Home & Living
What are in-kind housing arrangements?
In-kind housing arrangements were a bridging arrangement where the state government generally provided the funding for accommodation and support services instead of its federal counterpart.
In-kind housing arrangements were far more common as the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), and the Supported Independent Living (SIL) provisions were first introduced but were yet to be utilised by participants. Approving these types of funding is time-consuming and complex, especially during the Scheme’s infancy. To fund the in-kind arrangements, the NDIA provided the exact amount and financing arrangements to operators who the state governments previously paid to ensure that participants received continuity of support. The Federal Government provided this money to the operators until their clients transitioned to other forms of housing and support funding provided by the Scheme.
In-kind housing arrangement relied on the same conditions that the state government utilised before the NDIS, specifically, a block funding model of personal support services, which grouped all the supports in each dwelling to provide a single service. This service typically operated under the assumption that each resident was entitled to an equal share of supports as determined by their funding package. Often this arrangement was developed to meet the needs of the support provider at the expense of individual preferences.
As a result, the funding arrangements that support in-kind housing were counterintuitive to the founding principles of individual funding essential to how the Scheme operates. Consequently, in-kind housing received extensive criticism for preventing participants from exercising ‘choice and control’.
The recent introduction of Individualised Living Options (ILO) has further complicated the operation of in-kind housing arrangements and is, in fact, the antithesis of the former model. As the Scheme matures, in-kind housing is slowly becoming less common, and is now being replaced by more new SDA, open market rentals and social housing options.
Artwork by Melissa Pym.