Finding specialist disability accommodation (SDA) in the Southern Highlands has now become easier with the launch of Northcott Innovation’s new home matching website, Nest.
There are currently 53 SDA places in the area and in the foreseeable future, it is anticipated there will be a potential demand for 210 more spots for people with a disability.
Nest provides an easy way to search and apply for SDA properties that match support and funding needs, as well as personal preferences.
To be matched with a property listed on Nest, people with a disability or their carers create a profile outlining support and funding requirements and personal preferences.
Nest will then automatically match the profile with properties and vacancies listed on the website that fits the needs and wants.
Users can then apply for their preferred vacancies.
The provider responsible for the listing will be notified of the application so they can review and shortlist eligible applicants, manage tenancies and fill vacancies quickly.
The website also lists properties that are planned, being built or have a room becoming available in the immediate future and for up to two years.
Northcott Innovation Executive Director Samantha Frain said in the past, SDA was offered via a Government-based centralised waiting list system that met the person’s care needs but ignored important factors.
“They ignored where the people would like to live, what type of home they wanted to live in and with whom they wanted to share,” Ms Frain said.
“The new system under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) throws away the centralised waiting list and leaves the filling of SDA vacancies to the market.
Ms Frain said that assumed the person with a disability looking for somewhere to live and the SDA provider with a vacancy both understood how that market worked and how best to find what they wanted.
“However, the reality is that there are many people chasing too few vacancies which can be hard to find, and the requirements to fill those vacancies,” she added.
“Nest gives people with a disability the chance to truly match their needs and desires for a home with SDA vacancies in a simple platform that is easy to use.
“If they find something they like, all they have to do to apply is click a button.”
Users can also search for properties without registering and creating a profile, however in order to be matched with suitable homes, a user must complete their profile.
Developed by Northcott Innovation, an established disability-focused innovation company, and subsidiary of disability services, Northcott, NEST helps providers reduce the time they spend assessing funding eligibility, giving them more time to match the compatibility of applicants with existing residents.
Nest is available via desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.