Helping people keep their rental accommodation

18 June 2020.

We’re making some changes to the existing Rent Arrears Assistance Housing Support Product in light of the economic impact COVID-19 is having on households in rented accommodation.

These temporary changes start on 6 July and go through to 31 December 2020. They mean we can help more people to keep their homes if they get behind on their rent and their tenancy is at risk, while they try to find new sources of income, employment or a more affordable rental.

If people need help before 6 July, they can still come to MSD for support for rent arrears assistance under the current payment process.

Rent Arrears Assistance is a one-off payment which needs to be paid back. We’ll put a repayment plan in place to suit your financial circumstances.

People don’t have to be on a benefit to qualify for Rent Arrears Assistance – it’s based on their income and the situation they’re in.

Who can get it?

You may get rent arrears assistance if you:

  • need to pay overdue rent to your landlord
  • are at risk of losing your tenancy because of the unpaid rent
  • have signed the tenancy agreement for your home (or you’re a tenant by way of a Family Violence Act order)
  • are likely to keep and stay in your housing if you pay your overdue rent.

You need to be either:

  • a New Zealand citizen, or
  • a permanent resident who has been in New Zealand for more than two years since becoming a permanent resident.

It may also depend on:

  • how much you and your spouse or partner earn
  • any money or assets you and your spouse or partner have
  • whether the Tenancy Tribunal has given you an Order that says you must leave, or that if you pay the rent arrears you can stay
  • if your tenancy is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

What you can get

  • How much you get depends on the amount of rent you owe. The most you can get is $4,000. You’ll need to show us proof of how much you need to pay.
  • You can only get this payment once in 12 months, except in exceptional situations.