Boy at home with family

Ministry of Social Development - housing and support services

Increasing public housing and support for people in need to build better lives.

Housing is a basic human right. Every person deserves a safe and healthy place to live.

Some of our functions - policy and public housing supply have moved to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) continues to work with people who need housing and financial support, and manages the Housing Register of applicants for public housing.


Demand for public housing

Read more about housing demand and the Social Housing Register

Demand for housing across New Zealand is growing and more people find themselves experiencing a severe and immediate need.



Supporting people to independence

Supporting people to independence

Warm, dry and secure housing along with the right support services helps people to build better lives.


Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant

In July 2016, the Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant was introduced. The purpose of the EH SNG is to help individuals and families with the cost of staying in short-term emergency accomodation (motels, hostels, campsites etc) if they are temporarily unable to access of of MSD's contracted transitional housing places.

The EH SNG pays for short-term accomodation for up to seven days at a time, with the accomodation being provided by commercial and community providers who are not contracted by MSD to deliver accomodation services. Every applicant for an EH SNG must make reasonable efforts to find longer-term secure accomodation. For most applicants, this includes applying for transitional housing and public housing.

The EH SNG payment normally does not need to be paid back, but where the household has contributed to their own housing need, the EH SNG may be made recoverable at 25% of the applicants' weekly income.