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Ministry of Social Development

Accommodation Supplement Metadata

The Ministry of Social Development provides strategic social policy advice to the New Zealand Government and delivers income support and employment services to New Zealanders.

Work and Income administers the Accommodation Supplement (AS), a non-taxable benefit that provides assistance towards a client's accommodation costs. The AS is income support for people faced with costs of renting, boarding, or owning their own home. How much a person gets on the AS depends on their income, assets, accommodation costs, family circumstances and where they live.

Application of Data

The data collected by Work and Income are used:

  • to assess entitlement to the accommodation supplement under the Social Security Act 1964
  • to calculate the rate of financial assistance with the costs of renting, boarding or owning
  • for statistical and research purposes
  • for the provision of advice to Government
  • to provide a better service to the public
Variable Definitions/Classifications
Accommodation type


The applicant is asked to define their current tenure status. Possible tenure classifications include renter/boarder or home owner.

Specific cases

Caravan or Motor Home - Where a caravan or motor home is used as a home the client is assessed as either a homeowner or a renter for the purposes of AS.

IHC Residents and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Facilities - Most IHC residents and those staying at a drug and alcohol abuse facility will receive a Residential Support Subsidy. In this case they cannot receive AS.

Retirement Village - Residents of retirement village serviced apartments are considered boarders, because their accommodation payments include power and gas bills and services such as meals. Even if a client owns the serviced apartment they continue to be treated as boarders if they purchase these additional services. A client in a retirement village who does not purchase these services as part of their accommodation payments may be considered as paying rent or as a home owner if they own the apartment.

Habilitation Centres - A client who is on parole and is living at a Habilitation Centre can receive AS. Although Habilitation Centres are fully funded by the Department of Corrections the client is required to pay for board and lodgings.

Number of occupants / usual residents Only dependents of an applicant whose presence affects the rate of A/S paid are recorded on the statistical system. Even then, child numbers are coded into categories 0, 1, and 2+. This data/ /cannot be used to generate an accurate count of all those occupying a residence.
Repairs and Maintenance

The applicant is asked to state the total cost of repairs and maintenance to their dwelling in the last 12 months.

Specific Inclusions:

- Principal and interest repayments made under the Loans for Major Repairs Advances to Homes scheme.

-Essential repairs and maintenance costs to the home

-Maintenance costs that may be considered include any reasonable maintenance carried out on the house or grounds, by a professional trade's person, which is necessary to prevent damage to the house or furnishings. This may include but is not limited to: clearing chimneys and gutters, replacing broken windows, removing trees, painting. Maintenance costs do not include: mowing lawns or work carried out for cosmetic purposes.

-Those repairs that are needed for the continuation of existing water, gas, power and sewerage services (including showers, toilets, sinks and the drains attached to them).

- Other repairs can be considered if they are essential to the structural stability of the house or property (repairs to buildings or sheds on the property that are not used for accommodation purposes are not to be considered), wiring and light fittings and septic tanks. Repairs to any major appliance that helps maintain the house in a habitable state may be included such as: gas or electric stove and hot water cylinder.

Specific Exclusions:

-Home appliance and furnishing repairs.



Ministry of Social Development

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