Developer has past failure
‘‘It’s totally different to what’s currently done in the area,’’ Mr McNeil told councillors.
Costs would also be kept down by building the whole development at once, buying materials in bulk, he said.
Homes are forecast to cost between $230,000 and $320,000.
In 1995, Mr McNeil’s company, Pacific Homes, was put into liquidation owing $1.4m to National Bank and $1.65m to unsecured creditors.
The company had built 750 homes in the Wellington region over a decade, many in Porirua for Housing Corporation.
A receiver’s report criticised Mr McNeil for paying too much for land that was difficult to sell, and for using another company he owned, Elite Finance, to top up mortgages to Pacific Homes buyers who had maximised their credit elsewhere.
The Raiha St development would also let people buy homes on 100 per cent credit – 70 per cent from a bank and 30 per cent from Mr McNeil’s backers, a charitable trust.
Mr McNeil told Kapi- Mana News his past failure had nothing to do with the Raiha St development, saying Pacific Homes’ demise came about because it was owed money by others.
‘‘At the end of the day I’ve got 40-odd years in this industry. Like all developers, we all go through hard times and we get slated for it, which is unfair. We put a lot of effort into these programmes.’’
The Government was crying out for affordable homes, but nobody had been willing to build them, he said. He had successfully built affordable housing developments in Saudi Arabia and Europe over the past decade.
Like the Raiha St development, they mixed rental and owneroccupied properties, apartments and houses, and were designed to mix young and old residents, he said.
‘‘We’re trying to give back to the community. It’s not just a matter of providing houses for people to buy. It was actually for rental accommodation and social aspects.’’
The homes would be wellinsulated, keeping energy costs down, and were close enough to