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.
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.
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|
|Total supplements received||245,510||293,388||317,059||308,551||304,117|
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|
|Total supplements granted||207,874||262,361||284,754||276,944||278,241|
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:
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|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||68,904||75,916||82,245||81,218||80,621|
|Other main benefits2||13,092||14,622||14,070||13,117||12,828|
|New Zealand Superannuation |
or Veteran’s Pension
|None of the above assistance3||52,966||55,733||58,141||57,773||56,049|
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|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||33,476||38,510||37,829||35,144||33,194|
|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|