Up to 155 new state houses will be built by the middle of this year, the Government has revealed.
Work on the houses in regions including Napier, Nelson and South Canterbury, will begin this month.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford unveiled the plan for new houses in 15 regional centres today.
They will be built on vacant land in what the Government says is the largest building initiative outside the main centres in "decades".
"This is the first step in building more new homes to help those most in need in our regions. In total, it will build more than 270 bedrooms for individuals or families in the areas where they are needed most," Twyford said.
"Housing NZ will build these modern, warm and dry homes on its vacant land and on its larger properties. They will mostly consist of one or two-bedroom homes, with some larger homes.
"These homes will be low maintenance, fully insulated, and have carpets, curtains and double glazing."
People would start moving into the new homes from the middle of this year, Twyford said.
"This is the largest building initiative Housing NZ has undertaken outside the main centres in decades.
"If we want to reduce homelessness, we must build more state houses. If more state houses had been built in the past decade, we would not have the levels of homelessness we do today."
Work on 82 new state homes in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn also began today.
The site previously held 16 state houses.
"This project is a great example of how Housing NZ is redeveloping its ageing stock to provide modern, warm and dry homes that fully utilise Crown land.
"When finished, this redevelopment will house up to 292 Aucklanders," Twyford said.
"Importantly, they are located close to the New Lynn town centre and near public transport."
The start of construction at Thom St was celebrated today by local iwi, dignitaries and members of the community.
As well as addressing homelessness, the new builds would take pressure off the local rental market, Twyford said.
And in Manurewa, 50 new transitional homes opened today.
Transitional housing provides short-term housing for people with an immediate housing need while support is put in place to transition them into sustainable housing on a long-term basis.
Associate Housing and Urban Development Minister Jenny Salesa said the new builds would provide a "warm, safe and dry place to live" for 600 people over the next three years.
"The new studio units, located on Browns Rd in Manurewa, will ensure 200 people have a place to go immediately, and are not left out in the cold, while they are supported to find a longer term housing option."
The development is a joint project between the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand, and will be managed by the Salvation Army.
There are currently just over 1900 transitional housing places secured for tenanting across New Zealand, which can support around 7600 households per year.
WHERE THE REGIONAL BUILDS WILL BE
• Far North - 10
• Rotorua - 8
• Whakatane – 8
• Napier/Hastings – 49
• New Plymouth – 6
• Whanganui – 7
• Palmerston North – 11
• Nelson / Marlborough – 20
• South Canterbury – 19
• Dunedin – 14
• Invercargill – 3
The Government has noted these numbers could change.