CatholicCare has been selected to manage 33 units at a government-owned Kaleen housing complex more than 15 months after construction completed on the site.
The non-for-profit organisation will manage half the units at the complex and the other half are public housing properties managed by the government.
The Canberra Times recently reported the 33 units that CatholicCare would manage had been vacant since the builder handed over the project to the ACT government in March last year.
In August last year, the ACT government sought tenders from community housing providers to manage the properties. This process closed in October.
It is understood CatholicCare was selected as the preferred tenderer in January. CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn chief executive Anne Kirwan said the organisation wanted to make sure it got the model right.
"It's an incredibly complex arrangement between all the parties and it's an innovative model which hasn't been done before so we really needed to make sure we followed due diligence," she said.
"We didn't want to come back to the ACT government after 12 months to say it wasn't working so that's why it has taken so long to come to the arrangements because CatholicCare is the steward of this asset on behalf of the ACT government."
The mix of public and affordable housing is part of the government's 10-year housing strategy where it aimed to grow the community housing sector, Minister for Housing Yvette Berry said.
She said the reason a tender had not been finalised by the time construction was completed was because the government was still considering the mixed-tenure model.
"When that complex was first built it wasn't considered as being a model that was mixed with affordable and social housing and then we had been talking with Housing ACT about that site and the number of dwellings that were there," she said.
"I was really concerned about having that concentrated number of disadvantaged people so continuing with the ACT government's policy around salt and pepper but really building strong communities as well, an intentional community."
The affordable rentals will be targeted at those in the second income quintile, which includes households earning between $55,000 and $100,000 per year.
Ms Kirwan said the organisation had started to advertise the properties for rent and would have the properties filled within six months.
"It will take us a while to assess all the applications because it is affordable rentals so there is eligibility criteria and we will need to talk with applicants to make sure they meet that criteria and then support them to move in," she said.
"It's important to note that no one on the social housing waiting list was impacted by the delays... it was more the affordable rentals which is a different cohort of tenant."
ACT Shadow Minister for Housing Mark Parton welcomed the announcement but said it was long overdue.
"It is most pleasing that Canberrans will finally benefit from this investment," he said.
"These units have sat vacant for more than a year despite the great expense to taxpayers and the great need for affordable housing for thousands of Canberrans doing it tough. Now, in typical Labor fashion, this tired old government is slapping itself on the back for its half-hearted effort.
"Struggling families needing a leg up deserve better."