Prompted by a Four Corners’ investigation into the aged care sector, news of an aged care royal commission rocked the industry in September, shining a much-needed light on damning reports of neglect and abuse in Australia’s nursing homes.
The scope of the inquiry also includes the more than 12,000 young Australians with disabilities living in unsuitable and inappropriate accommodation, with 6,200 currently living in aged care.
Young people occupy more than 20 per cent of all aged care places, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has the mandate and resources to help these young people out of nursing homes through the provision of a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) payment policy.
Not-for-profit organisation Youngcare is helping to coordinate that outcome by improving certainty for both the recipient of the SDA, investors, and developers.
Youngcare is attempting to make a dent in the 6,200 young people with high care needs that live in aged care and provide them with appropriate supported housing.
The SDA market is still very much in its nascent stages, but Youngcare chief executive officer Anthony Ryan is confident in its viability.
“[The SDA] is a unique opportunity to unite investors, developers, government, banks and aged care providers in a strategy that solves the disability residential crisis,” Ryan said.
“I am confident that over the next 24 months there will be resounding interest in building SDAs into developments across Australia.”
Of the 28,000 people eligible for SDAs, 12,000 will have access to housing for the first time – a transformational outcome in the lives of these recipients, who are often in a living situation with ageing parents, in hospitals or in residential nursing homes.
“At the end of the day it’s about creating a more inclusive society,” Ryan said.
“If you think about where and how young people want to live, they seek out homes where they can go to university, have friends over, get out and about and contribute to the community.”
“In a country like Australia, it’s unacceptable that young people with high care needs should have to live in unsuitable housing.”