Who can get public housing

If you want to apply to live in public (social) housing, you need to meet certain criteria.

Criteria you need to meet

  • Age and residency

    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 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

    Generally you need to have:

    • income under:
      • $635.75 a week (after tax) if you're single with no children
      • $978.06 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.