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What is the Housing Hub?

The Housing Hub is a new website that advertises housing vacancies for people with disability.  It also has a library of useful information about housing options and planning people’s move.

Why do we need the Housing Hub?

In Australia, around 122,000 people with disability don’t have affordable housing that enables them to live independently.In the past, people with disability didn’t have a lot of choice about where they live and who they live with – many people had to live where their support provider was located.

While the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is encouraging an increasing number of housing providers, many new providers don’t have a lot of experience with, or connections to, people with disability.

People with disability are getting more control over their housing and support options, and a wider variety of housing is needed. Both housing providers and housing seekers may need assistance to connect. The Housing Hub aims to provide these connections, as well as gathering valuable information about the types of housing that people with disability are looking for.

What types of housing are advertised on the Housing Hub?

At the moment, the Housing Hub lists vacancies from a range of housing providers across most States nationally. Vacancies may include:

  • Existing Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) vacancies – offered through governments and other registered providers
  • New SDA developments
  • Non-SDA supported accommodation – offered through the Department of Health and Human Services (Vic) and other registered providers
  • Private rental – offered through mainstream real estate agents
  • Registered Supported Residential Services (SRS) – offered through independent providers
  • Registered rooming houses – offered through independent providers

As the website develops, the number and range of vacancies will continue to grow.

Which areas are currently being listed?

The Housing Hub has begun expanding to other regions. This expansion takes time to make sure we continue to provide the best service possible for housing seekers and housing providers.We are currently accepting listings for properties in the following states:

  • NEW SOUTH WALES (Sydney and Regional NSW)
  • QUEENSLAND (Brisbane and Regional QLD)
  • SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Adelaide and Regional SA)
  • VICTORIA (Melbourne and Regional VIC)
  • WESTERN AUSTRALIA (Perth and Regional WA)

We hope to accept listings for other states and territories in the near future.

Tell me more about the testing period

Between 23 August and 10 November 2017, we tested the prototype website in North Eastern Melbourne and NSW Hunter New England areas to see how well it worked and what features people would like to see in a fully rolled out website.We held dozens of conversations with people in Victoria and NSW about their thoughts on the website, conducted surveys and ran data analysis on how the website was being used.

Who participated in the trial?

  • During the trial period almost 8500 people visited the website and over 280 people attended our face-to-face feedback sessions.
  • We spoke to support professionals, people with disability and their friends and family, and health, allied health or aged care professionals.

What we learnt

  • 86 percent of people at the feedback sessions told us a housing vacancy website would help them to find housing.
  • We were told some of the main benefits of a national vacancy website would be:
    • The huge time saving for both people with disability and professionals
    • Helping families plan for the future
    • Building capacity and confidence in people with disability to find the right housing
  • We learnt about the sort of housing vacancies and website features people would like to see in a national website, and how the website can help support housing providers in the new NDIS housing market.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for Housing Seekers to search, browse and apply to properties listed on the Housing Hub.In 2018, Housing Providers can list their properties for free.

In 2019, Housing Providers will be charged each time they list or relist a property. Please see the Pricing page for details.

How is privacy and safety maintained?

Only approved providers can list vacancies on the Housing Hub. Vacancies are managed by the housing provider and must meet legislative requirements and the provider’s vacancy-listing guidelines.The Housing Hub is a connection service only. Enquiries about vacancies will link back to the housing provider’s website and will be covered by the provider’s existing guidelines.

Who is responsible for the Housing Hub?

The Summer Foundation has built the Housing Hub test website and is responsible for growing vacancy listings, data collection and the business case development. The Housing Hub site was originally funded through a Sector Development Fund Grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS).The Summer Foundation is working with state and commonwealth governments, the community-housing sector, the real estate sector, people with disability and their informal and formal support networks to make the Housing Hub work.

How can I provide feedback on the Housing Hub?

If you’d like to provide feedback, submit your contact details in the ‘We’d like to hear from you’ feature at the bottom of the website and a project team member will be in touch.Feedback on the Housing Hub is also being collected in other ways:

  • Activity on the Housing Hub will be analysed (but your personal information will always be kept private)
  • Housing providers who use the Housing Hub will be surveyed

The information gathered will be used to improve the Housing Hub and work out how it could best work across Australia. It will also show the housing market where people with a disability want to live and in what types of housing.

How can I find out more?

Please contact the housing provider directly about specific vacancies.For general enquiries about the Housing Hub, please email enquiries@thehousinghub.org.au and a team member will be in touch within seven days.

More information on SDA and other housing resources are available on this website.