How do I find a home?
Having a home that is safe and permanent is a vital foundation for all of life. It is a first priority and underpins the success of all other supports and services provided. Housing and accommodation plays a fundamental and vital role in ensuring meaningful participation in the community.
There are many pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of having a home – for all people, including for people with disability. People with disability must consider a wide range issues when piecing this puzzle together:
- connection to community,
- affordability, living independently,
- sharing a home, and
- availability of places that could be called home
The NDIA, Housing ACT, builders, architects, occupational therapists, lawyers, financiers, community housing providers, specialist disability organisations, housemates and neighbours might all play a role in having a home.
Planning for a Home
Considering ‘home’ (where someone will live) is one of the big questions to which there is no quick or easy answer. Every property and support arrangement is as unique as the person living in it. The array of options may appear confusing and daunting to people with disability and their families or guardians.
For an overview of differerent accommodation models for people with disability, see Housing options in Canberra.
What do I need to consider?
Developing a housing solution requires placing the person at the centre of the decision-making process, and being informed of all possible options. The key is asking the right planning questions, and identifying sustainable resources and supports.
- How will I get a property?
- Which location suits me best?
- What occupancy rights will I have in the property?
- Who do I want to live with?
- Who will help me to make decisions?
- Who will manage my support?
- What are the financial arrangements to support me?
- What will life outside my home look like?
Principles and values that might guide your planning
- Identifying what support is needed, and when, so I can maintain my independence.
- Services are guided by me and/or family, guardians or friends.
- Long term future planning in place
- I will choose support that is safe, stable, consistent, and dignified
- My home will be personalised to my taste, and I will decide who I allow to be there
- My health and wellbeing will be maintained
Finding a home, housemates or tenants
There are a number of websites that list disability housing opportunities:
Havelock Housing Association's Disability housing hub
The Disability housing hub provides an overview of the diverse range of housing options in the ACT and local NSW region that are available to people with disability, along with resources and ideas.
Havelock Housing also lists their current vacancies, which can be searched for properties that are SDA registered or have wheelchair access.
The Housing Hub
The Housing Hub is a new way for people with disability to find suitable housing. The Housing Hub advertises vacancies for apartments and houses that are owned by housing providers. It also has a library of useful information about housing options and planning your move. The Summer Foundation has developed this resource with funding from the Department of Social Services, and mainly lists housing located in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
Nest is an online tool for people with disability and providers of disability housing. Nest matches people with disability to homes that meet their needs, support requirements and lifestyle choices. Nest makes it easy for providers to shortlist eligible applicants and quickly fill vacant properties and rooms. With listings from disability housing providers, community and social housing providers, real estate agents and private landlords, Nest is a useful website for people with disability looking for a home. (Nest has been developed by Northcott Innovation.)
Disability Housing Australia
This website allows users to create a profile, look for a housemate, explore and search for rental accommodation and homes for sale.
- The National Disability Insurance Agency provides information on Specialist Disability Accommodation
- Summer Foundation resources: Building Better Lives for Young People in Nursing Homes
- Summer Housing resources
- Livable Housing Australia
- Australian Network on Universal Housing Design