Applying for Housing FAQ

How do I apply for OCHT Housing?

OCHT takes applications from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Social Housing Register when we have vacancies. This allows us to allocate our small number of vacancies to those most in need.

Who is eligible to rent OCHT housing?

People who are eligible to be on the MSD Social Housing Register. In some cases people who MSD deem ineligible may meet the eligibility criteria of OCHT (assets, income and residency). If an applicant is not eligible with MSD they can still be able to apply with OCHT.

What if I am not eligible to be on the MSD social housing register?

If you have phoned MSD and been told you are not eligible for social housing, please let us know so we can provide you with housing options and advice. We will ask you for your consent to talk with MSD to confirm your ineligibility with them.

How do I get on the MSD social housing register?

If you have a need for social housing, you should apply to be on the MSD social housing register by phoning 0800 559 009. You can find out more information on the MSD website.

I am on the MSD social housing register, what do I do now?

Once you have completed your application with MSD and had your needs assessment, let us know. We will ask you to  apply online or complete a OCHT Housing Application Form with OCHT. We will also ask you to give us consent to access your social housing application from MSD to ensure we have enough information to assist you.

Where are OCHT homes located?

OCHT has units across most areas of Christchurch, as far north as Belfast and as far south as Templeton. We also have a small number of units in Lyttelton and Akaroa.

What type of housing does OCHT provide ?

Most of our housing is 1 bedroom units, with single people or couples being our most common household type. We have a limited number of units bigger than 1 bedroom. Most of our housing is located as part of housing complexes rather than standalone houses.

How long does it take to get a OCHT home?

We house people with the highest need, rather than on wait-time basis. We cannot tell you if or when you may get a home with us. We have a limited number of homes, a low turnover of tenants and there is a lot of need for our homes. When a home becomes available we seek applicants from the MSD from the Social Housing Register who would be most suited to the available unit.

How much rent would I pay in an OCHT home ?

Where we take an applicant from the MSD Social Housing Register, this tenancy will be based on an Income Related Rent. MSD tell OCHT what rent to charge you. As the rent is linked to income and the amount of people in your household, this will ensure the rent is considered affordable.

I need accommodation in a hurry – can you help?

We don’t provide emergency accommodation. If you require immediate assistance, please contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009. You may wish to refer to the no fixed abode book that has information about accommodation and support services for homeless.

Can I keep a pet ?

OCHT properties are not suitable for dogs. In some cases, we can accommodate registered disability assist dogs. We may allow one cat per household.

What assistance can I get during the application process?

OCHT can arrange interpreting services where necessary. Please contact a Placements Advisor on 0800 624 456 or at and we can support you through the process.

Checklist for accessing OCHT housing

To access our housing, you will need to interact with Otautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)

MSD (Ministry of Social Development)

Call MSD on 0800 559 009 for a social housing phone screen

  • This will check your eligibility to be placed on the MSD social housing register.
  • Call OCHT if you are told not eligible, we can discuss any options may have.


Register your housing need with OCHT.  You can:

  • Complete an online applicationor
  • Complete an OCHT Housing Application Form.  Forms are available here or from any Christchurch Library or our office 61 Kilmore Street.

Short Assessment with OCHT

  • A Placements Advisor will talk with you to confirm your housing needs.

How to Apply for housing

The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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