Kevin is the founder and director of Disability Homes Investments. He has a strong background in the real estate market, and a passion for helping those in need. Currently, he helps create suitable living conditions for Australians with disability.

Australians with disability have a lot to be excited about with the emergence of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). Part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this new property market aims to cater to the high-support needs of eligible SDA participants. Turning to the private sector, the Australian Government has opened the door for private investors, developers and housing providers in order to ensure the success of this major project. 

At first glance, success may seem straightforward to those engaged in Specialist Disability Accommodation. The reality, however, is that there is plenty to consider when providing a home that caters to the needs of people with disability. If done right, eligible Australians with disability will be able to look forward to independent living that supports their needs and lifestyle. In this piece, I’m here to take you through the things you should consider whether you’re a provider or you’re making a Specialist Disability Accommodation investment.

Get to know the customer

You’ve heard the saying, a little goes a long way. This perhaps holds more truth when it comes Specialist Disability Accommodation than with anything else. When you’re catering to those with a  disability, it’s the little things that will go a long way. Therefore, get to know the people who will be living in your home in order to be able to provide them with proper support. A great starting point is to find out what kind of disability the SDA participant has, i.e. find out if they are a wheelchair user or perhaps vision impaired?

The real message here is this: go beyond accessibility standards and truly consider the individual needs of those living in your home. Make sure you’re in constant communication with your potential tenants during all stages of development. The best way to ensure that they will live there long-term is to focus on their quality of life. After all, something that may seem completely insignificant (like type of flooring: carpet or tiles?) may actually be a world of difference to those living inside the home. 

Empower your tenants

Helping provide a high quality of life to tenants involves much more than just catering to their physical needs. The residence could be single-occupancy or multiple, depending on what the tenant is looking for. If it’s multiple, there’s much to consider. When it comes to harmoniously living with other people, happiness is key. As a provider, one of the best ways to ensure that your tenants are happy with who they’re living with is by letting them choose their housemates. 

It’s important to remember, disability housing is about the customer. By empowering your tenants to make their own choices, you will also ensure they have independence. This type of support will no doubt be a key to ensuring their happiness and long-term success.

Hire passionate staff

The staff who work with your tenants day-to-day will ultimately reflect the attitude that’s required to ensure you build a successful home. Make sure that the people you hire are adequately trained, understand the importance of their work, and ultimately, love what they do. Look for staff who view their work as a way of life and not just a job. 

You have the power to change lives

Specialist Disability Accommodation is the new silver lining that can assist Australians with a disability in living the life that they want. Whether you’re an investor, developer or provider, getting involved in disability housing is one of the most innovative things you can do within the NDIS.

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