Review of the Boarding Houses Act

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Anonymous

Questions on possible options

  1. Are the objects of the Boarding Houses Act 2012 still valid? Why or why not?

    • No, the industry have changed since the introduction of the NDIS, there are so many different types of houses now that participants can live in (ABH, SIL, BH and private) • NDIS Service Providers should be able to provide all services to NDIS participants based on their needs and not be governed by the Boarding House Act, as this is currently overregulated • No, people who reside in SIL accommodation are currently exempt from the ABH regulations (which they are currently about to come under), but this should not happen. My issue is, if a participant with a mental illness, with high complex needs and challenging behaviours has been successfully assessed by professionals in the health industry for a SIL package and chooses (choice and control) not to live alone, but wants to share a premises with another person not related to him/her with a disability, whom also has a SIL package, currently under the ABH legislation, the home that they live in, must then become an "Assisted Boarding House", as it states in the Act "when two or more unrelated people living together with a disability, this is then an Assisted Boarding House". If that is the case, then the clients would loose their SIL package, as SIL packages are not currently provided to participants living in a Assisted Boarding Houses. So, it would go around in a circle... • participant obtains successful SIL package (arduous and complex process) • client chooses (out of choice and control) to share with another unrelated person • then the house becomes an ABH because they are not related and both have disabilities • Clients loose SIL package and complex behaviours/health are then not fully supported • Client looses choice and control of life and this is in direct conflict of the NDIS policies and procedures. This reasoning was advised directly from the Enforcement Team, that all SIL houses should now be Assisted Boarding Houses. They cant come under two Acts, its impossible to comply with both are they are in conflict with each other. This current situation is ridiculous, participants are being disadvantaged and discriminated against under the current legislation. Also, if the ABH Screening Tool, which has approximately 83 questions, in its current form applied to all NDIS SIL recipients and enforced by the BH Enforcement team, no one would gain entry to any types of accommodation in NSW, other than a non-regulated Boarding House, which is discrimination as the Boarding House Screening Tool would exclude them. We would have massive waiting lists of people with disabilities backed up in Psychiatric Hospitals, and people never being able to make the criteria of the current cumbersome ABH screening Tool (as it exists now). • it has become impossible for proprietors to meet both regulations the (Boarding House Regulations Act and NDIS Compliance and Regulations). Although similar in limited ways, they are virtually impossible to adhere to simultaneously. Each ABH proprietor is finding it near impossible to find correct information and to combine the NDIS compliance & ABH legislation, as this is currently conflicting and confusing. • proprietors are trying to follow both legislations, in a recent NDIS engagement meeting, proprietors were told that a “registered NDIS providers who are also an ABH may be acting fraudulently” the person from the NDIS was not able to give definitions or clarification on this statement, as the information she was referring to is bias (from the Enforcement Team). How can a qualified NDIS registered provider be in breach? for simply providing NDIS services they are registered for? This type of overarching threat of fraud, is unacceptable and should be reviewed and changed.

  2. Are there any types of premises which should be included in or excluded from the Act?

    YES, people who reside in NDIS Shared Independent Living (SIL) accommodation should also be exempt from the BH regulations. The SIL houses are Commonwealth funded and must comply with their own auditing rules, compliance and procedures under Commonwealth legislation. It is and has been proven by the Assisted Boarding House sector that trying to comply with Federal legislation simultaneously, and the onerous State boarding house legislation cannot co-exist together as they are in direct conflict of each other. Currently, the Boarding House Act states that “two or more unrelated people with a disability living together, it must be a Boarding House”. With the current changes that have taken place over the past years regarding changing the model to look after people with a disability, it has gone from an Institution living model (150/200 people), to a very large shared accommodation model (30 to 100 people), to smaller ABH & BH (20 people) models to now SIL houses (2 to 3 in a home). Currently the Real Estate Market cannot supply enough ‘single dwellings’ for those with a disability to live alone, and a lot of these people, DO NOT WANT to live alone, as they have often requested to live with others. If participants with a disability want to live in a shared accommodation with each other, either with SIL funding or not, renting their own premises (actually on the lease themselves), does this then also mean that then those people would have to become an “Assisted Boarding House” and be governed by the Enforcement Team, as there two or more unrelated people living together with a disability ??? THIS IS CRAZY and needs clarification on how the model runs with what specific legislation. It needs to be sorted out and be clearer. “The Boarding Houses Act 2012” conflicts with the NDIS regulations. This was proven from NDIS engagement meetings (held for ABH proprietors during the first 6 months of 2019) the meetings turned out to be extremely confusing. The NDIS engagement person showed a power point presentation, that had incorrect information on it and was trying to advise existing NDIS providers of their compliance, which was confusing to say the least? One key area of concern of the meeting and presentation was that, the clients of the Assisted Boarding Houses where not funded prior to the NDIS? This is not true, which concludes that whomever put this PowerPoint presentation information together did not have accurate information disseminating to NSW providers. Not good, confusing, not professional! Recommendation: That if a person wanting to live in Supported Accommodation of any type in NSW be it private run SIL houses, charity run SIL house or ABH’s SIL houses, and the participant has NDIS funding (or is eligible to have NDIS funding) they should not be subject to the Boarding House Screening Tool or be under the FACS BH Enforcement Team (ABH Act) legislation.

  3. Should the exclusion that currently applies to specialist disability accommodation for the purposes of the NDIS be extended to other NDIS service types, such as where residents are in receipt of SIL packages?

    YES - As the answer above has explained all Commonwealth funded people, whether they are residing in NDIS SDA accommodation, SIL accommodation or receiving any types of NDIS accommodation supports should be exempt from the Boarding House regulations. I believe that this is a federal matter and FACS BH Enforcement Team should have no jurisdiction. As all accommodation providers have been approved through the quality safeguards commission to provide services. Recommendation: That if a person wanting to live in Supported Accommodation of any type in NSW be it private run SIL houses, charity run SIL house or ABH’s SIL houses, and the participant has NDIS funding (or is eligible to have NDIS funding) they should subject to the same criteria.

  4. What are the benefits of the two tier system in NSW? How does it compare with systems in other jurisdictions? Please provide comments.

    There is no benefit to the two system especially for the Assisted Boarding House sector. This name should have never been given to Assisted Boarding Houses. It has generated negative connotations from the start from what it was intended to do. It has not only defamed the proprietors but also been discriminative towards the disadvantaged people who reside in them. ABH’s should not be under state legislation most participants are NDIS funded and now have Federal Legislation. Why do we need two legislations? This is overload of bureaucracy and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

  5. Should anything be changed in, or added to, the list of information provided to the Commissioner?

    Yes, the name Assisted Boarding House needs to be changed to “Supported Accommodation” or “Assisted Accommodation”. The BH legislation should be dropped, as ABH’s proprietors are NDIS providers and we should come under Federal NDIS legislation only. As for registration, our businesses are registered with the Quality Safeguards Commission, which providers are required to go through stringent audits to stay compliant. This information can be found on the NDIS portal. The portal provides general information, provider registration groups, the business names, phone number and addresses. The quality safeguards commission already has this information and more. In an ABH, clients are required to go through a Screening Tool, this is lengthy and cumbersome, and we are finding in the industry that disadvantaged people are being screened out and then must go to unlicensed places. So, why shouldn’t unlicensed Boarding Houses be licensed well? and go through the same process, or why do ABH’s need to be licenced? This is clearly double standards and discrimination in the industry.

  6. Is the information on the public Register sufficient? Why or why not?

    Yes, there seems to be enough information.

  7. What other information could be added to, or removed from, the public Register?

    There is adequate information provided on the register.

  8. Should the Commissioner have the power to remove the details of a boarding house from the public Register under prescribed circumstances, if it has ceased to be used as a boarding house?

    Yes, they must be taken off the register, who is the Commissioner?

  9. How could we improve the local regulation of boarding houses?

    General Boarding Houses are under regulated and should come in line with the same legislation as Assisted Boarding Houses or ideally, remove these draconic regulations all together. Currently, Assisted Boarding Houses are overregulated with conflicting legislations. It is getting impossible for providers to have concurrent regulations to comply with, both Federal and State legislation as outlined in question 1.

  10. Should councils be required to let NSW Fair Trading know of enforcement action against boarding houses, so that it can be recorded in the Register?

    No, as this can be used as another defamatory tool against Assisted Boarding Houses, there needs to be real safeguards around this.

  11. Are there any provisions of the Standard Occupancy Agreement which should be changed, or are any additional provisions required?

    No, It should just be called an Occupancy Agreement, not board (house) and lodgings

  12. Do you have any comments on the use of either the Standard Occupancy Agreement, or other occupancy agreements?

    There are no current issues or problems with the Occupancy Agreement, it is ok in its current state. It covers all that is required of living in rented places.

  13. How aware are you of the occupancy principles?

    Very aware of the principles, we have so many principles now, I think there is enough, that covers everything needed.

  14. Should the occupancy principles be handed separately to each resident when they enter a boarding house or is it enough to include them in the Occupancy Agreement?

    They are provided (handed) a copy of these principles upon commencement of accommodation tenancy, which is all outlined in the Occupancy Agreement, which states all the principles. Handing to individual principals to some residents, would become an overload to them.

  15. Should the occupancy principles be clearly displayed on a notice board in a common area in the boarding house?

    This should be the discretion of each individual home, there are enough rules and regulations required displayed now on walls.

  16. Are the occupancy principles useful and appropriate?

    Yes, but some of the principles are not clearly defined, such as “premises are to be reasonably clean, in a reasonable state” needs to be explained more, what is ‘reasonable to one person/home may not be the same for another. It needs reviewing and clearer explanations provided.

  17. Are the occupancy principles being complied with? If not, why not?

    Yes, Always.

  18. Should any other information be provided to a resident when they move into a boarding house? For example, a fact sheet with information about access to outside services, such as dental, Housing NSW, casework psychologists.

    Most Assisted Boarding Houses provide above and beyond information to their residents.

  19. Should any information be provided to operators of boarding houses, for example, a fact sheet outlining their responsibilities?

    In ABH’s, responsibilities are already outlined in the Act (Section 30, Schedule 1) Also highlighted within occupancy agreement. This is already in place, it is all in NDIS/FACS occupancy agreements, we don’t need more.

  20. Are the occupancy principle provisions for termination and notice working or are there any changes which should be made?

    No charges need to be made – already outlined in occupancy agreement.

  21. Do the suggested notice periods in the Standard Occupancy Agreement constitute “reasonable notice” for terminating an agreement by either a proprietor or a resident? If not, why not?

    • ABH – Yes – agree reasonable notice is provided. • Yes – all good from both sides. As long as rules are outlined prior to moving in.

  22. Should a proprietor be required to provide a reason for terminating an agreement? Why or why not?

    • ABH – Yes, to ensure no discriminatory practices. Already documented with the Act. • Yes, as long as they are aware of rules/regulations when they move in.

  23. Do the current provisions provide sufficient security for residents of boarding houses?

    • ABH – Disputable resolution process. And Consistent over monitoring by Enforcement Team. • Should be, if not provided and an opportunity for resident to have an advocate (NOT FACS)

  24. How aware are you of the dispute resolution mechanisms available for house residents and proprietors?

    well documented process with the occupancy agreement already.

  25. How effective and appropriate are the current dispute resolution processes?

    n/a – have not been through the resolution process.

  26. Do you have any other suggestions to encourage the early resolution of boarding house disputes and to reduce the number of boarding house disputes?

    n/a – have not been through the resolution process.

  27. Is the definition of a “person with additional needs” clear? If not, why not?

    • Need name changed from “Assisted Boarding House” to “Supported Accommodation” or “Assisted Accommodation” • Yes, again the name does not help the clients that reside in ABH’s as they are continually discriminated against, because of this name.

  28. Does the definition need to be more detailed?

    It needs a name change to Assisted Accommodation or Supported Accommodation; the clients are continually being discriminated against because of the current name ABH and are losing their right of choice and control.

  29. Should it make reference to the Disability Support Pension as an indicator that the person may have “additional needs”?

    The Disability Support Pension (DSP) does not (and never did) pay for support services in Assisted Boarding Houses: (Table 1 below) Over the past 3-6 months, an NDIA Engagement Officer, together with the NSW FACs Enforcement Team representatives (Rory O’Neil, Peter Matthews, Andrew Don, Dale Ashbury, Janice Deheny or any combination of these reps), have held meetings with proprietors of Sydney’s ABHs to discuss what the DSP should cover and what the NDIS should cover. The NDIA Engagement Officers often referred to the BH Screening Tool as a point of reference during these meetings. Interestingly again, at one of these meetings, an ABH proprietor was told by Rory O’Neil (who has often suggested closing down of ABH’s if a proprietor is not in agreeance with the Regulations, rather than working collaboratively with ABH proprietors to find best solutions for all involved): “If the participant comes into an ABH the support services are paid from the ABH fee structure”. This is totally incorrect information as Appendix 11 of the Assisted Boarding Houses Authorisation and Monitoring Manual shows. DSP and ABH Fee Structure. The ABH fee structure cannot sustain, nor could it ever sustain, the participants additional supports needed. Occupancy fees for ABHs mainly cover weekly rent for furnished rooms, food, groceries, “reasonable” cleaning, maintenance and utilities. They do not cover any extra support services required by residents because of their disabilities. Prior to the introduction of the NDIS, NSW ADHC provided block funding for these additional supports via service providers (ALI, Homecare, Australian Unity etc) who were sent to ABH premises to provide these supports to the residents who required them. Those same services are still required by residents because of their disabilities, however, ADHC funding for these supports has been replaced by individual NDIS funding for the same supports and services. Those supports and services were never paid for through the residents’ DSP or the Occupancy fees paid to an ABH. Additionally, and very importantly (referring to the power-point document used in the meetings ‘ABH presentation 2019, “there is no legislation either Social Services, Centrelink or the Boarding House Regulations that state that a participant living in an ABH can only purchase support services through their DSP”. This would be considered discrimination towards the DSP recipient and not in the spirit of NDIS’s choice and control It has become impossible for providers to meet both regulations the (Boarding House Regulations and NDIS Regulations) although similar in limited ways they are virtually impossible to adhere to simultaneously. Each ABH proprietor is finding it impossible to find correct information and to combine the NDIS & ABH legislation becomes conflicting. As a result of the NDIS engagement meeting, although trying to follow both legislations, in the recent NDIS engagement meetings we were told that a “registered NDIS provider who is also an ABH may be acting fraudulently” the person was not able to give definitions as she had been given incorrect information. For simply providing NDIS services they are registered for. This type of overarching threat cannot be tolerated. Our clientele have many ways of being paid not just via the (DSP). Not anywhere in any of these legislations does it say that the Disability Support Pension (DSP), Centrelink New start payments, Veteran affairs payments, self-funded retires are required to pay for extra services out their funds.

  30. Should it be linked to, or make reference to, NDIS eligibility where those NDIS funded supports are to address a disability support need which is permanent, or likely to be permanent (i.e. not a one-off package for equipment or for where the support is time limited and is not intended to be permanent)?

    No, definitely not.

  31. Should it be made identical to the definition in Section 24 of the National Disability Insurance Act 2013 (with a provision to also include people with an age related disability as people aged 65 years and over are not eligible for the NDIS)?

    • Yes, continuity of supports for over 65. • Should get the same funding packages regardless of age

  32. Should the present two-tiered system of “assisted” and “general” boarding houses remain unchanged, and only “assisted boarding houses”, as presently defined, be allowed to accommodate a person with “additional needs” under the legislation? Why or why not?

    • The assisted boarding house name should be changed as outlined in other questions. • Why should one be regulated “Assisted Boarding House” and the other not regulated when the do the same thing. And why does one need a Screening Tool (the ABH) and the other, the Boarding House does not, its discrimination to the clients as well as the ABH. It should be the same ruling for both. • Very often clients can’t get into an Assisted Boarding House (which is regulated) via the Screening Tool, so they end up in General Boarding Houses with no regulations and very limited access to other needed services, this is crazy and needs reviewing on how this should be processed, in consultations with ABH’s and Mental Health AND the Police who have to often deal with extreme behaviours that go unchecked in a general boarding house.

  33. If you think that some general boarding houses should be allowed to accommodate some people with “additional needs” provided certain safeguards are met, what should these standards and safeguards entail?

    • The same regulations as an ABH. • Why should one be regulated “Assisted Boarding House” and the other not regulated when the do the same thing. And why does one need a Screening Tool (the ABH) and the other, the Boarding House does not, its discrimination to the clients as well as the ABH. It should be the same ruling for both. • If they also have NDIS clients they should be governed by the Quality Safeguards and not Enforcement (FACS).

  34. Should the general boarding house be allowed to accommodate a person with “additional needs” but only if the person has a “package” of supports such as under the NDIS, or provided by NSW Health?

    My issue here is, if a participant with a mental illness, with high complex needs and challenging behaviours has been successfully assessed by professionals in the health industry for a SIL package and chooses (choice and control) not to live alone, but wants to share a premises with another person not related to him/her with a disability, whom also has a SIL package, currently under the ABH legislation, the home that they live in, must then become an "Assisted Boarding House", as it states in the Act "when two or more unrelated people living together with a disability, this is then an Assisted Boarding House". If that is the case, then the clients would loose their SIL package, as SIL packages are not currently provided to participants living in a Assisted Boarding Houses. So, it would go around in a circle... • participant obtains successful SIL package (arduous and complex process) • client chooses (out of choice and control) to share with another unrelated person • then the house becomes an ABH because they are not related and both have disabilities • Clients loose SIL package and complex behaviours/health are then not fully supported • Client looses choice and control of life and this is in direct conflict of the NDIS policies and procedures. This reasoning was advised directly from the Enforcement Team, that all SIL houses should now be Assisted Boarding Houses. They cant come under two Acts, its impossible to comply with both are they are in conflict with each other. This current situation is ridiculous, participants are being disadvantaged and discriminated against under the current legislation. I would like to recommend that participants with SIL packages, come under the same legislation as SDA homes and are NOT bound by the Assisted Boarding House Act, but both governed under the NDIS Quality Safeguards Standards.

  35. If the general boarding house is allowed to accommodate people with “additional needs”, should a condition of that be that they are subject to certain requirements?

    • This is the same question as above, they should be under the NDIS quality safeguards, not Enforcement (FACS). • FACE Enforcement is outdated, and the industry has superseded this government body, it needs a total overhaul. It should be simple, if a client has and NDIS package, then the ‘home’ should be governed and regulated by the NDIS. • If the client does not have an NDIS package, the revised FACS team should regulate this.

  36. What other safeguards, if any, would be needed, and why?

    What more taxpayer’s money do you really need??? There are too many Safeguards now to comply with, NDIS, FACS, PWD, Local Council, Community visitors, Office of Ombudsman….

  37. What is the impact of specifying that only one person can be the applicant to be the licensee?

    No Comment.

  38. Should corporations and companies be excluded, given that a company can be purchased and sold, in order to prevent a buyer of a company which holds a licence of an assisted boarding house circumvent the requirement to apply for a licence?

    • No, Should not be excluded as most could be bought under company name.

  39. Is 28 days adequate time for a licensee to give notice of closure and to allow for alternative accommodation for the residents to be secured?

    • YES, Absolutely

  40. When a person is asked to answer questions, should the warning be simplified to state that the person must be advised that: (a) they have the right not to answer the question or produce documents only if they believe such answers or documents will be self-incriminating; and (b) if they do choose to say anything, anything they do say may be noted; and (c) if they say anything which is self-incriminating, it may be used against them in future legal or administrative proceedings?

    (a) they have the right not to answer the question or produce documents only if they believe such answers or documents will be self-incriminating; and Yes, Enforcement officers can be discriminatory towards ABH’s and their residents and often threaten with fraud investigation instead of trying to find resolutions and solutions for both parties and the clients. They are too power hungry. (b) if they do choose to say anything, anything they do say may be noted; and No, same as above. Enforcement Officers often use intimidation and bullying, they don’t have the best interest of the client in mind, they seem to only want to make the industry hard for business’ to look after disadvantaged people, instead of working together for the greater good. (c) if they say anything which is self-incriminating, it may be used against them in future legal or administrative proceedings? The same as above, enforcement officers are aggressive and use intimidation and seen to be discriminatory towards ABH’s and their residents and often threaten with fraud investigation instead of trying to find resolutions for all parties and the clients.

  41. Is the current requirement that one person be specified as an “authorised service provider” adequate? Should the definition of “authorised service provider” be broadened to include any employees of a named organisation providing services to an assisted boarding house?

    • No, they are employees and should not be, they are general employees of the registered business who has had to jump through the burning hoops to be an authorised provider. This is a ridiculous question. General staff have to provide a Police check, CPR, First Aid, why would they have to also be an authorised provider, unless this is just for revenue raising??

  42. Is the maximum number of 30 residents appropriate? Why or why not?

    • No this is too many to look after, unless you have a lot of staff to support this, which these clients would not get SIL funding, and therefore there would not be enough funding to properly look after them, smaller numbers of up to 6 in one house is manageable.

  43. Are the current arrangements adequate in meeting privacy needs of residents?

    • Onus placed is upon proprietor to have consent forms between licensee, resident and other service providers.

  44. Where two residents have decided to share a bedroom, should it be enforced that an additional room not less than 7.5 square metres be set aside for the exclusive use of those two residents only?

    • In an ABH, Not if they are happy to share (choice and control).

  45. Is the current requirement of 11 square metres adequate for a room that two residents choose to share?

    • Yes, it is more than adequate.

  46. Should there be a minimum size for the private or quiet room? If yes, what should this be?

    No

  47. Should a minimum size for a communal living space be specified? Why or why not? If yes, should this be based on the number of residents accommodated e.g. a specified number of square metres per resident?

    • ABH – No should be large enough to accommodate reasonable space per person – no actual lineage. • No – as long as there is enough seating for 80 – 90 % of residents that should be sufficient.

  48. Are the current provisions of the Act in relation to young persons adequate? Why or why not?

    n/a

  49. Is the current purpose of the Screening Tool still valid?

    • No. Too cumbersome. Open to miss interpretation • Discriminatory because SIL houses do not have use this process to obtain clients referrals • Screening Tool needs reviewing, but the Screening for drugs/Alcohol/violence, Goal still extremely valid. • NO, the BH screening tool should be abolished! As each ABH provider becomes registered with the NDIS and comes under the NDIS legislation the screening tool should cease. • It currently as over 80 questions in it, which can disadvantage some clients Also, if the current BH screening tool was applied to NDIS SIL accommodation recipients, and was enforced by the current NSW BH FACS Enforcement team, no one would gain entry to any types of accommodation in NSW. The Boarding House Screening tool in its current form would exclude all that were looking for accommodation. We would have people on massive waiting lists. People backed up in Psychiatric Hospitals and never being able to make the criteria of the ABH screening tool, so where do they go? The Screening Tool threshold questions (Threshold questions are questions if answered incorrectly will screen a person out, hence deemed ineligible to enter an Assisted Boarding House but not to an unlicensed Boarding House, which is currently unregulated, it doesn’t make sense to do that), which most social workers have indicated that, that is where they send clients after being discharged from hospital. The increasing number of threshold questions without consultation is a serious problem, there are currently over 80 questions. The fact that no ABH proprietors are ever informed of changes to this process is unacceptable. ABH proprietors should be notified of and should be consulted with, to be able to review questions like: • why they are being increased? • who increases them? • with what authority? Screening Tool Comparisons over a 9-year period: (I have asked Australian Unity for the latest BH screening tool, but they will not send this out? Is it a secret? ). The original purpose of the Screening Tool was to assess a person’s (living with mental health or disability) suitability to reside in an ABH depending on their functional capacities. Initially, most genuine and professional ABH proprietors were in agreeance to the introduction of the Screening Tool and the relevance of it. It had a place and purpose in the industry at the time, before the introduction of the NDIS. With the introduction of the NDIS in NSW, the Screening Tool should be made redundant as participants with a disability are now assessed and determined via the NDIS assessment process and service providers are required to go through a rigorous approval process as well. ABH’s proprietors have seen the boarding house screening tool be increasingly used we feel as a ‘weapon’ to significantly restrict the participants entering an Assisted Boarding Houses. The ABH Enforcement Team have used it beyond its original intention. BH Screening Tool Blockage to Business Improvements and Growth The NDIS is a business opportunity for proprietors to supply additional NDIS services to the existing clients. Instead, The ABH Screening Tool screening has been incorrectly and discriminatively used to limit any potential business options over the years for ABH Proprietors. The NDIS has opened a new marketplace for all business and it should not exclude Assisted Boarding Houses who are certified and/or verified to be NDIS providers. The Screening Tool was never intended to, and should NOT be used to, stop private ABH businesses from providing or claiming NDIS services and supports if they are approved NDIS registered providers. To grow, diversify and improve business opportunities within the NDIS sector the Screening Tool must terminate. The ABH sector is in desperate need of an independent party who is NOT involved with FACs (the BH Enforcement team), who can assess these issues, inform ABH proprietors (without bias) of any alterations to key rules, regulations, amendments and decisions that impact the Screening Tool and the ABH structure. In any other business sector, this lack of information and lack of transparency would be considered unlawful. The ABH Screening Tool is no longer relevant and should be discontinued. As proprietors move under the NDIA (Quality Safeguards Commission) and NDIA Federal legislation under which they are certified to provide NDIA supports to participants. Recommendation: That if a person seeking accommodation in an ABH and has an NDIS package or is in the process of getting an NDIS package they do not need a Boarding House Screening tool done. Persons who are not eligible for the NDIS they are still subject to the screening Tool.

  50. If an assisted boarding house resident, actual or proposed, has a package of supports which meets their needs, should he or she be considered eligible to live in an assisted boarding house regardless of their level of need? (For instance, if a person needed daily personal care but he or she had an NDIS package where he or she could purchase those supports, could this be delivered in an assisted boarding house?)

    Yes. it already is being done successfully except for the ABH screening tool restrictions. An ABH proprietor who is a registered NDIS provider and is qualified to provide individualised services, then they should be considered by the participant as a service provider. Once a company or a person becomes verified or certified with the NDIS, they should be able to offer the participant in-house support services if the participant chooses. Moreover, not giving this choice and control to participants simply because they live in an ABH is discriminatory towards not only the participant but also the ABH proprietors. Recommendation: The support is already provided in ABH’s by the way of NDIS funding. However, the conflicting regulations and the misinformation given to the NDIS is a concern.

  51. Are the current provisions of the Act adequate in relation to abuse and neglect?

    • Yes, we have Commissioner, Community Visitor, Council, Enforcement, Ombudsman the industry are over regulated at the TAX PAYERS EXPENSE.

  52. Should there be a clause in the Regulation which states that in a boarding house which is authorised to accommodate a person with additional needs, a receipt for any money received from, or on behalf of that person, must be issued to the person and a copy of all such receipts kept? This includes details of the purpose of the receipt of money or payment.

    • There should be regulations in the industry to protect the resident • If financial assistance is required, the resident can go under TAG, receipts should be provided/kept on record as any other business • People who can manage their finances should.

  53. Should there be a clause in the Regulation which specifically covers financial exploitation? If yes, given many residents of assisted boarding houses have difficulty managing their finances, how would “exploitation” be defined and differentiated from “assistance”?

    • Residents in ABH have an assessment for TAG either if they have NDIS package or not, they are fully supported.

  54. If yes, should the clause also cover the management and delivery of the resident’s NDIS Plan?

    • NO, this should remain separate with two identities delivering separate functions • No – the NDIS plans should be the coordinators/Accountants/families & Advocacy handle their plans.

  55. Are the current provisions of the Act in relation to record keeping adequate?

    • Yes, we are administration heavy

  56. Should the records required to be kept by an assisted boarding house, and which are therefore available for inspection by a Department of Communities and Justice boarding house enforcement officer, be expanded to include: a) Occupancy Agreements? b) NDIS Plans and NDIS Service Agreements? c) Payments to a service provider under the NDIS Plan? d) Any other record or document?

    a) Occupancy Agreements? No – only with the client’s agreements b) NDIS Plans and NDIS Service Agreements? No - Only if content has been given by the resident c) Payments to a service provider under the NDIS Plan? Absolutely Not – if they are a different regulating body, why should they see what providers are being paid, this is governed, regulated, audited by the NDIS, NOT other bodies. d) Any other record or document? No – if they are a different regulating body, why should they see what providers are being paid, this is governed, regulated, audited by the NDIS, NOT other bodies.

At our discretion we may remove parts of submissions because of length, content, appropriateness or confidentiality (privacy) reasons.

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