Contents

Supplementary benefits

Accommodation Supplement

Costs covered

An Accommodation Supplement can be used to help pay rent, board or the costs of home ownership. Accommodation Supplement replaced Accommodation Benefit on 1 July 1993.

Housing costs must be over a stated threshold, which depends on where the client lives. An Accommodation Supplement meets 70% of accommodation-related costs over this threshold, up to a maximum that varies according to region and household size. For boarders, 62% of their boarding costs are considered accommodation-related costs.

EligibilityTop

Recipients must have accommodation costs above the threshold for their area, and be having difficulty meeting those costs from their regular income. Income and asset tests must also be met.

Tenants of Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) properties receive a rental subsidy from HNZC and are not eligible for an Accommodation Supplement.

Numbers of clients receiving an Accommodation SupplementTop

The number receiving an Accommodation Supplement decreased between 2010 and 2012

This decrease (see table AS.1) largely reflected changes over the same period in the number receiving main benefits. Historically, most recipients of an Accommodation Supplement have also been receiving a main benefit.

table AS.1: Numbers receiving an Accommodation Supplement

  Clients receiving an Accommodation Supplement1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total supplements received 245,510 293,388 317,059 308,551 304,117

Note

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving an Accommodation Supplement at the end of June.

The number of grants of Accommodation Supplement remained relatively flat between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012

This pattern (see table AS.2) followed a fluctuation between 2008/2009 and 2010/2011.

table AS.2: Numbers of Accommodation Supplements granted

  Grants of Accommodation Supplement1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Total supplements granted 207,874 262,361 284,754 276,944 278,241

Note

  1. The number of successful applications for an Accommodation Supplement recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

Around one in ten of those aged 18 or over were receiving an Accommodation Supplement

In 2012, an estimated 9.0% of those aged 18 or over were receiving an Accommodation Supplement, down from 9.6% since 2010.

Young people were more likely than older people to be receiving a supplement

Those aged under 40 were more likely than older people to be receiving an Accommodation Supplement. These patterns reflected, at least in part, the increased likelihood that younger people:

More information about recipients of an Accommodation Supplement

One in four Accommodation Supplement recipients were being paid a Domestic Purposes Benefit

Between 2010 and 2012, 26% of Accommodation Supplement recipients were receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit (see table AS.3). Another 18% were working families, while 14% were receiving a Sickness Benefit, and similar proportions were receiving an Invalid’s Benefit or an Unemployment Benefit.

table AS.3: Financial assistance paid to Accommodation Supplement recipients

Financial assistance paid at the end of June Clients receiving an Accommodation Supplement1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Unemployment Benefits 12,471 38,846 47,994 42,729 37,832
Domestic Purposes Benefits 68,904 75,916 82,245 81,218 80,621
Sickness Benefits 33,522 40,403 44,114 43,373 44,714
Invalid’s Benefit 41,755 43,345 44,037 42,630 42,384
Other main benefits2 13,092 14,622 14,070 13,117 12,828
New Zealand Superannuation
or Veteran’s Pension
22,800 24,523 26,458 27,711 29,689
None of the above assistance3 52,966 55,733 58,141 57,773 56,049
Total 245,510 293,388 317,059 308,551 304,117

Notes

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving an Accommodation Supplement at the end of June.
  2. Comprises Unemployment Benefit – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Hardship – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship, Independent Youth Benefit, Widow’s Benefit and Emergency Benefit.
  3. Includes clients receiving other supplementary benefits, an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit.

Nearly two in three Accommodation Supplement recipients were renting privately

Between 2011 and 2012, 63% of Accommodation Supplement recipients were renting privately, while another 21% were boarding. Fourteen percent were receiving help with mortgage expenses.

One in three of the clients granted an Accommodation Supplement were receiving an Unemployment Benefit

Between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, 32% of the clients granted an Accommodation Supplement were being paid an Unemployment Benefit (see table AS.4). Another 19% were working families, and 16% were receiving a Sickness Benefit.

table AS.4: Financial assistance paid to clients granted an Accommodation Supplement

Financial assistance received when Accommodation Supplement granted Grants of Accommodation Supplement1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Unemployment Benefits 44,317 81,432 96,452 90,181 89,628
Domestic Purposes Benefits 33,476 38,510 37,829 35,144 33,194
Sickness Benefits 40,822 46,750 47,068 44,310 43,502
Invalid’s Benefit 12,790 10,408 9,745 8,880 8,477
Other main benefits2 23,602 27,947 32,536 37,308 44,236
New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension 6,118 6,798 6,858 7,212 7,679
None of the above assistance3 46,749 50,516 54,266 53,909 51,525
Total 207,874 262,361 284,754 276,944 278,241

Notes

  1. The number of successful applications for Accommodation Supplements recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.
  2. Comprises Unemployment Benefit – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Hardship – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship, Independent Youth Benefit, Widow’s Benefit and Emergency Benefit.
  3. Includes clients receiving other supplementary benefits, an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit.