Living in public housing

What happens when you live in public housing and what you need to do.

Tell us if something changes

You need to let us know straight away about any changes in circumstances for you and your partner, no matter how much rent you pay. This could be changes to: 

  • income
  • assets
  • people moving in or out of the property
  • children in your care, eg having a child or changing custody arrangements.

Changes may affect the amount of rent you pay, whether you still qualify for public housing, or whether the property you're in is still suitable for you. 

If you don't let us know, you could end up paying the wrong amount of rent and may have a debt to pay back. Or you may only get a few weeks' notice before your rent goes up.

How to tell us

If you get:

You need to call: 

a benefit or extra help payments from Work and Income

Work and Income on 0800 559 009
NZ Super or Veteran's Pension Senior Services on 0800 552 002
no payments from Work and Income or Senior Services Housing Unit on 0800 673 468

How long you can stay in public housing

When you move into public housing, you can stay for as long as you qualify.

From time to time, we'll review a tenancy to see if:

  • you still qualify for public housing, and
  • the property still meets your needs.

If you're ready to move into private housing, we can look at what products and services are available to help you. You may be able to get help with bond, rent in advance or other things.

Your rent payments

If you're living in public housing you can find out how we calculate your rent, when and how we review this, and what to do about any issues with your property.