Christchurch City Council has been providing rental accommodation for people with a serious housing need since 1938. Council Social Housing has been managed, under lease, by the Otautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) since 2016.

For all information on or assistance with an application for a longer term home, either with the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT), Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, or an alternate Community Housing Provider, please contact the Ministry of Social Development(external link) on 0800 559 009.

With more than 1,900 housing units spread throughout most suburbs in Christchurch, the Council’s social housing portfolio provides homes to many people in the community.

Our housing policy requires that social housing be financially self-supporting and not funded from rates.

The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust manages all tenancies for the Council's social housing. If you are a tenant, or you wish to apply for housing support, please contact the Trust directly.

Contact the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust

  • Phone Freephone: 0800 624 456 or 03 260 0058
  • Location: 61 Kilmore Street, Christchurch
  • Hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
  • Website:
    (external link)

The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust separately manages all of the Council's social housing tenancies.

About the Trust

Seven trustees make up the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust — three Council appointed (Vicki Buck, Councillor Phil Mauger and Councillor Yani Johanson) and four independent (Alex Skinner, Pam Sharpe, Stephen Phillips and Lloyd Mander).

The Council still owns its social housing buildings and land but leases these assets to the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust to manage separately.

The Trust is responsible for tenancy management, rent-setting and the day-to-day maintenance of units, while major repairs, renewals and the development of new social housing remain the Council's domain.

Over time, the Trust will also develop its own social housing for Christchurch.

As an independent charitable trust, any surplus money is reinvested back into social housing, to improve the service provided to tenants and the wider community.

Visit the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust's website.(external link)

There is no emergency housing available through social housing with the Christchurch City Council.

Ministry of Social Development

If you need emergency housing, contact the Ministry of Social Development(external link) on 0800 559 009.

They can help you to access emergency housing in Christchurch. They may also be able to help you with an application for a longer term home either with Housing New Zealand Corporation or a Community Housing Provider. They run a housing register that multiple housing providers can access.

Temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation villages have been set up to help meet the demand for short term rental housing after the earthquakes. See who you can talk to about accommodation while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

This is a free no fixed abode and support services directory [PDF, 14 MB] of Christchurch accommodation and services for people without a safe, secure home. 

This directory is available from all Christchurch City Council service centres(external link), and as reference only at all Christchurch City Council community libraries(external link).

If you have any additions or changes to the directory, please contact us.

The amended Accord was ratified by the Council in May 2017.

Its long-term goal is to restore a well-functioning, private-sector-led housing market in Christchurch, with enough supply at the lower end of the market to ensure those on lower incomes have access to housing, including social housing.

The Accord also includes a provision for consideration of issues of mutual interest with the Government as they arise. 

Christchurch Housing Accord 2017 [PDF, 73 KB]

Social housing summary

The social housing dashboard provides information about the social housing portfolio the Council delivers in collaboration with Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust: