A new report shines a light on the increasing number of hurdles being put in front of NDIS participants in order for them to receive housing support.
The report, Housing Delayed and Denied, NDIA Decision-Making on SDA Funding, is the result of a collaborative project by the Housing Hub and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
The report shows NDIS participants are routinely denied access to supports that meet their needs and preferences, and are also being caught up in a bureaucratic go-slow.
Whether by design to keep costs down, or simply because it has been unable to establish efficient processes, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is putting up barriers to prevent people from accessing the very supports it was established to facilitate.
“Over the past 18 months, we have seen a shift in the way the NDIA is making decisions about SDA funding eligibility,” said General Manager of the Housing Hub, Alecia Rathbone.
“Our data shows that people are currently waiting an average of 82 days for an initial SDA decision from the NDIA, and when it is finally made it often doesn’t align with what the person’s health reports have shown they need.”
The report shows that of the people supported by the Housing Hub to get funding for SDA, only 1 in 4 received the funding they requested in the initial decision. For those who then requested an internal review by the NDIA, again only 1 in 4 received the funding they requested.
However, most who received an outcome at the external review stage received what they originally asked for.
“People shouldn’t have to get a high-price lawyer and sometimes fight for years just to get the housing they need and are entitled to,” Ms Rathbone said.