When thinking about renting a home, it’s hard to know where to start.

The first step - Ministry of Social Development

Your first step is talk to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) - Work and Income(external link) about your housing needs (search 'Public housing on their website). They’ll discuss your situation with you, and look at the best way to help. If you are eligible for social housing, they’ll arrange an assessment interview for you.

To get started visit or call:

Emergency housing

Kāinga Ora does not offer emergency housing, this is organised through Ministry of Social Development.

For more information on emergency housing and how to apply visit https://check.msd.govt.nz/services/emergency-housing(external link)

Quick view of who does what

The difference between Kainga Ora and MSDSocial housing application process overview [PDF, 93 KB]

Page updated: 5 July 2023