Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Introduction

Introduction

1.1        The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was established on 2 December 2013. The committee is composed of six members and six senators and is tasked with reviewing the implementation, administration and expenditure of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

1.2        The committee is required to make a report to Parliament after 30 June each year, detailing its activities during the year. The committee has tabled two reports on the progress of the NDIS, in July 2014 and November 2015. More information about the committee, and copies of the reports, are available on the committee's website.[1]

1.3        Since its inception, the committee has heard consistent evidence on the importance of affordable and appropriate accommodation for people with disability, and how this must interface with the NDIS. In its second progress report, the committee noted that the lack of adequate accommodation can limit people's ability to fully exercise their individual choice and control, and participate in society and live an ordinary life like any other Australian.

1.4        The report stated that accommodation continues to be a key concern for all Australians and outlines the current situation:

Like all Australians, people living with a disability also aspire to control and improve their own environment. There is a lack of safe, secure, affordable and appropriate accommodation for people with disabilities. A lack of adequate accommodation can limit people’s ability to fully participate in society and live an ordinary life like any other Australian. If the matter of accommodation remains unresolved, it could significantly impinge on people’s ability to fully exercise their individual choice and control, impacting on their ability to improve their quality of life and care.[2]

1.5        The report noted that accommodation had been repeatedly raised by all stakeholders and that the committee had sought advice from relevant government agencies on this issue. The committee decided to further examine the issue of affordable and appropriate accommodation, and commenced this inquiry.

1.6        In addition, this inquiry responds to recommendation seven of the Senate Community Affairs report: Adequacy of existing residential care arrangements available for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia:

Recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Recommendation 7

The committee recommends that the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) conduct an inquiry into the issue of disability housing after the release of the discussion paper on disability housing.[3]

1.7        Noting the volume of evidence indicating that accommodation is a key issue, the committee was particularly keen to hear evidence of possible solutions, innovations, pilot programs and, in particular, possible funding models. These would enable practical steps to be taken to deliver appropriate and affordable accommodation for people with disability.

Conduct of the inquiry

1.8        The committee conducted a roundtable on accommodation on 23 October 2015. At this hearing, the committee heard from individuals and representatives from organisations who shared their personal experiences and discussed accommodation research, options and projects.

1.9        The committee received 55 submissions, as listed in Appendix 1.

Structure of this report

1.10      This report is divided into the following three chapters:

Notes on references

1.11      References to submissions in this report are to individual submissions received by the committee and published on the committee's website. References to the committee Hansard is to the official transcript from the roundtable.

Acknowledgements

1.12      The committee would like to thank the individuals and organisations that made written submissions to the inquiry, as well as those who gave evidence at the roundtable.

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