The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing Abdulai Abanga has assured Ghanaians of the government’s commitment to increase access to various affordable housing thereby reducing the housing deficit in the country.
Mr. Abanga who referred to the statistics from the 2021 Population and Housing Census report indicated that although the sector has presented strides of growth over the medium term, with an estimated level of the housing deficit reducing from 2 million to 1.8 million housing units, the housing delivery system has failed to meet the needs of the low-to-middle income group.
The census report also reveals that approximately 12.7 percent of the total structures counted were vacant housing units, giving a clear indication that our housing supply has outpriced the average person in Ghana, and failed to address the housing needs of a significant segment of our society.
“It is for this reason that the government has prioritised the delivery of affordable housing units over the medium term and further desires to institute a pragmatic approach to address the affordability gap and increase access to various affordable housing thereby reducing the housing deficit” he added.
Mr. Abanga made this statement at the 14th Ghana Property Awards held at Accra under the theme, “Sustainable Architecture In Ghana’s Housing Mix”.
He indicated that the Ministry intends to create the enabling environment to induce private sector investment and engender the mobilisation capacity of the not-for-profit sector towards meeting the needs of lower-income households.
The prevailing strategy of the government is to secure land banks and provide the requisite infrastructure services to the sites, designated as affordable housing enclaves, to leverage private sector investment for affordable housing construction.
“ We intend to establish the Home Ownership Fund to provide Ghana Cedi-denominated and credible mortgages to enable average Ghanaians, especially public servants, to afford the housing units when they have been delivered”.
“It is only through this that we can reach out to the majority of our citizens and positively affect the lives of the larger population,” he said.
The success of the above request hinges on the availability of a sound institutional and regulatory framework because it establishes a platform for good practices.
Abanga noted that for this reason, the Ministry of Works and Housing, has initiated the process to establish a Ghana Housing Authority which will have the mandate to regulate, plan, develop and manage housing developments in Ghana.
The objective of setting up the Authority is to decouple the planning, development, and management of housing projects of the Ministry from its core mandate of formulating, coordinating, and monitoring the implementation of policies.
“This will streamline the transition from policy formulation, coordination, and monitoring through to the successful implementation of government-led housing program”.
Mr. Abanga pointed out that most implemented government-led housing projects have not achieved the desired outcomes and impact for which they were conceived, primarily because the feasibilities, conception, planning, development, and management of these projects are not handled by professionals but rather influenced by political considerations.
“Sadly, the government-led housing projects suffer during the implementation stage, causing them to stall or be abandoned when there is a change in government”.
As a government, we have resolved to lead the process to engage key stakeholders within the sector to set up the Ghana Housing Authority and also find ingenious ways of creating an enabling environment, especially for the private sector.
Apart from the formulation of legislation and policies to streamline the activities of the sector, the government believes in dialogue with industry players to ensure a high level of professionalism, transparency, and result-oriented programmes.
The Ministry is confident that lessons learned through some of these engagements will offer ideas needed to provide homes to help to reduce the housing deficit which is currently facing the country.
BY Prince Fiifi Yorke