The application process
If you are eligible for a state house
The application process begins at the Customer Services Centre (0800 801 601- Option 3: Applying for housing or transfers) where housing advisors will take you through a pre-assessment to determine if you are or might be eligible for a state house.
If the pre-assessment indicates you are or may be eligible for a state house, we will need to understand and confirm your situation and housing need. The Customer Services Centre housing advisor will book you in for a full needs assessment with a tenancy advisor at your local Housing New Zealand office.
We have a waiting list of people wanting to move into a state house, so at your appointment, we need to understand more about you to assess your housing need and your priority for state housing. This assessment may take up to an hour.
We will want to discuss with you:
- your current living situation
- your residency status and the residency status of the people living with you - including children
- your weekly household income
- your housing expenses
- your assets - money in the bank, high value items you own and investments
- your housing needs, including any health issue or disability that requires special consideration
- how much rent you can afford to pay
- your options and how we may be able to help.
What to bring
There are some things we need from you, and it would be helpful if you could bring these with you. If you can't bring them all to the interview, you have 10 days to get them to us.
1. Proof of New Zealand residency for each member of the household included in your application. For example:
- birth certificates
- certificates of residency
- citizenship certificate or certificate of naturalisation
- letters from the New Zealand Immigration Service confirming residency.
2. Proof of income over the past year, such as:
- Work and Income payments (call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 to ask for a 52-week statement printout)
- salary and wages (we'll give you a form that you need to ask your employer or insurer to complete)
- StudyLink payments (call StudyLink on 0800 889 900 or fax a request to Deaf Link free fax 0800 621 621 to ask for a statement)
- proof of accident compensation payments (ask your ACC case manager for an annual statement of your payments)
- self-employment or partnership income, such as your latest annual accounts
- Government Superannuation Fund payments or National Provident Fund payments.
3. Proof of any family assistance you receive from Inland Revenue.
4. Proof of your current rent or board payments, such as:
- your tenancy agreement
- a bank statement showing automatic payments
- rent receipts.
If the documents are in a name other than the name you are using now, you will need to show us your marriage certificate or Deed Poll papers.
5. We may also need to see:
- information relating to expenses such as power, food and phone
- bank statements
- copies of loan or hire purchase agreements
- records of any court fines
- credit card accounts
- Tenancy Tribunal Orders
- notices to vacate
- doctors certificates or health reports if you have health-related reasons for wanting to move from your current home
- any letters of support from advocates or community representatives.
Some important points to note:
- You can bring someone with you when you come to talk with us about your housing need.
- If you cannot speak English you can bring someone to interpret for you, or we can find someone for you, we will need time to organise this.
- Once your application is processed we will let you know the priority your housing need has been assessed as. You will be placed on our waiting list.
- We will need to keep in contact with you while you're waiting for a house to make sure your circumstances haven't changed.
- We will then contact you once a house or flat is available for you. At that point, a tenancy agreement is drawn up. This outlines our responsibilities as a landlord, and yours as a tenant. The agreement also states the number of people who can live at the house.
Once in a state house
When you move into a Housing New Zealand house or flat, your tenancy will be based on your ongoing need for a state house, which means we will review your circumstances regularly. We will do this at least every three years, or sooner, if your circumstances change. This will help us make sure the current house allocated to you is still suitable for you, or identify if you no longer need a state house.
We also recommend that together we develop a Household Action Plan when you first move in. This will help you to figure out what housing goals you want and how you can go about reaching them, such as saving to buy a house, or moving into private rental. This is an important step as if you are able to eventually manage your own housing then we would like to help you achieve that.