Vista Access Architects - Blog

Vista Access Architects - Blog

Refurbishment Cost to qualify as a 'New Build' under the NDIS SDA (Specialist Disability Accommodation)

An existing dwelling can be refurbished to qualify as a 'new build' for SDA (Specialist Disability Accomodation) funding. But have you considered the minimum refurbishment cost ?

New Old Dwelling

SDA Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2021-22 (previously the Price Guide for Specialist Disability Accommodation) notes the following:

To qualify as a 'New Build' under the NDIS SDA, the dwelling needs to comply with the following 5 conditions:

1. Date of Certificate of occupancy; and
2. Total number of residents in the dwelling; and
3. Design requirements of the dwelling; and
4. Density requirements; and
5. Age of the dwelling.

1. Date of Certificate of occupancy.

There are 2 options to comply with this first requirement, noted below as Option A and Option B.

Option A: The very FIRST certificate of occupancy (or equivalent) was issued on or after 1 April 2016 when it complies with the requirements of SDA dwelling. This is important to note the use of the word 'FIRST' in this requirement; or

Option B: The dwelling has been renovated or refurbished and issued with a certificate of occupancy (or equivalent) after 1 April 2016, and:
i) because of the renovation or refurbishment the dwelling meets the Minimum Requirements for a Design Category other than Basic design as noted in Table 5 of SDA Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2021-22 (previously the Price Guide for Specialist Disability Accommodation) and
ii) the cost of the refurbishment is equal to or greater than the amount set out in Appendix F as shown below.

SDA developer will be required to prove that the amount of money listed in Appendix F has been spent 

For example to refurbish an existing 1 bedroom apartment for HPS (High Physical Support) design category a minimum refurbishment spent amount of $457,363 is required

This will usually make the project unviable.


This article is based on Vista Access Architect’s personal interpretation of what constitutes as a new build. This article is not endorsed by the NDIA and users are advised to make their own inquires directly with NDIA.

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