Boy at home with family

Supporting people to independence

Warm, dry, and secure housing along with the right support services helps people to build better lives. Once housed people are better positioned to focus on other aspects of their lives such as finding work, engaging in education or training, contributing to their communities, or accessing medical care. People in need should be able to access housing support for as long as needed. When a person or family is ready, there is additional assistance and support for people to rent or buy in the private sector. This frees up social housing for people in greater need.

Tenancy reviews

The Ministry of Social Development carries out regular reviews to determine if tenants still need social housing. More than 1,000 households have moved to private rental housing or bought their own homes since 2014.

All tenancy reviews are on hold until after mid-2018

Tenancy reviews are on hold while the Government looks at who should be exempt from reviews in the future. While tenancy reviews are on hold, tenants with a review in progress do not need to do anything more or to seek alternative housing unless they wish to. MSD will contact tenants when tenancy reviews re-start.

Accomodation Supplement

Accommodation Supplement (AS) is a weekly payment to assist people who are not in public housing, with their rent, board or the cost of owning a home. A person does not have to be receiving a benefit to qualify for AS. More than 250,000 households use the Accommodation Supplement to help pay rent or board in the private market. More than 33,000 homeowners use the Accommodation Supplement to help pay mortgages.

Temporary Additional Support

Temporary Additional Support (TAS) is a weekly payment that helps to cover essential living costs that cannot be met from their income and through other resources. It is paid for a maximum of 13 weeks, and the recipient does not have to be receiving a benefit to qualify for TAS.

Housing Support Products

Housing Support Products (HSP) is a set of individual products that aim to address barriers to accessing or retaining housing by meeting needs not covered by other forms of assistance. HSPs are usually an option after all other housing support options have been exhausted.

This assistance is available to people who could sustain accommodation in the private housing (rentals) sector but require assistance to access it. This includes people who are existing public housing tenants, on the Social Housing Register, or people who have contacted MSD about housing support, but who could retain their current accommodation with some financial assistance.

  • Bond Grant - A non-recoverable payment to assist clients moving from social housing into alternative housing, where there is a gap between the client's existing bond using Income Related Rent and bond payable at usual rent amounts.
  • Letting Fees Assistance - Non-recoverable assistance avaliable to meet the cost of letting fees.
  • Moving Assistance - Helps with the physical cost of moving. It is recoverable to ensure that clients find the most economical way to move
  • Relocation from Auckland Assistance - Discontinued for new applicants from 15 January 2018. However, transitional assistance is still available for some clients (in specific situations) who were assessed as eligible and suitable for Relocation from Auckland Assistance before 15 January 2018. For the eligible clients in the transitional group, the following assistance may continue to be available:
  • Rent in Advance - A non-recoverable payment to assist clients moving into alternative housing.
  • Statement of Satisfactory Tenancy - A reference from public housing providers for landlords' three main tenant selection concerns (rent arrears, damages and behaviours).
  • Tenancy Costs Cover - Aims to reduce the (perceived) risks for landlords of letting to clients in disadvantaged groups.
  • Transition to Alternative Housing Grant - An incentive payment that may be offered to clients in public housing who are living in areas with high waiting lists, who voluntarily exit their public housing, or to speed up movement in the Independence Planning phase of tenancy reviews.

There may be initiatives that utilise one or more Housing Support Products. In these cases different eligibility criteria may apply.