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SDA Assessments Update

Apartments – OOA accommodation

The NDIA has received feedback on the recent email to SDA Assessors on the correction to the Assessor Update #4 issued 11 November 2022 relating to the use of a studio style apartment as OOA.

The NDIA, as noted previously, made a base assumption that as the costing for an OOA apartment equated to an apartment of similar type and category as SDA apartments being enrolled, then this is/was what would be constructed. The NDIA note also the references to an SDA dwelling substantively having a kitchen, a bathroom, a living/dining area, an entrance/exit and at least one bedroom and the absence of a studio design category, which permits the combination of the bedroom, kitchen and living/dining areas within the one room.

Whilst this is still the NDIA’s strong expectation, enrolments will be considered where an OOA apartment is identified. The Assessor Update will soon be provided to clarify the NDIS’ expectation of appropriately sized OOA without the additive restrictions that were included in the 11 November 2022 update. This will mean that apartment projects which we had been engaged to assess prior to this date which include OOA rooms/accommodation rooms will not be required to be a full apartment, although we expect that in some instances the NDIA will require us to provide evidence that the project commencement is prior to this date.

As part of the continued development of the SDA market, the NDIA will consider the matter of the size and pricing of OOA in the SDA Pricing Review that is currently underway ie., we can expect that pricing will drive the size and provision of OOA accommodation and it will not be driven by SDA Assessors, a position which the NDIA has now withdrawn from. However, a change to the documentation required to accompany SDA Assessors reports where there is also a claim/intended claim for the OOA allowance, will commence from 1 January 2023. This change will be a requirement that a snapshot of the plans of the OOA apartment be included in the Design Stage and Final as Built reports submitted to the NDIA.

We have now been advised that an Assessment Update will be published in February 2023, that all SDA Assessors are required to attend a mandatory update course on February 23rd 2023.