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MEDIA RELEASE – Youngcare flags risks in NDIS’ Specialist Disability Accommodation Policy Framework

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1 December 2015

MEDIA RELEASE – Youngcare flags risks in NDIS’ Specialist Disability Accommodation Policy Framework

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Youngcare welcomes the release of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Specialist Disability Accommodation Policy Framework. This framework will guide the approach to the implementation of specialist disability accommodation supports in the NDIS as it is rolled out across Australia. However, there are risks and concerns in the detail and Youngcare will participate in the consultation process to inform and shape implementation.

“We’re happy to have a framework in place,” said Samantha Kennerley, Youngcare CEO.

“However, there is much about the framework that needs to be tested. Success is housing that enables people with disability to take full part in the community on the terms they want. We need to be confident that the principles of choice and control are not constrained by road blocks.”

Specific concerns include:

  1. The inclusion of Commonwealth-funded aged care facilities as an approved accommodation option. “Government policy is to have all young people out of aged care within two years. It is of high concern that residential aged care remains on the approved list,” said Mrs Kennerley.
  1. Lack of clarity around support for unpaid carers. “As parents and carers age and are unable to continue to care for young people with disabilities, remaining at home often becomes untenable. This crisis point often leaves aged care accommodation as the only option,” said Mrs Kennerley.
  1. The Federal Government has yet to be drawn on when it will allocate $700 million earmarked for specialised accommodation under the NDIS. This disability housing funding was due to be released in tandem alongside the implementation of the NDIS when it was originally introduced in 2013.

With 7,000 young Australians inappropriately housed in aged care accommodation, and 700,000 at home, many with limited specialist and/or financial support, Youngcare views an appropriate accommodation framework as crucial to returning choice and control to people with high care needs.

In June this year, a Senate Committee recommended the transitioning of all young people out of nursing homes by 2018.

“The two-year timeframe can only be achieved with continuous cross-industry and government consultation informed by the experience of people with high care needs, who have lived or risked living in aged care,” said Mrs Kennerley.

“A growing number of baby boomers are no longer able to care for their children with a disability. Unless viable alternatives are created, these young people are at a high risk of being accommodated in aged care facilities.”

Youngcare urges the Federal Government to release the allocated funding with immediacy, and in consultation with providers of specialised disability accommodation, to enable the facilitation of appropriate accommodation upon full implementation of the NDIS.

The SDA Framework will be presented for discussion at the forthcoming ‘Getting Home’ Think Tank, in Sydney. Organisations from government, the financial, property and disability sectors, alongside young people with  a disability,  met to identify new ideas and solutions to the current housing crisis facing people with disabilities.

The NDIA intends to undertake wide ranging stakeholder consultations in the first quarter of 2016.

Youngcare urges parties to participate in stakeholder consultation process scheduled for the first quarter of 2016. Register interest by emailing the SDA inbox.

View the Framework (DOCX 60KB).

Youngcare is a proactive and vocal advocate for young people with high care needs, and announces a first-of-its-kind specialised housing Think Tank: ‘Getting Home: Accommodation Solutions’, on Wednesday, 9 December 2015 in Sydney. The think tank brought together industry, government, the not-for-profit sector and young people living with disabilities to focus on new ideas for getting young people out of aged care, into sustainably funded, age-appropriate accommodation.

For media enquiries or interviews please contact:
Samantha Kennerley, Youngcare CEO | p: 07 3041 3400

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