Shared supported accommodation – your rights and responsibilities

Shared Supported Accommodation (SSA) provides care and support for people with disabilities. SSAs are houses with paid carers that provide a 24-hour shared care model of support which can include help with personal care, engaging residents in day to day activities, assistance with medication, behavioural support (if required) and completing exercises/rehabilitation as recommended by a health professional.

SSAs are usually private businesses. Sometimes, the company who owns or leases the house (the “landlord”) is different to the company that provides support to you in the house (the “support provider”). The aim of this information is to explain your rights and responsibilities in Shared Supported Accommodation.

Your right to choose

Moving into Shared Supported Accommodation can be a big life change. It is your responsibility to choose a service that suits you, so it’s important to do your research. Important things to consider when choosing a SSA include:

  • The location of the property – consider proximity to family and friends, and also the ability to access services and activities in the community that are important to you.
  • Who is the disability support provider? Note that one support provider provides support services to all residents at a property.
  • The number of residents in the house.
  • The size of the bedroom – is it a separate bedroom big enough to your personal belongings and any assistive equipment you need?
  • The number and size of shared living spaces/outdoor spaces.
  • The types of services provided.
  • The fees and charges.
  • How and when you will be informed of changes to fees and charges and the provision of goods and services.
  • Your rights and responsibilities in the house.
  • Whether the timetable and routine of the SSA suits you, e.g. meal times.
  • Procedures for receiving and handling complaints, including the external avenues of complaint available to residents.
  • The house rules, including visitor access.

Your right to information

When you move into a SSA, you also have rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. Your rights include the right to information. Before you move into a SSA, it is important that the landlord provides you with:

  • A Tenancy Agreement which both you and the landlord sign outlining each party’s responsibilities in regards to your tenancy
  • A contact name and number for any maintenance problems with the house
  • A copy of the Statement of Rights and Duties from the Landlord in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you receive all this information.

Your right to quality care

You have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect and dignity, having choice and control over your daily life
  • Be served balanced, varied and nutritious food
  • Privacy in safe, home-like surroundings
  • Participate in valued social roles of your own choosing, based on your own interests and preferences
  • Choose your own recreational activities
  • Have visitors and be socially active
  • Look after your own finances wherever possible

You can read more about your rights to quality care in our Your Care Brochure.

Your right to the safe administration of medicine

If you need assistance with administering your medication, the support coordinator of the home must make sure your medications are:

  • Safely and securely stored at all times
  • Taken at the right times in the right doses, as prescribed by your doctor
  • Kept in the container supplied by the chemist.

Your right to complain

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 it is your right and responsibility to make a complaint if you are unhappy with any aspect of living in an SSA.

For more information about your rights visit engage.vic.gov.au/fairersaferhousing

Where to get help

If you have a complaint or concern here are some steps you can take:

  • If your concern relates to the services or support (including meals and activities) you can speak with staff at the SSA or your TAC Coordinator. You can also raise a complaint with the TAC’s Disability Provider Quality Assurance Team via dpqa@tac.vic.gov.au
  • If your concern relates to your residential agreement or the building environment, you can speak to the landlord.
  • If you have concerns about abuse, neglect or exploitation by your TAC funded supports, including the SSA, you can contact the TAC Abuse and Neglect Report Line at reportabuse@tac.vic.gov.au or 1800 931 233.

The TAC expects that you will be treated with respect and will be supported to speak up about any concerns you have.

If you are unhappy with how you have been treated after making a complaint or would like extra help to raise your concerns you can use the following services:

  • Make a complaint to the Disability Services Commissioner at 1800 677 342.
  • You can request a visit from a Community Visitor in a Victorian disability accommodation service, supported residential service or mental health facility by contacting the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) Advice Service on 1300 309 337.

Things to remember

If you live in an SSA, you have rights and responsibilities. If you have a complaint, there are many different options to have your voice heard.

If you are unhappy with your TAC funded supports, you can talk to the TAC.

For extra help you can contact the following services: