Welcome to Housing Options Made Easy (HOME).
For all Australians, a comfortable place to call home where we feel safe, supported and surrounded by the things and people that are important to us is a top priority. Historically for people with disability in Australia, Group Homes (also known as Community Residential Units) were the main way that people would receive Home and Living supports when they moved into the community from the family home. For others who acquired a disability, it often meant spending time in Residential Aged Care (RAC) before also ending up in a group home.
If you have an NDIS plan, that funding will move with you wherever you go. This means that people with disability now have many more options about where they live and with whom. This is a good thing, as Group Homes can often be limiting in terms of individual choice. Having more choice can be an issue as well, as it’s not always clear what the options are or which one might be right for you or someone you care about. We wanted this process to be less complicated for people, and to be able to assist them to find a solution in the community that was developed for them, by them, with access to expert advice along the way. Housing Options Made Easy was born.
What do we know?
The ways that NDIS participants find homes and access support to live in the community has changed a lot, and it can be very daunting. It can be hard to know where to start, what to look out for, how to make sure you’re getting good advice and assistance and making sure you are setting up a long term and stable tenancy that reflects an individual lifestyle. Yes, this can be a complex process with lots of options to choose from.
At Milparinka, we have a dedicated team who have been working alongside NDIS Participants since 2016 towards their home and living goals. Some of the things that we have learnt along the way are:
The NDIS has a couple of ways of providing opportunities for you to think about a home for the future, and these are:
We would suggest you speak to someone who understands the ILO space before making a request for Explore and Design funding as the information you submit to the NDIS could impact your future funding prospects.
You can tell the NDIS that you would like to explore your options for a new home by having a NDIS Home and Living goal put into your plan. You don’t have to have a plan review to change goals in your plan, so long as you can achieve the goal within your existing funding, and this can be done by calling the NDIS on 1800 800 110.
If you would like to have funding added into your plan to explore a home and living goal specifically, this can be done by submitting a “Home and Living Supporting Evidence Form“. On this form, you can let the NDIS know that you want to investigate what might be right for you, and can ask for funding to have someone from our team to help you. If you need assistance with this, please give us a call.
Once you have the funding in your plan to explore your Home and Living goal, we can work alongside you in a way that suits you.
How we can work together:
Learning about you
Sitting down with you to talk about really matters to you is an important first step. We listen to you (sometimes with help from people who know you) and find out where you want to live, what’s important to keep from where you live now, new things/experiences/people you want to be around, whom (if anyone) you want to live with, if you want to live with others who have a disability or not, what makes a home a special place for you and generally get a sense of what the perfect home is to you.
Understanding What You Want
We will now work with you to understand what the options are. Because we have come to understand you and what the perfect home looks like to you, we can support you to find an option that reflects who you are and what you want. Remember, there are no cookie cutter solutions, and we can support you to identify a combination of housing and support that meets your unique needs. It’s now that we support you to be able to say “This is what I want”.
We then support you to bridge the gap between what you want, and how we can put your vision into an NDIS context. We have deep technical knowledge of the NDIS and will support you to understand where your perfect home fits into the scheme. The NDIS funding for Home and Living supports is designed to be flexible to fit what you want, but it takes some know how to get it right. We are here to help with that. Now is the time that we start looking at options in the community that might suit you already, or if what you want is available, how we can plan to have it supplied.
Getting What You Need
The NDIS funds reasonable and necessary supports. This is also true when it comes to funding supports for your home and living arrangement. Getting the right evidence to support your requests for funding is one of the most important parts along your housing journey. We can link you with Allied Health professionals who are at the top of their game when it comes to defining what you want in a way that the NDIS understands. We don’t suggest using big Allied Health firms with inexperienced therapists when it comes to Home and Living supports. If you have therapists on board already, we can assist them in understanding what will be required. Thorough and robust evidence is the most powerful tool we have when telling this NDIS “This is what I need”.
Supporting you to engage with the NDIS
Telling the NDIS what you want and need and having your information get to the right people in a timely way shouldn’t be hard to do, unfortunately it is. We will support you to ask the NDIS for the funding that you need to make your housing vision a reality, and walk alongside you at planning meetings to make sure you are empowered to make informed decisions when interacting with the NDIS. We use our knowledge of home and living supports at the NDIS to make sure your evidence is looked at by the right people, and if it is not, we will support you to make sure you get a timely review.
Supporting you to find the right home and the right people to support you.
Once you have the right funding in your NDIS plan, be that for Specialist Disability Housing (SDA) or mainstream home and living options, we can start to engage with people to make things happen. A lot of the work that we do is thinking and investigating, and helping you to make informed decisions about what’s available to you. The next step is really about the “doing” and is about putting your vision into action. We know who to talk to, who to avoid, what to look out for and how to make sure that your voice is heard. This is also where we discuss with family members or other important people how they feel about the process and how we can link them to services that can support them through what is likely to be one of the most challenging times in their life.
Developing a Transition Plan
This step actually is happening right throughout the process when you work with Milparinka, as learning about you, understanding what you want, what you need and making sure you have the right funding is all part of developing a transition plan. We put this into a document that you and the people who support you can refer back to, so that your vision for how you want to be supported is maintained.