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What is Kāinga Ora - Homes & Communities?

Kāinga Ora is a government agency that provides public housing and partners with developers, Māori, local and central government, and others on urban development projects.

Kāinga Ora provides tenancy services to about 187,000 public housing tenants and maintains and develops around 65,000 public houses while also providing home ownership products and other services.

There are several housing related services available through Kāinga Ora that you may be eligible for.

Visit Kāinga Ora's website (external link)

Public housing

Kāinga Ora manages all public housing in New Zealand.

To apply for public housing, you need to make an application with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) via Work and Income. They will assess your need and decide if you are eligible or not.

If you are eligible, you will be given a priority rating based on your circumstances. You will then be placed on MSD’s social housing register

Kāinga Ora matches people on the Social Housing Register with suitable houses according to:

  • Availability of suitable housing
  • Priority level

Information about applying for public housing on the Work and Income website (external link)


Kāinga Ora has committed to building at least 15% of all new state home to their full universal design standards. They are also focussed on providing modifications to their older homes where needed.

For Kāinga Ora, universal design covers the following broad areas:

  • Access: wide paths from car-parking area and street, step-free where possible, or the ability to install a ramp in future.
  • Usability: easy to use door and cabinetry handles, bathroom and bedroom on the same entry level as the main living area (or be adaptable to include these two features at a later stage.
  • Safety: slip-resistant flooring in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Adaptability: bathroom size suitable for conversion to be fully accessible if needed in the future.

Information about accessibility at Kāinga Ora (external link)

Buying your first home

If you are looking to buy your first home, Kāinga Ora administer several government programmes that could help you, such as the First Home Grant and First Home Partner. Visit their website for more information.

Information about home ownership support available through Kāinga Ora (external link)

Last updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2024

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