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Housing crisis: Akufo-Addo’s next target in second-term – Ken Ofori-Atta

Ghanaians should expect the housing crisis to ease as the Akufo-Addo government promises to tackle it “when” re-elected in the 2020 polls

Promising a major boost in the real estate sector, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has promised  housing is “an area that is going to take some real prominence is housing going into the second term.”

Currently, Ghana has a housing deficit of about 2.5 million housing units and needs some 200,000 units per annum. But only 40 percent of this annual need is met, the B&FT has reported.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who is confident of a second term for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assured that greater impetus would be dedicated to housing.

Under the first-term of the government, the priority areas have been education, agriculture and industrialisation.

Mr Ofori-Atta, a guest on Joy TV’s PM Express, said government has already began work on the housing problem.

“We already have a couple of pilot programmes in housing that we will launch this year,” he said in an interview, monitored by theghanareport.com.

To drive this agenda, the government has approved the establishment of a National Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme to provide financial options for the construction of residential housing across the country.

Prior to the announcement, a provision of a GH¢ 1 billion Mortgage and Housing Finance Fund had been announced in the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy.

The government is expected to facilitate affordable local currency mortgage loans to low- and middle-income earners to finance estate constructions.

Under the scheme, the banks engaged are to provide cheap financing arrangements as low as 12 per cent at Stanbic Bank and 11.9 per cent at Republic Bank.

Housing is a major challenge and any social intervention from the state will be seen as a major reprieve.

Government is also collaborating with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to deliver some 100, 000 new affordable housing units by 2022.

Additionally, the Ministry of Finance announced in December 2019 that it was entering into a partnership with GCB Securities to establish the first Affordable Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to purchase properties and rent them at affordable rates to public sector workers for a period of 15 to 20 years after which they pay a residual value to own it.

REIT has identified properties at TDC Community 22 Affordable Housing Enclave for the pilot phase.

In Ghana, the question has remained, how affordable is the government’s affordable housing programs.

Ghana has several uncompleted affordable housing projects.

Under President John Agyekum Kufuor, a similar project began in 2006 and was to be completed by December 2007 at a cost of $300m.

Some 1,640 low-cost housing units were to sit on 300 acres of Kpone land. The works on the two other sites were to bring the total housing project to 4,700 units.

 

Funds for the project from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as well as HIPC funds for the project have run out.

It is reptiles and squatters who have run in since a change in government in 2009.

The Mahama government did not continue the project. It started a new one, the the 5,000 Saglemi affordable housing project which is now a subject of criminal investigations.

 

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous says

    More deceit and lies.

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