A business consortium which includes Wairarapa's Trust House Limited has been shortlisted to take over more than 1000 state houses in Tauranga.
Kainga Community Housing, which is comprised of infrastructure asset manager HRL Morrison & Co, Trust House Limited, Australian-owned social housing provider Compass Housing, Australasian facilities management company Programmed FM, Nga Potiki a Tamapahore Trust, and Tapuika Iwi Authority Trust, is one of three organisations shortlisted to submit a bid for the houses.
The Government is selling off Housing New Zealand's 1124 homes in Tauranga and has asked for proposals from the three groups wanting to purchase and manage social housing in the city.
Trust House chief executive Allan Pollard said it would be "massive" for the Wairarapa community if the consortium was successful.
"It's pretty exciting for us, for a small Wairarapa company to be involved in such a big social housing project, one of the biggest in New Zealand."
Trust House would be charging for providing tenancy management services for the group, which would generate extra revenue for the community-owned business, Mr Pollard said.
"There's obviously a fee for services so there would be more surplus profits for the community, and working with such a large asset management company, we might actually learn and develop some more intellectual property ... and in the long run we could develop a stronger operational model."
Working with, and learning from a very large housing provider would help give Trust House more experience and "more grunt", Mr Pollard said.
Accessible Properties, which is owned by IHC, and Hapori Connect Tauranga are the other two organisations shortlisted.
Hapori Connect Tauranga is a consortium made up of British-owned Pinnacle Community Housing, Canadian real estate management company Brookfields Global Integrated Solutions, and the John Laing Infrastructure Fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Pollard said he hoped the fact the Kainga consortium had a "real Kiwi element" would give it an edge.
The move also fits with Trust House's aspirations to grow its social housing portfolio, he said.
"We are really keen for the government to start releasing other housing in the lower North Island."
Fully costed proposals are due by June 7.
The preferred bidder for each region is due to be announced between June and September.