Three Maraenui sections which have been vacant since late 2014 are set to be filled with Kāinga Ora housing.
Around 31 new two- to four-bedroom houses will be built on three Kāinga Ora-owned sites in Maraenui: 1, 5-11 Percy Spiller Ave, 108-116 Kelvin Pl and 44-56 Bledisloe Rd.
Kāinga Ora spokesman Andrew Booker said they were using the wording of "around" 31 houses as there is potential for the number of houses to change slightly as plans progress.
Booker said they are aiming to build nine houses on each of the Percy Spiller Ave and Bledisloe Rd sites and 13 at Kelvin Pl.
The development is part of the Government's Homelessness Action Plan, with work led by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to deliver 1000 additional transitional housing places to reduce reliance on motels as emergency housing.
"These homes will help meet the urgent need in Napier to get people and whānau out of emergency accommodation and into warm, dry homes," Booker said.
While they are being built as permanent public housing, the houses will initially act as transitional housing to provide houses for those in urgent need while they receive support to find permanent housing.
The homes will be managed by a contracted provider who will make sure families living there are looked after. The manager will be a point of contact for neighbours and the community.
People staying in the houses might already be living, working or going to school locally, or will be from nearby districts, Booker said.
Napier City Councilor Maxine Boag, who holds the housing portfolio and has been an affordable housing advocate, said she was "absolutely delighted" about the development.
"I think it's really going to help alleviate the situation that many people find themselves in, living in motels".
Boag said there was a very high number of people on the social housing waiting list and believed the development would "make a dent in it".
She said it was especially good the development was taking place in Maraenui, which she describes as "the most connected suburb in our city".
"With people crying out for affordable housing, this is just the right place for it," she said.
She hoped the development would also help revitalise the Maraenui shopping centre.
Construction work is currently on hold under the level 4 Covid-19 lockdown.
As New Zealand moves to alert Level 3 on Tuesday, construction will be permitted, provided all government health and safety standards and protocols are followed.
Booker said they will follow government advice on when it is safe to commence construction and, when that becomes clearer and plans have further progressed, they will get in touch with the community.
The sections have been vacant since late 2014 after earthquake-prone buildings and houses in poor condition were demolished.
Booker said Maraenui residents were informed of plans through an update letter which welcomed the community input.
An update letter seen by the Hawke's Bay Today was sent to Maraenui residents on April 15, detailing the plans.
Residents were encouraged to get in touch via phone or email as Covid-19 has impacted Kāinga Ora's ability to engage face-to-face, Brooker said.