Do you urgently need somewhere to stay?

If you urgently need somewhere to stay tonight or in the next seven days please talk with us. Call 0800 559 009 or come into your nearest Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Service Centre.

We can help you

We’ll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help. This could include other options such as:

  • staying with family or friends
  • help if you’re behind in your rent
  • help if you need rent and bond for a new property
  • help with moving and travel costs to shift to another suitable place
  • negotiating with landlords
  • accommodation options you can afford.

If emergency housing is the only option you have right now, we’ll help you to find emergency housing accommodation.

What help will you get?

If you need help we may be able to refer you to an MSD emergency housing place for up to 12 weeks while you find longer term accommodation.

During that time we can work with you and the emergency housing provider to help you plan your move to longer-term housing.

When in an MSD emergency housing place you’ll pay no more than 25% of your income for rent. If you’re on a benefit, this amount will be redirected from your payments.

Help with emergency housing costs (Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant)

If there aren’t any places available with emergency housing providers, you may be able to stay in other temporary accommodation such as a hostel or a motel, for a few days until a longer-term option is available.

If you’ve tried everything you can to find somewhere else to stay, you won’t need to pay for this accommodation. We’ll pay it direct to where you are going to stay. In most cases, we’ll cover the full cost of your stay for up to seven days, or longer in some circumstances (for up to seven days at a time) with an Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant.

The amount paid will depend on your household situation and the type of accommodation you go into.

Most clients do not need to pay this grant back. However clients who unreasonably contribute to their emergency housing need, demonstrate anti-social behaviour that impacts on their available housing options or who do not fulfil their responsibilities as discussed and agreed with their case manager, may have their initial application declined, or may have to pay back the grant at 25% of their income.

Need help outside of working hours?

Our phone line (0800 559 009) is open from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, and 8am to 12pm (midday) on Saturday. If you need help outside these hours, you can go straight to an emergency housing provider in your area.

  • Work and Income: 0800 559 009
  • Senior Services: 0800 552 002.

Domestic violence

If you’re a woman in a domestic violence situation call the Women’s Refuge free Crisisline on 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843.

If you're in danger NOW, the Women's Refuge website recommends that you:

  • phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.
  • run outside and head for where there are other people
  • scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
  • take the children with you
  • don't stop to get anything else.

If you know someone affected by family violence or you need help yourself there is information about where you can find support on the Family Violence It's Not OK website.

At risk of homelessness

Do you urgently need a place to stay right now? Emergency housing is there if you:

  • experience a natural disaster, fire or family violence
  • need a place to stay immediately
  • have no other way of getting accommodation.

If you need somewhere to stay tonight, you can:

  • use the Family Services Directory to find emergency options in your area
  • contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or Senior Services on 0800 552 002 to find out about financial assistance you might get for help with housing and accommodation costs.

People with drug, alcohol or substance dependency

If you're dealing with an addiction, you may need housing while you get your life back on track. Some community groups provide emergency and long-term housing, as well as support to help you take control of things again.