Who can get public housing

You need to meet certain criteria to qualify for public housing.

Age and residency criteria

To qualify for public housing, you must be 16 or older.

You also need to either:

  • be a New Zealand citizen, or
  • have been a permanent resident in New Zealand for:
    • at least 2 years, or
    • less than 2 years and you get a main benefit from Work and Income, eg Jobseeker Support, or
  • be getting an Emergency Benefit from Work and Income because you are:
    • a spontaneous refugee
    • a protected person, or
    • compelled to remain in New Zealand. 

Serious housing need

You must also have a serious housing need. This means we'll look at things like:

  • your current housing situation, including:
    • the property's physical condition
    • if the property has basic living facilities
    • over-crowding
    • how secure your tenancy is
  • whether your current property or area is safe for you and suitable for your medical or physical needs
  • whether you could afford to rent privately
  • how difficult it is to find a private rental that meets your needs
  • whether you could manage long term in a private rental.

Income and assets

We'll also look at how much income and assets you have. Generally you need to have:

  • income under:
    • $616.73 a week (after tax) if you're single with no children
    • $948.81 a week (after tax) if you have a partner or children
  • cash assets worth less than $42,700.

If you have income or assets worth more than this, you may still qualify for public housing. It depends on your situation.

If you qualify for public housing

If you think you qualify for public housing, get in touch with us.