More than 200 Bay people are on the social housing waiting list, according to the latest Ministry of Social Development data.
The ministry's Social Housing Register revealed there were 180 people on the waiting list across the city at the end of March, and another 38 in the Western Bay of Plenty District Council area.
Of the 218 clients on the waiting list, 141 were considered "at risk" - that included households with "severe and persistent housing needs" which needed to be addressed immediately.
Another 77 clients had a "serious housing need".
Carl Crafar, Ministry of Social Development's social housing deputy chief executive, urged anyone with a serious housing need to come to Work and Income to see what help was available.
The latest Housing New Zealand data showed there were 43 vacant state homes in the city.
Thirteen were under repair, 16 were P-contaminated, and nine were empty pending sale, which included those being sold to the NZ Transport Agency for a road-widening project.
Another five properties were empty but the reasons were not stated.
NZ Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty highways manager Niclas Johansson said the agency was buying 11 Housing New Zealand properties as part of the $102 million Baypark to Bayfair Link Upgrade Project.
Ten fronting Maunganui Rd and one in Eversham Rd were being bought because there was no way to safely enter and exit the properties once the project was finished, he said.
Four properties had already been bought, and the ownership of the remainder would change hands over the next month.
Mr Johansson said some of the houses were empty when bought and others still tenanted, but all the tenants have now been relocated to alternative housing.
The transport agency planned to sell the houses via a tender process that would be carried out in three stages, and following the sale the homes would need to be removed by their new owners. Four were expected to be relocated next month, and the rest sold and removed by November.
So far three of the properties inspected were P-contaminated and they would be cleaned prior to sale and moving, Mr Johansson said.
A Housing New Zealand spokesperson said the Social Development Ministry was the agency to comment on the demand for social housing and the numbers of people on the waiting list.
"Housing New Zealand's role is just as a landlord, and our relationship with social housing applicants only begins once they move into our property and become a tenant."
The Government has promised it would provide $41 million over the next four years for emergency housing places and grants for vulnerable citizens.
In March, the Government announced plans to transfer about 1124 state homes and tenancies in Tauranga to registered community housing providers.
The shortlisted providers in Tauranga were Accessible Properties, Hapori Connect Tauranga and Kainga Community Housing Partners.
Accessible Properties, a charitable organisation fully owned by IHC and chaired by Tauranga's Paul Adams, manages 1100 social housing properties throughout New Zealand.
Hapori Connect Tauranga is a consortium of three international organisations, John Laing Infrastructure Fund, Pinnacle Community Housing, and Brookfields Global Integrated Solutions.
The three organisations have different specialties in regards to social housing.
Kainga Community Housing Partners is a consortium of Tauranga iwi Nga Potiki and Te Puke iwi Tapuika, international investment management firm Morrison and Co, Australian community housing organisation Compass Housing Service Co, and Programmed Facility Management.
The three groups had until June 7 to submit a comprehensive fully costed purchase proposal.
The preferred bidder for each region was expected to be announced by the Government in the third quarter of this calendar year.