For generations, we’ve been told that owning your own home is better than renting. The great Australian dream is an ambition buried deep in our psyche. Ownership provides security; renting is throwing your money away. You can be evicted at short notice.

So, what is the better option own or rent an SDA home? What if a long-term lease provided as much security as owning your home?

A long-term lease would mean you could avoid paying the astronomical prices for a new home and completely remove the pressure of a mortgage. This is the choice currently faced by NDIS recipients who receive funding for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). SDA funding is an amount of money paid within an NDIS Plan which allows people to build a customised home, with modifications to suit their needs. Once SDA is approved within an NDIS plan, families are faced with the decision about how to proceed. Should they try and own their own home or enter a long-term lease with an SDA housing provider? This is a big financial decision.

BlueCHP, a not-for-profit Community Housing Provider helps families build and lease customised SDA homes across Australia.

Peace of mind for your family

Parents want the best for their kids. Often parents are getting older and want security for their child with a disability. If you have sufficient funds, purchasing a block on land in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane might be an option. Scraping together enough capital to purchase land and build a home might mean however making tough decisions, like contributing super towards the new home.

With a suitable block of land found, the prospect of building a customised home can be daunting. Customising an SDA home to suit your families needs can be very expensive. It is also worth keeping in mind, once an SDA home is built, it can be difficult and costly to modify if your needs change or you decide to sell.

You would also need to find a bank that’ll extend you a loan, based on an over capitalised asset. Finance would also only be made available if you had sufficient income to service the loan. In this respect, the bank would consider the level of SDA funding and any other family contribution, which could be limited, especially if the family’s income is fixed, an issue for many ageing parents.

In this context, considering a long-term lease that provides much sought-after security of tenure, might be preferable.

SDA providers, like BlueCHP, are currently building homes, which are financed by institutional investors. The house is owned by BlueCHP with the resident entering into a long-term lease, often for 10 – 20 years. Homes are designed and customised in consultation with the SDA recipient and their families. The SDA payments come from the government and are collected by BlueCHP. The SDA recipient lives in the home under the agreed lease. Although it’s not owning in the traditional sense, the SDA recipient and their family have the security of tenure and peace of mind. By that measure the home is theirs.

Have a question about SDA funding?

Living in a new SDA home without the financial burden of a mortgage

With a long-term lease, the person with a disability does not own the home in the traditional sense nor do they need to buy land or secure finance. They do not need to manage the design and construction of the new home, planning and procurement of construction services. This process can be difficult. As a specialist developer of affordable and SDA housing, BlueCHP can manage this process so families don’t have too.

The NDIS has rules. If you build and own an SDA home, you will need to be a registered SDA provider.

This is an additional cost that should be factored in before you decide to build a home. You will be liable for any issues arising from the build and the payment of annual registration costs. SDA providers must also take-out insurance, which can be significant.

If a carer is injured in an SDA home you own, and it is caused by an issue with the building, then you are liable for the workplace injury. On the other hand, if you choose to progress with a long-term lease, the housing provider, like BlueCHP, would hold this liability. BlueCHP is a not-for-profit Community Housing Provider, a specialist developer of affordable and disability housing.

Recently BlueCHP established the Guide You Home initiative to build customised SDA homes. Guide You Home will build a portfolio of homes, which means if you are an SDA recipient living in a BlueCHP home and you decide you want a change of scenery, you will be able to move to another home in a new location. Guide You Home will also look after maintenance and defects.

If you have questions please contact Fiona, Michelle or Sue from the  Guide You Home team.

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