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.
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.
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 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.
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:
- 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.
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
- mobile phone bills.
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).
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).