What if I Have a Disability?

Disability options

The Housing Authority offers a range of housing options to help people with disabilities access appropriate and affordable housing. This includes people with intellectual, physical, sensory or psychiatric impairment.
To be eligible for assistance, your disability must be permanent or likely to be permanent, and impact on your housing requirements (i.e. building design, proximity to services and/or support needs).
You must also meet the income limits for people with disabilities, which are higher than other customers recognising the additional costs faced by people with disabilities.
Options include:
  • Mainstream rental housing
  • Home modifications to make housing more accessible
  • Purpose-built rental accommodation
  • Home loans to purchase, build or modify private homes
  • Community housing, where the Housing Authority provides housing to non-profit organisations which manage the accommodation for clients with disabilities
  • Bond assistance.

Home Modifications

The Housing Authority will provide appropriate housing to meet your disability needs. This may include modifying existing Housing Authority rental homes to allow access by the person with a disability. Applicants will need to provide an occupational therapist assessment report or if you do not have an occupational therapist, the Housing Authority will arrange for one to visit and assess your disability housing need.
Housing Authority tenants with a disability can apply to have home modifications through their Housing Services Officer to improve access around their home. This may include installing ramps, grab rails and/or bathroom renovations. The Housing Services Officer will discuss the modifications with you or and arrange for an occupational therapist to visit your home to determine what modifications are needed.
In some instances, it may not be possible or practical to modify your existing Housing Authority rental home to meet your disability needs.  If this occurs, the Housing Authority will look at other options such as a transfer to a more accessible or appropriately located home, or if necessary, build a purpose-built home to meet your disability needs.

Purpose-built homes

Purpose built accommodation is primarily constructed for those with physical disabilities, these are referred to as mobility homes, however the Housing Authority also purpose builds for people with other types of disabilities. The Housing Authority may build group homes or cluster unit developments to meet a person's disability and social needs.
The Housing Authority manages a number of programs and a purpose built home can be constructed within any of these. For example group homes and cluster strata titled units are provided through the Community Disability Housing Program.
Each Housing Authority office will have a coordinator of the priority list for people with disabilities. This is usually the Manager Client Services (MCS) or the Area Manager in the metropolitan area and the Manager Housing Services (MHS) in the country. They are responsible for deciding what type of accommodation is allocated to an applicant with a disability.
The Housing Authority will firstly consider offering existing housing stock with or without modifications, if this meets the disability requirements of the applicants.
Purpose built mobility dwellings are provided to those applicants and/or tenants for whom the Housing Authority is unable to accommodate in existing stock with or without modifications.
Some of the design features include level thresholds, wider doorways and passages to allow for wheelchair access, low kitchen bench-tops, large rocker switches and power points set at appropriate heights and accessible bathroom design.  In some cases you may be able to view a mobility purpose built home, subject to availability.
If you wish to discuss what type of housing would best suit your needs please contact your nearest Housing Authority office.

Access Home Loan Scheme

The Access Home Loan Scheme is designed to help people with disabilities buy their own home or modify an existing private home to cater for their needs.
People on disability support benefits and their carers in receipt of a pension can apply for this loan.
For more information, see Keystart's Access Home Loan brochure.

Additional resources

The Housing Authority provides additional resources to tenants with disabilities including:
  • Occupational Therapist Service — The Housing Authority  contracts an occupational therapy service to ensure that the needs of people with disability are properly assessed in regards to their housing and that appropriate allocations are made.
  • Design Consultancy Service — The Housing Authority contracts a number of architects to design appropriate housing for people with disabilities. Accommodation can then be modified or purpose built.