Housing

All women with disability have a right to a safe place to live.

This page has information on things like finding accessible housing and getting support with daily living.  

Emergency and crisis housing

Sometimes things happen that mean people require emergency housing or shelter.

If you need emergency housing or support to find a bed urgently you can find a local service on the Homelessness Australia website (external link).

Watch the Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute video (external website) about finding accessible housing:

Tip: Click the subtitles button in the bottom right hand corner of the video to turn closed captions on and off.
Photo of a young woman in a wheelchair looking out the window.

Planning to move out

Whether you are living with your family, want to move out and live by yourself, or you are moving from one house to another, it is important to think about and plan your budget, your support network and accessibility.

Your budget

Regardless of whether you have a job and earn money, or get support through Centrelink, everyone needs a budget.

When you are looking to buy or rent a house, it is important to work out what you can afford.

The Money Smart website (external link) has budget calculators that can help you with budgeting.

Your support network

Moving to a new house can be hard, so it is important to know who you can ask for help if you need it.

Some people that might be able to support you include your family members, friends, neighbours and support people. Write down their contact details or put them in your phone for when you need them.

Tip: Download our checklist to help you work out your housing support needs.

House sharing

House sharing with family, friends, or even people you have not met before can be a great way to live independently and affordably.

When you are looking for a share house, or people to live with, it is important to discuss your needs with the people you will be living with and to work out how you will share responsibilities such as bills, household chores and buying groceries.

If you are looking for people to share a house with you can:

  • talk to friends and family
  • put a flyer on a noticeboard at a local community centre
  • search on sites like Flatmate.com (external link) or Gumtree (external link).
Did you know?

Women with disability are one of the groups most affected by the lack of affordable housing in Australia.


Home share programs

Most states and territories in Australia have co-share or home share programs. These programs match people with disability who need practical help to live at home with people who can offer accommodation or people who are looking for accommodation themselves.

Home share arrangements benefit both people as they lower the cost of accommodation and allow the individuals to share difficult tasks. If you are interested in home sharing, the Homeshare Australia website (external link) can help you find a suitable home share arrangement that meets your needs.

Accessible housing  

When you are looking for accommodation you may need to consider the modifications a house will require in order to be able to meet your needs.

Unfortunately, the majority of houses in Australia are not built to be accessible for people with physical disability. There are supports in place, however, to help you pay for any changes you need to be made to your home. This could include:

  • ramps
  • handles on walls and stairs
  • movable benches
  • accessible toilets
  • kitchen modifications
  • specific lighting
  • sound-proof rooms or screens
  • support workers to assist with cooking and cleaning.

NDIS and housing

If you have a disability, you may be able to get funding to help with housing costs through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS provides two types of support to help with housing:

1.   People-based support

This includes funding for support people, like occupational therapists or support workers, to teach or train you in daily living skills. The NDIS will fund people to help you with what you are not able to do, or need assistance to do. This may include cleaning, showering and dressing. You may choose to employ your own staff with the funding or use an organisation that provides staff.

2. Bricks and mortar support

This includes funding to make physical changes to your current home to make it accessible. For some people it may also include funding to build a new house that is accessible.

Please note: The NDIS will not pay your rent, bond, power, telephone or water costs. There are other types of Government support you can apply for to help with those costs. You can find out more on our Money page.

Rent and bills

Many women with disability rent houses. If you pay rent and have bills to pay, it is important to have a budget so you can cover all of your expenses.

Photo of a pile of Australian bank notes.

Direct debit

If you are struggling to remember to pay your bills, you can set up Direct Debit arrangements through your bank. This will allow any regular payments you need to make to be automatically taken out of your bank account. You can use Direct Debit to pay your rent and other regular bills, such as:

  • child care
  • electricity
  • mobile phone bills.

Rent assistance  

If you are on a low income, or receiving support from Centrelink, you can apply for Rent Assistance to help with the cost of your rent.

Tip: You can find out more about rent assistance on the Centrelink website (external link).


Tenants' unions

If you are renting you may need to follow certain rules such as having regular house inspections and paying bills on time. However, as a renter you also have rights.

For example, you have the right to be told at least a month before about:

  • house inspections
  • increases in rent
  • evictions (being told to move out).

Your rights about the exact amount of notice you need to be given and other matters depends on the law in your state/territory. To find more, you can contact your local Tenants' Union or community legal centre.

Tip: You can find the Tenants' Union in your state by visiting the Tenants' Union Australia wide website (external link).

Important Resources

External website
Summer Foundation: National Disability Insurance Scheme Housing Resources
Resources to help with getting support for housing through the NDIS.
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Download Word (accessible)
Download PDF
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External website
Western Australia Individualised Services: Shared Lives
A website providing accessible guides to shared living.
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Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Easy Read PDF
Watch Video
Checklist
Our Site Checklist: Working Out Your Housing Support Needs
If you are moving out of home, or moving into a house by yourself, this checklist can help you work out things you may need to ask for help with.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
Download PDF
Listen Now
Download PDF
Easy Read PDF
Watch Video
External website
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): Housing and Living Supports
he NDIS provide a range of home and living support services. You can find out more about them on this web page.
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Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
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External website
Centrelink: Rent Assistance
A website with information about how people receiving Centrelink payments can apply for help with the cost of rent.
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Easy Read PDF
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External website
Homelessness Australia: Services
A website listing services in each state and territory that can help if you are experiencing domestic violence or homelessness.
Apple App Store
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Visit Website
Download Word (accessible)
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Listen Now
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Easy Read PDF
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Where to next:

External website
Homeshare Australia
Organisation that matches people with disability with people who have space to share their home.
Apple App Store
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Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Download PDF
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External website
Independent Living Centres Australia
Information about products and services to help people remain independent and improve their quality of life.
Apple App Store
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Visit Website
Accessible Word File
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External website
Tenants Unions Australia wide
A website that can help you find your local Tenants Union.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Download PDF
Watch Video
External website
The Good Universities Guide: Student Accommodation
Information about accommodation options for students studying at University or TAFE.
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External website
Mission Australia: Housing
A website to help you find affordable housing in Australia.
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External website
Welfare Rights Centre
The Welfare rights centre is a organisation that provides advice to people about their social security rights, including information about Centrelink and other government supports.
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Accessible Word File
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External website
Disability Housing Australia
A website to help you find and advertise disability friendly, accessible housing in Australia.
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