The journey to living independently for someone with a disability isn’t as simple as going to an open home. It is a process that requires persistence, patience and collaboration with disability service providers to source a home and services that can meet the needs of yourself or your family member, now and into the future.

Pamela Charlton, or Aunty Pam as she lovingly called, knows the journey all too well after working with CPL and Liveable Homes Australia to find the right home for her nephew, Bradley.

Diagnosed with epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis at three-months-old, Bradley’s journey to finding a place to call home was not an easy one.

“Initially, Bradley was living with my parents, but when Mum was sick, they moved into respite care together and he hated it,” Pam said.

“When Mum died, I became Bradley’s guardian. Immediately, I knew I had to find another housing option as he used to cry every time I took him there.

“Knowing I couldn’t provide the level of care Bradley needed, I explored other housing options but found understanding those and the funding available was a mission in itself.”

Everything you need to know about SIL, SDA and applying

What’s the difference between a SIL and SDA?

Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is housing designed for people with extreme functional impairment or very high needs. While Supported Independent Living (SIL) is help and/or supervision of daily tasks to help you live as independently as possible, while building your skills. For more information on SIL, download the NDIS information pack.

Who is eligible for SDA?

To determine if you or your family member are eligible for SDA funding, you need to discuss your situation with the NDIA. Essentially you need to consider:

  • Do you have an extreme functional impairment or very high support needs?
  • Do you have an SDA needs requirement?
  • Is SDA reasonable and necessary for you?

Who is eligible for SIL funding?

SIL is best suited for participants with high support needs. If SIL is deemed the most appropriate support, funding will be provided as part of your NDIS support plan. The amount of SIL funding will be determined by the level and type of support required. For more information, click here.

How do I apply?

To apply, you will need approval from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) confirming your  eligibility. To do this, submit a Change of Circumstances request to the NDIA outlining the goal of finding housing and why. The process can take some time as it will require functional capacity assessments, so try your best to remain patient.


After gaining support from CPL who helped her to navigate the NDIS, Pam was able to move Bradley out of respite care and into an existing CPL home with three other co-tenants.

“I was so nervous about how Bradley would handle it, but he took to it right away,” Pam said.

“After seeing Bradley with his co-tenants, I knew I made the right choice. They instantly hit it off, and I just loved watching how his relationships with them and his support workers developed over time.”

That was 15 years ago, and Pam hasn’t missed a Saturday lunch since. Over time she’s become an aunty for all the tenants and was more than happy to be a part of journey to finding a new place to live in 2020.

“As far as I am concerned, those kids are all my family and I would do anything for them,” Pam said.

With Bradley and his co-tenants having outgrown their old place, CPL and Liveable Homes Australia worked together to create a new purpose-built home in Torquay that would meet their needs now and into the future.

“CPL does a marvellous job looking after Bradley and his co-tenants,” Pam said.

“The new home has a fully accessible kitchen featuring height-adjustable benchtops allowing them to all be included in meal prep and cooking.

Pam said she would advise anyone thinking of finding a new home for someone with a disability to work with CPL.

“I’ve seen a real change in Bradley and his co-tenants over the past 15 years and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them and their beautiful new home,” she said.

“I am quite happy with how our journey turned out with CPL - It was a match made in heaven.”

Are you looking at disability housing options for yourself or a family member? Call CPL on 1800 275 753 or check out our current SIL and SDA vacancies.