Accommodation Benefit

Find out if you can get an accommodation benefit with your weekly student allowance.

Who can get Accommodation Benefit

If you get student allowance, you could get accommodation benefit.  

You usually can't get an accommodation benefit if you:

  • live with a parent, unless you have a child in your care
  • live in a home provided by your parents, unless:
    • you pay market rent
    • you pay the costs associated with home ownership
    • have a child in your care
  • over 24, living with your partner and your combined income is $421.76 or more before tax a week.

You won’t get an accommodation benefit if you or your partner have a tenancy agreement with a social housing provider. You may qualify for income-related rent instead.

Go to more information on social housing on the Ministry of Social Development Housing Assessment website.

How much Accommodation Benefit you can get

If you can get an accommodation benefit, you’ll usually get it at the rate for the region you live in while you’re studying.

For example, if you live in Auckland and you’re single with a child you could get $60.00. If you live in Palmerston North without a child or partner you could get $34.00.

If you’re overseas on an approved course, you’ll get your accommodation benefit at the rate for the region where your education provider is based.

If you live in a hostel, how much you get will depend on the hostel you live in.

For sole parents who start study on or after 1 July 2015, how much you can get will depend on your actual accommodation costs.

To work this out we consider:

  • your income
  • your cash assets
  • your accommodation costs
  • where you live.

How to apply for Accommodation Benefit

If you are single, or in a relationship, you don’t need to apply for an accommodation benefit. If you can get one, we pay it automatically with your student allowance.

If you are a sole parent, and have study starting on or after 1 July 2015 you can apply for Accommodation Benefit with your student allowance application.

Last updated: 02 December 2014