From left: Dr A llen Zimbler, SHS Chairman; Grete Faremo, UNOPS Executive Director and Amerley Ollenu Awua-Asamoa, Ghana’s Ambassador to Denmark at the signing of the new housing deal in Copenhagen on Monday
Ghana is expected to benefit from an additional 100,000 housing units under the affordable housing deal of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The additional housing units are meant for teachers and students, and would bring to 200,000 the total number of housing units under the UNOPS project for Ghana.
Initially, Ghana secured 100,000 housing units at a cost of $5 billion, with the project expected to commence in June 2019.
DAILY GUIDE is reliably informed that university students in congested areas or hostels are going to benefit from the project.
An agreement on the initial 100,000 units was signed in September 2018 in New York, US, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which was attended by President Akufo-Addo.
The latest agreement, which will significantly ease congestion on campuses in the country, was signed in Copenhagen, Denmark, between UNOPS, SHS Holdings (SHS) and the Government of Ghana, through its Ministry of Education.
DAILY GUIDE understands that SHS, through its student housing brand, Suite Living, will provide student housing that uses energy-efficient solar rooftops.
All buildings will be treated with a product to help prevent malaria through the eradication of mosquitoes based on a World Health Organization (WHO) approved non-toxic chemical.
UNOPS recently rolled out a $15 billion project to construct affordable houses in some countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
Ghana and Kenya are the beneficiary countries from Africa while India will also benefit from the project in Asia.
Ghana, with its housing deficit projected to increase to 2.2 million in a few years, was initially due to receive $5 billion, but with the additional 100,000 units, the West African nation is expected to get additional cash from UNOPS.
SHS has already established a factory in Accra where it will apply cutting-edge building technology to produce advanced building materials.
All production and construction, this paper gathered, will be carried out by local employees, thus creating several thousand new jobs.
The project is already underway and following the selection of appropriate sites, the first phase should be delivered within two years.
A unique aspect of the agreement is the inclusion of financial assistance for teachers, with mortgage support from the Ghana Education Trust Fund.
By Melvin Tarlue