COVID-19: Housing support and information

Get help to find emergency, transitional and social housing.

Key points about COVID-19 housing support and information

  • COVID-19 has put a real strain on the economy and has affected many people's work situations.
  • You may have lost your job, been unable to work because you've been sick, or having to work from home and deal with tamariki as well.
  • This is happening at a time when it’s already difficult to find housing.
  • Get help with emergency, transitional and social housing from these organisations.


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(Healthify NZ and Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand, Waitematā, 2022)

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There is housing and accommodation support available, and the following information describes where to find support for your situation. Click on the text in the sections to be taken to the relevant website.

It’s a good idea to always ask services for any further support that might be available to you.

General information and support

The Work and Income(external link)(external link) site has links to find out about the different types of support available for individuals, families/whānau, employers and self-employed people affected by COVID-19. All the information on Work and Income sites is provided in a variety of languages. 

Job loss

If you’ve lost your job or can’t work you may be able to get a benefit, some other financial help or support to find work. It may be possible to get help even if you’re working and on a low income. You may be able to get help with the costs of food, accommodation, power, gas, heating or water and medical and dental care. Find out more about help for you and your whānau(external link).

Unexpected costs

There are options for help with urgent or unexpected costs(external link)(external link) (even if you’re working). These include:

  • kai/food
  • accommodation costs (rent, mortgage, board)
  • power, gas and water bills or heating
  • dental treatment
  • glasses
  • whiteware (eg, fridge, freezer, washing machine)
  • medical costs
  • home repairs and maintenance
  • car repairs
  • bereavement
  • fire or theft.


If you’re having trouble finding or affording a stable home, you may be able to get access to low-cost housing or help with accommodation costs. Read about getting help with housing and paying rent.(external link)(external link) 

Work and Income offers an accommodation supplement(external link)(external link) that’s paid weekly to help you with rent, board or the cost of owning a home. Find out if you’re eligible(external link)(external link) (meet the criteria).

Emergency housing 

If you have nowhere to stay tonight or in the next 7 nights, you may be able to apply foremergency housing(external link)(external link) through Work and Income. 

temporary accommodation service(external link)(external link) has been set up to assist people who have been displaced by COVID-19. You can contact them on 0508 754 163 (8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday). An interpreter service is available plus a video relay service for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. 

If you are homeless(external link)(external link) there is support available in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Housing support factsheet [PDF, 166 KB] Healthify NZ, 2023 English [PDF, 166 KB], te reo Māori [PDF, 209 KB], Samoan [PDF, 197 KB], Tongan [PDF, 272 KB], Cook Islands Māori [PDF, 682 KB]

For whānau in need

The COVID-19 welfare phone line(external link)(external link) (0800 512 337) is a free service that can help you with:

  • food and essential items
  • mobile data so you can keep in contact with friends and whānau
  • support for personal care or daily tasks
  • talking to your employer if you are worried about your leave or pay
  • mental health support
  • support with family or sexual violence
  • where to get free rapid antigen tests (RATs).

For employers/self-employed and social housing providers 

COVID-19 leave support scheme(external link) is available to employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who must self-isolate because of COVID-19 and can't work at home during that period.

Information for social housing providers(external link)(external link) NRHCC & Unite Against COVID-19, NZ.

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