Confidence strong, but still significant unmet need in disability housing market

Close to 3,000 Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) places have been built or are now in the pipeline, according to a new report from Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and the Summer Foundation.  

There remains a significant lack of SDA housing, with an estimated 9,000 places still needed to meet demand and many people with a disability currently living in poor quality homes. 

The SDA Supply Report provides a snapshot on the growth of SDA supply across AustraliaIt also shares insights on market sentiment and SDA management arrangements. 

The pipeline of SDA development continues to be dominated by High Physical Support properties and there is still limited investment in robust housing, leaving a gap in the market.  

Summer Foundation CEO Di Winkler says that a key challenge for developers and investors is understanding where and what to build. “As people with disability exercise greater control over their housing and supports, it’s no longer a case of ‘build it and they will come’”, she said.   

“To minimise risk and maximise return on investment, industry players must consider what tenants will want and need.”  

The report notes that confidence is strong in the SDA market, with roughly three-quarters of survey respondents at least somewhat confident in the SDA supply market. The research found that 50% of providers intend to build additional properties, with another 30% considering it.  

For the first time, the report investigated how SDA is being run – whether people with a disability are locked in to one provider or whether there is real choice. Concerningly, more than 20% of providers represented in the report are still not giving their tenants choice about where they live and who provides their services.   

Diana Ferner, Director, Social Ventures Australia says both SVA and Summer Foundation will continue to work with people with disability, providers, investors and governments to create an SDA market that delivers on people with disability having access to housing that meets their needs and fosters connection to community.  

“We have a vision for an Australia where people with disability have access to high quality housing that is everything they might need and want in a home. We hope this report will inform the next phase of investment in SDA towards that vision.”  

Download the report here.


About Social Ventures Australia:

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) is a not-for-profit organisation that works with partners to alleviate disadvantage – towards an Australia where all people and communities thrive. SVA influences systems to deliver better social outcomes for people by learning what works in communities, helping organisations be more effective, sharing our perspectives and advocating for change.  

About Summer Foundation:

The Summer Foundation, established in 2006, works to change human service policies and practices related to young people (18 to 64 years old) who are living in, or at risk of entering residential aged care. Summer’s vision is that young people with disability and complex support needs live where and with whom they choose, with access to high quality housing and support options that enhance health, wellbeing and participation.