Housing New Zealand says its first new apartment buildings within the four main avenues of Christchurch will be built on Manchester Street.
The plans are for one and two-bedroom units in a three storey apartment complex.
Housing New Zealand says it will keep about one third of the new apartments on Manchester Street for its tenants and the rest will be sold off to first-home buyers.
It says the units will be energy-efficient, meet new seismic building standards and will appeal to first home buyers as well as people wanting to rent.
The project is part of Housing New Zealand's programme to build 700 homes within the next three years, including three and four-bedroom houses.