The Ngāi Te Rangi Tauranga iwi has bought a multi-million dollar apartment block to house some of the city's most vulnerable residents.
These apartments could not have come at a better time for local Douglas Clay who has been homeless for over three and a half years.
Although it is a transitional housing opportunity until he finds his own place to stay, he is thankful to have a roof over his head while searching.
"It is a beautiful place, my aroha is big. I just want to cry now. Why I want to cry is it's the aroha of the people" said Clay of Tauranga Moana and Mataatua.
The eight apartments are being used as transitional housing for homeless families, former rough sleepers, pensioners, and those overloaded in motels. Clay is one of 23 residents now staying there.
Te Runanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi deputy chief executive Roimata Sam knows securing the residents permanent housing is no walk in the park.
"New Zealand knows too well that there is a lack of homes available. Therefore firstly we want to empower our people before they move into permanent homes" Sam said.
Families can stay there for up to three months. During this time Ngāi Te Rangi helps them to get on their feet, get jobs and teaches them how to care for their homes. The hope is they will take these lessons into their own homes one day.
All residents have gone through the Ministry of Social Development's processes before moving into one of the apartments, which they can share with three to five others.
Clay had been living on the streets of Tauranga for three and a half years. He said some days were tough, and some days he was convinced no one liked him anymore. "Within three weeks, I tried to take my life," he told Te Ao Mārama.
"I want my own castle"
But now Clay is focused on a new and better future with the help of Te Runanga o Ngāi Te Rangi's 'Te Whare Hapai Ō' (Supporting in Transitional Housing). And he is determined more than ever to get a home of his own.
"I want my own house, I want my own castle. If I can get my own castle I can live for myself."
Ngāi Te Rangi pumped funding from its commercial arm into the premises on Mayfair St, and also received a $2 million government funding contribution.
The Government's $2m is part of $8.6m given to Bay of Plenty iwi organisations to support the homeless and boost housing supply, out of a national fund worth more than $22m.
The average three-bedroom rental in Tauranga is $550 a week and the average house price in Tauranga is now more than $1 million, according to the latest QV House Price Index, which is up 33 per cent or nearly $300,000 in the past 12 months.