Auckland property developer to build 500 social rentals

One of Auckland's leading property developers wants an end to tax breaks on investment housing, and has detailed the largest single philanthropic plan yet to build social housing.

500 social rental homes will be built over the next seven years. Photo: 123RF

Ted Manson has started construction of what he hopes will become 500 social rental homes in Auckland over the next seven years, in deals that also involve maintenance of the apartment buildings.

Mr Manson, who is the managing director of family-firm Mansons TCLM, unveiled the ambition of his charitable foundation at a housing summit in Auckland.

He said construction has just begun on apartment buildings in Liverpool Street in central Auckland, and in the west Auckland suburb of Glen Eden.

The Ted Manson Foundation is leasing 163 of the 240 apartments to social housing provider Compass, as state-funded social rentals.

The balance will be sold privately.

Property developer Ted Manson Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Mr Manson told more than 100 delegates at an Auckland housing summit that his family upbringing in a state house had been the foundation of his views on the need for stable, affordable homes.

"My parents lived in a very small one-bedroom apartment before the state house, to which I moved when I was five, so I'm doing this for philanthropic reasons because I've done very well in my life and been quite successful and realise that life's not fair for one," he told RNZ.

Mr Manson said the combination of funding, and his ability to build and maintain the apartments, made the venture unique.

"We're building very robust properties, to Homestar 6 standard, out of concrete and robust joiner so not cheap," he said.

"It's just about impossible for any normal person to do this unless they've got a lot of money and their own construction company."

His family firm Mansons TCLM has been behind prominent commercial buildings such as the new Spark headquarters.

Mr Manson blamed Auckland's soaring house prices on government policies such as tax breaks for residential property investors.

"Negative gearing has to be stopped. This will slow down property investors from buying so much, and therefore stop property prices increasing so much."

He called for an end to sales of existing homes to non-residents, and for publicly-owned land to be sold cheaply to community housing providers.

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