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Help with accommodation costs

The Accommodation Supplement can help with the cost of renting, boarding or owning a home. You may also be able to get it if you're on a low income or getting Jobseeker Support Student Hardship, or another benefit (not the Student Allowance)

How to apply

When you check what you can get, you will find out if you are entitled to the Accommodation Supplement and can apply online.

If you can't apply online, download the Extra Help form from our Forms and Brochures page.  It includes the application for the Accommodation Supplement, and also other kinds of help that you may be eligible for. 

If you cannot download this form, please contact us.


General Accommodation Supplement criteria

You may be able to get help with accommodation costs if you are:

  • on a low income or
  • getting Jobseeker Support Student Hardship (JSSH) or another benefit (not the Student Allowance).

Your income, assets and accommodation costs are also counted when we look at whether you qualify for the Accommodation Supplement. There are different limits depending on whether you're on a main benefit or you're only applying for extra help.

If you have any changes to your or your partner's circumstances, including income or accommodation costs, you must let us know as it could affect your entitlement.

If you have a partner, they may be able to get their own Accommodation Supplement if they're not a student and you qualify for the Student Allowance.

If you are 16 or 17 years old you will need to be assessed as financially independent from your parents in order to get the Accommodation Supplement. This could include:

  • being in full time work
  • receiving a benefit from the Ministry of Social Development.

To qualify (when you're not on a main benefit) your yearly income before tax (from 1 April 2014) must be under these limits:

 

 If you are: If you live in Northern or Central Auckland If you live in Central Wellington, other Auckland areas* If you live in Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hamilton, other Wellington areas* Rest of New Zealand 
Under 18, assessed as independent from parents, with no children $49,868 $40,508 $33,228 $29,068
18 or over with no children $49,868 $40,508 $33,228 $29,068
Married, civil union or defacto
couple with no children
$63,336 $56,056 $45,656 $41,496
Single with 1 child $59,696 $52,416 $42,016 $37,856
Single with 2+ children $73,216 $60,736 $51,376 $42,016
Married or civil union couple
with children

$76,856 $64,376 $55,016 $45,656

 

* These rates also apply to other main cities and areas. Contact us if you need further information.


To qualify your assets must be under the top limit...

 

 

If you are:  Your top limit is:
 Single $8,100
 In a recognised relationship or a single parent $16,200

To qualify your weekly accommodation costs must be at least...

 

 

If you are: Your rent or 62% of your board must be over: If you own a home, your costs must be over:
Single with no children $52 $63
Married, civil union or de facto
couple with no children

$87 $105
Single with 1 child $98 $118
Single with 2 or more children $98 $118
Married or civil union couple with children $110 $132

If you have a partner

If you have a partner, they may be able to get their own Accommodation Supplement if they're not a student and you qualify for the Student Allowance.

Your income, assets and accommodation costs are also counted when we look at whether you qualify for the Accommodation Supplement.

There are different limits depending on whether you're on a main benefit or you're only applying for extra help.

*Please note that the definition of partner for Social Housing is different to that of the Accomodation Supplement


Situations where you won't be able to get the Accommodation Supplement

You won't get the Accommodation Supplement if you:

  • get the Student Allowance - you may qualify for the Accommodation Benefit instead or
  • don't get the Student Allowance because your income or your parents' income is too high or
  • are 16 or 17 years old and are not financially independent or
  • have a tenancy agreement with a Social Housing provider - you may qualify for income-related rent instead.  Contact MSD Housing assesment for more details.

Last updated: 14 April 2014