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 meet one of these residency criteria:

      • you're a New Zealand citizen
      • you have a resident visa or permanent resident visa and have lived in NZ continuously for at least 2 years since getting it
      • you're recognised as a refugee by Immigration New Zealand
      • you're recognised as a protected person by Immigration New Zealand
      • you're getting a main benefit from us (eg, Jobseeker Support), or
      • you fit into one of these categories:
        • you have a Christchurch Response Visa
        • you get Christchurch Mosque Attack Assistance, or
        • you get a Special Needs Grant because you came to New Zealand on a temporary visa to be with your NZ partner and your relationship ended due to domestic violence.
  • 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:
      • $655.41 a week (after tax) if you're single with no children
      • $1,008.33 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.