Apply for public housing

Find out how to apply for public (social) housing.

If you’re in urgent housing need and have nowhere to live now or in the next 7 days, call:

The application process

  • Step 1 - Call us

    Call us on 0800 559 009

    If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension, call Senior Services on 0800 552 002

  • Step 2 - Discuss your situation

    We'll talk with you about your situation and look at ways we can help you. This includes checking what support you might be able to get to move into private housing, for example, help with rent or bond.

    If we think you may qualify for public housing, we’ll book a housing assessment interview for you. This is usually done over the phone but you can come in and see us if you'd prefer.

    Support person or interpreter

    If you want a support person at your interview, you can organise to have one with you.

    If you can't speak English, you can bring someone to interpret for you. Or we can find an interpreter for you, just let us know so we can organise this.

  • Step 3 - Attend an interview

    The interview will take about an hour. We’ll:

    • talk with you about your situation and the type of housing you need
    • confirm you meet the criteria for public housing.

    You'll need to tell us at least 3 areas where you could live so you can be matched to a suitable property.

    Documents you need to provide

    We'll also ask you to gather some documents and drop them off to one of our service centres. We'll let you know what documents you need to get. These could be:

    • proof of who you are, such as your birth certificate, passport or driver licence
    • proof of any income (after tax) you've got in the last 52 weeks, such as wages, holiday pay, family tax credits and any other income
    • proof of any assets you have and their value
    • your business accounts, if you have your own business
    • trust documents, if you're involved in a trust, such as trust deed, deed of debt, gift statements, or accounts
    • full birth certificates for each dependent child in your care.

    We may ask you to bring the same documents for other members of your household who are moving with you. Household members are people who permanently live with you.

  • Step 4 - Wait for a property

    If you qualify for public housing, you’ll go on the social housing register. The register has details of people who need public housing and the type of property they need.

    We'll pass the register onto housing providers who will let you know when a suitable property becomes available.

    There are some things you'll need to do while you're waiting to get into a public house.

  • Step 5 - Accept a public housing offer

    If a housing provider makes you an offer for a property and it suits your needs, you can accept this by signing the tenancy agreement.