Who can get public housing?

How is it decided if I can get public housing?

Public housing is provided for people most in need of housing for as long as they need it. To get public housing you must:

  • be aged 16 years or over
  • be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and
  • be a New Zealand citizen, or a permanent resident in New Zealand. If you have been a permanent resident in New Zealand for less than two years you may qualify if you’re getting a main benefit.
    If you’re not a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident you may qualify if you’re getting an emergency benefit under special circumstances (for example, applying for residency and must stay in New Zealand)
  • have income under:
    • $585.30 a week (after tax) for people who have no partner and no dependent children
    • $900.45 a week (after tax) for people who have a partner and/or dependent children
  • have cash assets worth less than $42,700.

You may also need to show us that you've been looking for a place to live, but haven’t been able to find one that meets your needs.

If you have a partner, their situation will be assessed as part of your application.

Talk to us about your situation

The first step is to talk to us about your housing needs. We’ll discuss your situation and look at the best way to help you. If this includes public housing, we’ll arrange a housing assessment interview for you. To contact us, call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or Senior Services on 0800 552 002.