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SDA Density Restrictions
"How many SDA participants can be accommodated in a development and in particular in a multi-unit residential building?". This is a very common question that we are asked by SDA developers and the answer is not that straightforward.
There are several factors to consider including the total number of people that can be accommodated in the building, the configuration of units/dwellings available and the particular configuration of the unit/dwelling that the SDA participant will occupy.
To break down the requirements, we need to understand the following:
1. NDIS document that discusses Density Restrictions.
The document that discusses the density requirements is the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Rules 2016, Clauses 6.15 to 6.17
2. Undersatnding words that are noted in the Clauses 6.15 to 6.17 of the NDIS SDA Rules 2016 that deal with Density Restrictions.
The Clauses 6.15 to 6.17 of the NDIS SDA Rules 2016, use terms that have specific meaning as noted below:
a. ‘Single parcel of land’ (defined under NDIS SDA rules 2016)
A single parcel of land means different things in different states and territories. For example, for land located in New South Wales, a single parcel of land means all the land comprised in a ‘folio of the Register’ within the meaning of the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) unless the land forms part of:
(i) a ‘parcel’ within the meaning of section 5 of the Strata Schemes (Freehold Development) Act 1973 (NSW);
(ii) a ‘parcel’ within the meaning of section 4 of the Strata Scheme (Leasehold Development) Act 1986 (NSW);
(iii) a ‘parcel’ within the meaning of section 4 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW); or
(iv) a ‘community parcel’, ‘neighbourhood parcel’ or ‘precinct parcel’ within the meaning of section 3 of the Community Land Development Act 1989 (NSW)
b. ‘Ennrolled dwelling’
is a dwelling that complies with all the requirements of NDIS SDA which would then enable it to be enrolled with the NDIS as an SDA dwelling.
c. ‘Participant’ (defined under NDIS Act 2013)
means a person who is a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme. In this case the participant means a person who is funded for SDA.
are the total number of occupants of the entire development on a single parcel of land. Total resident numbers are determined on the assumption that one resident occupies one bedroom. This means that the number of participants with SDA in their plan intended to reside in the dwelling may be lower than the number of residents for which the dwelling is being enrolled (as stated in NDIS SDA Rules 2016 Clause 6.18(vi))
e. ‘Intentional communities’(Defined under NDIS SDA rules 2016)
means a residential community designed to have a high degree of social cohesion, achieved through teamwork and agreed shared values. The members of an intention community have chosen to live together based on common social values and have committed to the principle of mutual support. An intentional community:
(a) has a defined and explicit agreement under which residents have agreed to live in accordance with shared common values, including the principle of mutual support;
(b) is controlled by the members or residents and is not governed by a single entity such as a support provider; and
(c) includes general market housing, and is not solely designed to provide supported accommodation services.
3. What does 'to house three or more residents' / 'to house one or two residents' mean?
The Clauses on density, 6.15 and 6.16 permits the SDA participant numbers to be 10% or 15% of the total number of residents based on type of dwelling being enrolled (i.e.1 or 2 bedroom dwelling verses 3 or more bedroom dwelling). The selection of the Clause and therefore the applicable percentage is based on whether a SDA participant is going to occupy a 1 or 2 bedroom dwelling verses a 3 or more bedroom dwelling. So for example even if there are a combination of 2 and 3 bedroom units in a residential building and all the SDA participants will be occupying just the 2 bedroom unit type then a percentage of 15% will apply ie Clause 6.16 would apply.
The answer derived by the applicable percentage is then compared to the max number permissible (10 or 15) and the greater number of the two is the maximum permissible density.
Want it simplified even further ?
Use our NDIS SDA Density Calculator to find the density requirement in just a few clicks.
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This calculator is based only on Vista Access Architect’s personal interpretation of density restrictions noted in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Specialist Disability Accommodation) Rules 2016. This calculator is not endorsed by the NDIA and users are advised to make their own inquires in regard to density directly with NDIA. Use calculator at your own risk. Vista Access Architects shall not be held liable for use of the Calculator.