How ŌCHT rents work

The Trust has these rental streams across its 2,300 properties:


Income Related Rent (IRR)

They’re set by the Ministry of Social Development, and reviewed annually or when a tenant’s circumstances change.

Income Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS)

They’re set by agreement between ŌCHT and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, based on an independent registered rent valuation. They’re reviewed annually.

Assisted Rental

They’re set by ŌCHT and reviewed annually. In 2021, any rent increase will happen in September.

How they work

IRR and IRRS tenancies

New Trust tenancies are Ministry of Social Development (MSD) Income Related Rent tenancies.

The Trust uses an independent qualified residential valuer to carry out a market rent review of its properties each year. The Trust supplies these rents, by property, to MSD. MSD approves the rent.

MSD calculates the rent the tenant pays to the Trust – the IRR – which is usually about 25% of their income.

MSD tops-up the rent paid to the Trust to the agreed market rent. It does this with the Income Related Rent Subsidy.

MSD reviews the IRR annually or when the tenant has a change in in income or circumstances. MSD can increase or decrease the IRR paid by the tenant, or the IRRS paid to the Trust.

Decisions about how much rent a tenant pays to the Trust are managed by MSD, and MSD informs the Trust how much rent to charge the tenant.

Assisted Rental tenancies

Assisted Rentals are tenancies that transferred to Trust management on October 2, 2016.

If tenants are on an Assisted Rent, they will have no more than a net 5% rent increase a year.

Rent increases were 3.9% in 2017, up-to 4% in 2018 and 3.9% in 2019 and 2020. Many tenants on an Assisted Rent may qualify for the MSD Accommodation Supplement.


Can rent streams change?

Once tenants are housed by the Trust, they stay in the same rent stream until the end of their tenancy.

On rare occasions a tenant may need to be relocated. They may be eligible to be rehoused through the MSD Housing Register. They would sign a new tenancy agreement with the Trust and would move to a new property on an IRR tenancy.


How are annual rent increases timed?

Rents are reviewed annually, in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants are advised of any rent increase 60 days in advance. The rent increase takes effect from the first rent charge in the new annual period.


How is rent affordability managed?

Income Related Rent (IRR)

The Trust relies on MSD to determine an affordable rent through the IRR assessment criteria, based on the applicant’s personal circumstances.

A tenant’s economic circumstances can change once they are housed, so MSD reviews tenant’s rent. Sometimes the IRR paid by the tenant can be set at either a market rent or above. The Trust will then charge 100% of market rent if MSD determines the tenant has the income and assets to support this.

Assisted Rentals

The Trust’s assisted rental stream is a subsidised rent in which the Trust charges up-to the current cap of 85% of market rent. In addition to subsidising the assisted rent, the Trust relies on MSD to help with affordability by offering the MSD Accommodation Supplement to eligible tenants.

The Trust does not review tenants’ income and assets as we do not have the right to directly access tenant’s income information in the same way that MSD does.

Applying for a home

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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