A marae housing project will help people who lost their homes in the Edgecumbe floods in April.

The papakainga housing development at Kokohinau Marae, 5km south of Edgecumbe, was announced by Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith on Monday.

Five two-bedroom homes are to be built and infrastructure for 41 housing sites.

The development will eventually provide affordable housing for kaumatua (elders), but Ngati Awa iwi have elected to initially use it to house whanau (family) impacted by the flood.

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Construction will begin immediately with support from the Whakatane District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to expedite all planning consents as an emergency housing response.

Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment are splitting the government contribution of more than $2.6 million towards the housing development.

- AAP