What you need to know as an SDA support person

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The information on this page is for the support people of SDA residents. If you are an SDA provider, view For providers. If you are an SDA resident, view For residents.

As a support person, you can help the resident understand their rights and responsibilities in specialist disability accommodation (SDA).

On this page:

Role of a support person

A support person can be anyone chosen by a specialist disability accommodation (SDA) resident to help them understand their renting rights and responsibilities in an SDA residency.

A support person can be a family member, trusted friend, advocate, carer, guardian or Supported Independent Living (SIL) provider. SIL providers support SDA residents with daily tasks and help them develop their skills to live as independently as possible.

Providers must appoint a support person for the resident if  

  • the resident does not have a support person, and 
  • their disability prevents them from understanding the agreement or information statement, or their rights and responsibilities. 

Providers cannot choose a support person who works for them. 

For information to help families and carers of SDA residents, visit For families and carers - NDIS.

Changes to the law

In July 2019, the law changed and specialist disability accommodation (SDA) became part of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. We now regulate SDA under Victorian renting laws. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funds SDA.

Residential agreements

If an SDA has been regazetted by the DHHS, the rules and duties set out in the Disability Act 2006 still apply to residents’ residential statements.

For more information, see Re-gazettal of SDA on Obligations of SDA providers - what you need to do.

Non-gazetted SDA

There are three types of residency agreements available for SDA. Residents and providers must:

Information statements

Each type of agreement has a matching information statement that explains it and outlines both the provider’s and resident’s rights and responsibilities.

The provider must give the resident an agreement and its information statement at the same time. The resident can end a signed agreement if they were not given the information statement.

Download the:

What are the main differences between the types of agreements?

There are some differences between an SDA residency agreement and the Residential tenancy agreements. For more information, view Main differences between the types of agreements.

Starting an SDA agreement or Residential tenancy agreement

Providers and residents can enter into or establish an agreement. They can 'enter into' the agreement if the resident can:

  • understand the agreement without a support person, and
  • sign it themselves.

An agreement is 'established' if the resident:

  • needs a support person to help them understand the agreement, and
  • is unable to sign it due to their disability.

Providers must follow the steps for establishing an agreement. For more information, view Starting an agreement with your provider.

Rental payments in SDA

Providers and residents can agree for the rent to be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly. They must write this in the agreement. For more information, including reasonable rent contribution (RRC), view Paying rent in SDA.