Ngati Whatua's commercial arm says its assisted housing programme taking shape this year aims to help iwi descendants avoid financial home loan problems.
The iwi has selected 30 families who will buy new homes on tribal land at Bastion Point, with Ngati Whatua guaranteeing bank loans or helping directly with finance.
It is the start of a long-term plan to eventually build up to 700 homes, with the iwi retaining the land and residents paying only for the house.
Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says they have worked closely with banks, and selected the families on the same criteria as if they were seeking a bank loan.
Mr Blair says the $12 million of capital involved is money that Ngati Whatua won't have to invest in more commercial projects, but balancing the social and financial is part of the iwi's role.
- You can hear more about possible solutions to Auckland's housing problems on Insight on Sunday Mornings with Wallace Chapman.