finding your place

where to look for your next home, and how to apply for public housing

Thinking of moving but not sure where to start? You could board with a friend or relative, find a private rental or apply for public housing.

private boarding

Living alone is a great option for some, but it can also be complicated and stressful, and it’s not always easy to find a landlord who will rent a property to a young person.

That’s why, for lots of taiohi who can’t live at home, the best option is to board with a relative, a family friend, or someone else. As a private boarder you will:

  • get the stability and support of living with an adult or a family
  • pay a weekly board that usually covers your room, food and power
  • be joining someone’s home, so you’ll need to get used to their way of doing things.

If you think private boarding could be the right option for you, a good way to start is to think about friends and relatives you could live with. The ideal person to board with is someone who:

  • has a spare room
  • can provide a safe, stable place for you to live
  • you would like to live with, and
  • would be open to the idea of you boarding with them.

If you’re enrolled in Youth Service, your youth coach can help you think through your options.

Social media and rental websites

Not everyone boards with somebody they already know. Search for places to board on social media or TradeMe.

trademe: flatmates

private housing

The best place to start looking for a home to rent on your own or with others is the internet. There are lots of websites you can use to find out what homes are available, and how much they cost to rent. The most useful one for you will depend whether you want to live on your own, or with others.

Want to live with others?

Find shared houses near you with TradeMe or nzflatmates.

trademe: flatmates


Looking for your own place?

You can find places to rent on these sites.

trademe: homes for rent

Market rent

When you’re thinking about where you want to live, it’s a good idea to check the market rent for the areas you like. This tells you how much most people are paying for rented homes in each area.

tenancy services: market rent

Under 18?

If you’re under 18, you may need to get permission from a tenancy tribunal before you can rent a property.

tenancy services: tenancy tribunal

public housing

If you can't afford a private rental, you may be able to live in a public home, where the Government pays part of the rent. 

Whether or not you can get public housing depends on your circumstances. When you apply, we’ll consider things like your age, your current living situation and what you can afford.

If you get a payment from Youth Service or you’re enrolled in our NEET service, your youth coach can help you apply for public housing. You can read more about how to apply for public housing on the Work and Income website.

who can get public housing?

apply for public housing

waiting for public housing

accepting a public housing offer

Getting public housing can take a long time. It’s a good idea to try to find other options while you wait.