Ninety social and emergency homes will soon be built on one of the last blocks of undeveloped land in Māngere.
The Ministry of Social Development is working with partners to build the new $30 million to $50m project on a 4.6ha block which it owns between Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Calthorp Close and the southwestern motorway.
Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA) general manager operations Wyn Osborne said MUMA hoped to manage the tenancies to tie in with other social services, an early childhood centre and a charter school on the marae.
"It will be a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, some transitional and some social," he said.
"They are high-density townhouses, very close to one another, but we think it's very viable, in particular because we have those cultural, social and educational facilities nearby. We are talking about a community here."
The project will be funded through a $120m capital scheme through Housing NZ, announced last November as part of an overall $304m four-year package to support an extra 1400 transitional homes where homeless people can stay for three months until they find more stable housing.
The scheme has already been used to fund projects in Ōtāhuhu, Manurewa and 1682 units nationally, and last month the Government gave $27m from its long-term social housing fund towards an 80-unit complex for the Auckland City Mission.
Ministry of Social Development (MSD) deputy chief executive housing Scott Gallacher said MSD had owned the land at Ngā Whare Waatea since the early 1970s and plans for housing there were "still at an early stage".
"MSD is engaging with a range of stakeholders on those plans," he said.
"MSD's initial plans would include units of various sizes and configurations that could accommodate households from single people through to larger families.
"As part of its initial preparations for the potential development, the ministry is currently working through the required consenting processes with the Auckland Council.
"Given the active role they play in the community, MSD has discussed the proposal with MUMA, and would welcome the opportunity to partner with other groups to support this much needed development."
Osborne said MUMA already had some experience running two transitional houses for ex-prisoners through an Out of Gate contract with the Corrections Department.
Although the site is zoned for educational purposes, he said MUMA had "always seen the potential of it for housing".
He said the homes would not be restricted to Māori tenants only, but he noted that the agency's charter school Te Kura Māori o Waatea had only Māori students in practice.
"The Ministry of Education is very clear that the school must be for all students. In reality we have a process of self-selection," he said.
"The school has attributes which resonate with Māori, and the housing will be the same."
Transitional housing homes at September 18
Bay of Plenty: 114
East Coast: 146