A block of central Auckland state-housing flats that have been in a state of disrepair for some years will be bowled to make way for a new social-housing complex.

The plans would see the current 62 occupants of the nine-storey, 87-unit building on Greys Ave moved elsewhere and a new block with around 200 new apartments built in its place by 2021.

The Housing New Zealand (HNZ) flats, up the hill from Aotea Centre, have for more than a decade been the subject of public concern.

The 3,918sq m block was once labelled a "slum" and there were reports of gang activity, stinking rubbish, dangerous flooring and filthy public areas, as well as a number of security concerns.

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Chief executive of social agency Lifewise, Moira Lawler, says the units were no longer suitable for living and welcomed the news they were to be demolished.

"We are pleased that Housing New Zealand is investing in new, purpose-built housing for the city centre," she said. "Greys Ave is no longer suitable for the way people want to live."

She said currently the agency would work with HNZ to rehouse its 11 tenants who have been housed in the block under the Housing First model.

The Government's social housing agency has just announced it planned to demolish the 60-year-old building.

HNZ regional manager Neil Adams said the block of flats was "at the end of its life".

"It has a number of issues at the moment, we have quite a lot of leaks on the upper floor, the infrastructure and the types of pipes and how they are relocated means a lot of work is needed.

"It's safe and secure at the moment, but its in need of redevelopment."

He said another set of flats on the lower part of Greys Ave which had 50 units were in better condition and would not be demolished.

"It's more family-orientated, two-bedroom units and the tenants who are living there love living there."

Public records on the QV website show the combined land value of the two sites across a total 0.78ha of land was $50 million and the improvement value was $6m - giving it a combined rating valuation (RV) of $56m.

He said HNZ would work with the tenants living in the larger block at 139 Greys Ave to help find them accommodation as the construction took place.

Adams said so far everyone, tenants and service providers, had been "extremely positive".

HNZ planned to continue its discussions with the current tenants, nearby neighbours, partners and service providers in the coming weeks.

It would then present a final plan to the HNZ board in May 2018, before lodging resource consent in June 2018.

Building would start in 2019 and it would be ready for new tenants in 2021.

Adams said the new building, which would house around 200-220 units, would be designed to give tenants a safe space to call their own while maintaining vital connections with the community.

He says as well as the new living spaces, there would be medical facilities on site, units that would enable tenants to stay in them as they aged, potentially a cafeteria, and green spaces.

"It's about establishing a place where tenants will be proud to live and feel safe and therefore be able to sustain the tenancies."