Emergency housing

If you have nowhere to stay tonight or in the next 7 days, you may be able to apply for emergency housing.

How to apply

  • Step 1 - Call us to apply

    Your appointment will be either in one of our service centres or over the phone with us.

  • Step 2 - We'll look at your housing options

    During your appointment, we’ll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help.

    We’ll look at what options you might have, such as:

    • staying with family or friends
    • help if you’re behind in your rent
    • help if you need rent and bond for a new property
    • help with moving and travel costs to shift to another suitable place
    • negotiating with landlords
    • accommodation options you can afford.

    If none of these options can work for you, we’ll look at transitional housing and then emergency accommodation.

  • Step 3 - We'll look at emergency accommodation

    If the options above don't work for you, you may be able to stay in places such as a hostel or motel for a few days.

    We'll talk to you about your options and help you, where we can, to find somewhere to stay.

    Once you've found a place, let us know so we can talk with you about next steps.

    How much it costs

    In most cases we'll cover the cost of your accommodation for the first 7 nights if either:

    • it's your first time in emergency housing, or
    • it's been a while since you've needed emergency housing and there's a new reason you need it again.

    After 7 nights, you'll start to pay for some of your accommodation costs. This is called an Emergency Housing Contribution.

    • You'll pay about 25% of your income (after tax).
    • If you have a partner, they'll also pay about 25% of their income (after tax).

    Your income may include payments from us, wages, salary or other income, or Family Tax Credits. We'll let you know exactly how much this will be.

    You'll need to pay the full cost of your accommodation if you either:

    • have unreasonably contributed to your need for emergency housing,
    • are not trying to find another place to live,
    • haven't paid a previous emergency housing contribution, or
    • don't use emergency housing in the way we've discussed.

    How to pay your Emergency Housing Contribution

    How you pay your contribution depends on if you get a benefit from us or not (eg, Jobseeker Support or Sole Parent Support).

    • If you get a benefit, it will automatically come out of your benefit payment.
    • If you don't get a benefit, you'll need to set up an automatic payment with your bank. In the reference field put the letter 'E' followed by your 9 digit client number. If you need help with this, talk to us.
  • Step 4 - Keep looking for longer-term housing

    You need to keep looking for longer-term housing.

    We can help you look at your longer-term housing options, including public housing, and other support you might be able to get.