John Sax: the ethical property magnate
Millionnaire property developer John Sax, says affordable housing will be protected on a new $900m property development to start in Mangere in October.
Sax, who appeared 87th on National Business Review's Rich List 2015 with an estimated fortune of $150m, is determined to give lower income families a chance to own their own homes in the project to build 1600 houses on a 15ha former market gardening site in Walmsley Road.
He said around 25 per cent of homes would be available for lease, lease to buy or other financing arrangements, designed to give a small return if they are sold on, but to keep the houses affordable for future generations.
The other 75 per cent will be open to the market, but at least a percentage will be protected from gentrification, rising house prices and speculative investment said Sax.
He said: "We hope to bring people from a place of despair to being able to live in a pleasant place and to be part of a community which will nourish them, " said Sax who plans to create a "wellness centre", a family and employment centre, childcare and possibly a school on the site.
Sax said the project wopuld bring together his skills as a property developer with his approach to helping people achieve better lives through sponsorship and support.
"The single biggest impact on communities is through education," he said. "Financial education is also really important. Fiscal responsibility should be taught in schools so that young people can learn the lessons of delayed gratification.
He said he was a fan of the Oasis academies in the UK which were estasblished by a Christian trust, where he said 50 per cent were performing better than state schools.
"We want this development will be a place of exchange where residents can feel cared for and feel supported even if they are struggling with drug or alcohol addition. This means bringing not-for-profit orgasnisations together to create a secure community.
"We cannot compel people of course but we want to be a catalyst for change, helping them and helping their children to feel part of a flourishing community."
House prices on the development are expected to be between $320,000 and $800,000