Boy at home with family


The Ministry of Social Development and Housing

Housing is a vital part of New Zealand’s social support system, providing a stable base where vulnerable people can build better lives.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD):

  • works with people who need help with housing and social support
  • manages the Social Housing Register of applications for social housing
  • contracts social housing tenancies by paying the Income-Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS) to registered community housing providers and Housing New Zealand
  • works with the housing sector to increase the amount of housing avaliable for tenancies
  • develops current and future plans on where to contract housing tenancies to inform investment decisions
  • develops initiatives to achieve better outcomes for people with complex issues and housing needs.

Housing support for people in need

MSD works with people who need housing support or help with public, emergency and transitional housing. MSD offers a range of housing support products to help people stay or enter into the private housing (rental) market.

Winter 2018

No one in need of housing should go unsupported this winter. Our priority is that everyone who approaches us for help is supported in some way to find a place to stay.

Managing the Social Housing Register

MSD manages the Social Housing Register of applications for public housing. People who have applied and are eligible go on the Housing Register. Existing tenants who have applied to transfer to another place go on the Transfer Register. Together, the two registers make up the Social Housing Register, which gives valuable data about demand for public housing.

Public housing tenancies and Income-Related Rent Subsidy

MSD contracts social housing tenancies by paying a rent subsidy for each tenancy to Housing New Zealand and registered community housing providers. Tenants pay no more than 25 per cent of their income in rent, and MSD pays the balance as the Income-Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS).

More emergency and transitional housing

We house and support people who urgently need a place to live, with emergency housing special needs grants and transitional housing places.

How we plan public housing supply - 2018 Public Housing Plan

The 2018 Public Housing Plan sets out how and where we will fund more public and transitional housing, as well as programmes such as Housing First.

The Public Housing Plan 2018 enables providers, developers, investors and others in the housing sector to plan investment and form partnerships to deliver housing and services.

Housing initiatives

We are finding ways to get better results for people with complex issues and housing needs.