Sector Bulletin: NDIS and homelessness


Council to Homeless Persons sector bulletin header

Sector bulletin

26 May 2017

The NDIS and homelessness – new CHP report released

Dear colleagues

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) roll out has begun, with people in Barwon, North Eastern Melbourne, Central Highlands, and Loddon now able to access the scheme.

While this will deliver long-awaited services to many people, it may present challenges for people with disability who are also homeless.

During the NDIS trial in Barwon many people experiencing homelessness who also had complex mental health needs faced difficulties in having their needs met within the NDIS. These included people with complex mental health needs not:

  • knowing about the scheme or
  • acknowledging that they had a disability or being willing to access the scheme
  • being able to negotiate the access requirements
  • receiving or opening the correspondence critical to the application process
  • being deemed eligible
  • getting support that met their needs.

The trial also identified some great successes, with people better able to sustain their housing and having improved wellbeing when receiving NDIS supports.
As these issues are very important to our sector and to people experiencing homelessness, the Council to Homeless Persons commissioned a report to identify:

  1. How the sector can best support people to access the NDIS
  2. What needs to change to address gaps and barriers to access.

This report: Homelessness and the National Disability Insurance Scheme: challenges and solutions is available here for your information.
This report represents a starting point for CHP’s advocacy and capacity building work relating to the NDIS. Over the coming months CHP will develop:

  • ‘cheat sheets’ for direct service staff to provide information about how to access the NDIS
  • a survey for workers to capture what is working and what isn’t
  • a sector working group of member organisations who are actively supporting clients to access the NDIS – please be in touch if you wish to be involved in this group.

These challenges will also be the focus of a plenary at the CHP Homelessness Conference on 13 &14 September. Registrations are now open!

We hope you will get actively involved in our work on the NDIS by telling us:

  • your experience of supporting people to access the NDIS. What is working well, and what is a challenge?
  • what further information you need to support people to access the NDIS.

Please send any feedback on these questions, or on the report attached, to our Manager Policy and Communications Kate Colvin at or contact CHP on 8415-6200 to arrange a time for a phone conversation.