded.



As at 30 June 2018, $80m has been committed for SDA funds. Considering the number of Participants, this suggests that the vast majority of people are being funded at a basic or even legacy level. This conclusion is further reinforced by the number of registered SDA dwellings.



The most encouraging piece of data is the split of SDA dwellings across geographical regions.

This data will help investors make important decisions about where they should be providing SDA. You can find the full set of data in the report.

The data set is titled as ‘SDA Dwellings.’ So we are assuming that it represents the number of dwellings, not the number of rooms or places available. So the actual number of SDA places available is still unknown.

Key takeaways from this data are:

  1. It is concerning that ACT and WA do not have any registered SDA properties.
  2. 45% of registered dwellings are at a Basic level. They would, therefore, be pre-existing stock.
  3. 71% of registered dwellings are at a Basic or Improved Liveability level. Many of the Improved Liveability properties are also likely to be pre-existing stock.
  4. No information is provided on legacy properties.



In many ways, it is hard to draw conclusions because there are still key pieces of information that are missing. Especially, what level of funding each Participant has been approved to receive and in what geographic region they are based. Hopefully, future data releases will enable us to meaningfully assess supply and demand on a geographical level. However, some broad conclusions that can be made are:  

  1. The vast majority of Participants are being funded at a basic or legacy level.
  2. 71% of dwelling registered are likely to be pre-NDIS stock.
  3. The supply of new, higher accessibility SDA remains behind forecasts from the Discussion Paper on pricing and payments.  
  4. The level of committed SDA funding is vastly behind the estimated $700m per annum, even considering where we are in the rollout. This further supports the conclusion that a high number of Participants are being funded at a basic or legacy level.

However, the release of this data is a very welcome and encouraging step taken by the NDIA.

Could this mark a turning point in the SDA market? I sincerely hope so.

Image: ‘23 Clarke St, Northcote, Marysville’ by Chris O’Brien, 2017, foam, material and wool, 25 x 28 x 43cm. Courtesy of Arts Project Australia.


Brent Woolgar

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