COVID-19: Funded temporary accommodation for front-line workers

Information on government-funded temporary accommodation for those front-line workers who need to stay away from their homes during COVID-19.

Last updated: 16 September 2020

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Workforce safety initiatives

To ensure the health and disability workforce remain safe while at work, district health boards (DHBs) and employers have already implemented a range of initiatives, including:

  • introducing a category system to identify workers who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and taking steps to modify their duties where appropriate.
  • making sure all DHB facilities can separate those who meet the clinical and HIS criteria and non-COVID-19 cases into COVID-19 / non-COVID-19 streams.
  • ensuring that all staff working in the COVID-19 stream have appropriate PPE.

The next initiative to keep the health and disability workforce safe is government-funded temporary accommodation for those front-line workers who need to stay away from their homes during COVID-19.

This scheme covers all workers undertaking essential health and disability services during the COVID-19 response in roles where they may have close contact with patients, including those employed by a DHB and those who are funded, or employed by an organisation that is being funded, to provide services by DHBs or the Ministry of Health.

For more information about what roles are deemed essential, visit COVID-19 – Essential services in the health and disability system.


Information for workers

How to qualify

If you work in a role where you may have close contact with patients, you can qualify by meeting either of the following criteria:

  • You have been asked and agreed to relocate to a different part of the country or region to meet the demand created by the COVID-19 response.
  • You live with a vulnerable person who is at higher risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19 – this includes people who are aged 70 and over and/or have certain existing health conditions. Find out more information about who is at higher risk to COVID-19.

If you have a vulnerable person in your household, you must also meet all the following criteria:

  • there is no feasible way for you to safely mitigate the potential risks of spreading COVID-19 to other members of your household while you are staying at home, and
  • you have tried and been unable to find suitable alternative accommodation that does not require additional funding, and
  • any additional accommodation costs are not being met by another funding source.

If your application is successful, funding will be allocated for:

  • the period of relocation, for those who are relocating; or
  • a period of up to 4 weeks, for all other applicants.

Please note that the type of accommodation provided under this scheme is not suitable for workers who are a confirmed or probable case, or a close contact of a confirmed or probable case, of COVID-19. If you fit in this category, please speak to your employer.

How to apply for funded temporary accommodation

If you believe you qualify based on the above criteria, please download and fill out the following application form:

The application form contains information that will be used to determine your eligibility for the scheme, as well as information that will be used to make sure you are placed in the most appropriate accommodation.

If you work for a non-DHB provider, please ask your employer to endorse the employment details on your application form before emailing it to your local DHB.

Once completed, please email this application form to your DHB to assess your eligibility for funded temporary accommodation. You will be informed of the outcome of your application by email.

Where to send completed applications

Please use table below to determine what email address you should send your completed application form to.

To ensure the email successfully reaches the DHB's email inbox, please use the subject line Funded Temporary Accommodation Application.

DHB Email
Auckland [email protected]
Waitemata [email protected]
Bay of Plenty [email protected]
Canterbury [email protected]
Capital and Coast [email protected]
Counties Manukau [email protected]
Hauora Tairawhiti [email protected] & [email protected]
Hawkes Bay [email protected]
Hutt Valley [email protected]
Lakes [email protected]
MidCentral [email protected]
Nelson Marlborough [email protected]
Northland [email protected]
South Canterbury [email protected]
Southern [email protected]
Taranaki [email protected]
Waikato [email protected]
Wairarapa [email protected]
West Coast [email protected]
Whanganui [email protected]

Information for employers

Employee eligibility

The type of accommodation provided under this scheme is not suitable for workers who are a confirmed or probable case, or a close contact of a confirmed or probable case, of COVID-19. If an employee of yours fits in this category, they are not eligible to apply, and must contact their employer first.

If you have employees who meet the qualification criteria for funded temporary accommodation, ask them to fill out an application form, and ensure your company has endorsed the application before they email a completed form to their local DHB.

Claiming retrospective costs

DHBs and other health and disability service providers may claim retrospective temporary accommodation costs (incurred between 23 April 2020 and 11 May 2020) for eligible health and disability workers as defined in the eligibility criteria. Applications for cost recovery should be made directly to the Deputy Director-General, Health Workforce at the Ministry of Health via [email protected].

How to submit a funding claim

  1. Assemble the information required (see below).
  2. Declare that the health and disability worker is eligible for the policy:
    1. was in an essential service role that included close patient contact and
    2. was relocated or
    3. lives with a vulnerable person and had no way of safely mitigating the risks while at home, and unable to find suitable accommodation and did not already receive funding for temporary accommodation.
  3. Email the information to [email protected] with the email subject: Retrospective expense claim for temporary accommodation support.
  4. The Ministry of Health will make their decision.
    • If approved, the application will be paid according to your invoice payment date.
    • If declined, you will be provided with a reason.

Information required in the funding claim (note: the invoice must be a tax invoice)

  • Health and disability provider name
  • Address
  • Local DHB (for non-DHB providers)
  • Role of person(s) requiring accommodation
  • Reason for accommodation being provided (relocation or vulnerable)
  • Description of accommodation provided (including number of nights of stay and accommodation provider).
  • Proof of bank account (for non-DHB providers)
  • GST information
  • Invoice number (if required)
  • Copy of the accommodation costs paid (receipt or other) attached. This may be costs paid directly to accommodation providers, or through a Travel Management Company (TMC).

In line with the coverage of the funded temporary accommodation scheme, costs may include:

  • room costs
  • food purchased from the accommodation provider (up to $75 per day)
  • TMC transaction charges.

Further information

If you’re a worker or employer who has any questions or need more details about the funded temporary accommodation scheme, please email [email protected].

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