Govt To Complete Abandoned Housing Projects

GOVERNMENT HAS indicated it will use the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to revive the affordable housing concept and complete many of the abandoned housing units across the country.

The Affordable REITs will become the off-taker of the properties for the rent-to-own scheme.

This came to light when Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, on Monday, embarked on a working visit to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) affordable housing enclave and Adom City Estates in Tema communities 26 and 25 respectively.

The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Works and Housing are collaborating to speed up work on delivery of houses under the National Mortgage Scheme (NMS) and the Affordable Housing REITs (Rent-to-own) Scheme and to promote investors interested in developing affordable houses in the country which will be a major priority during government’s next term.

The objective of the tour was to observe and launch the success achieved during the two-year pilot phase of the schemes and indicated government’s commitment to use the model developed to enable an accelerated residential construction and rent-to-own schemes in the country.

The National Housing and Mortgage Fund (NHMF) was set up to pilot two schemes – the NMS and the REITs (Rent-to-own) Scheme.

Under the NMS mortgages are being underwritten at rates of 10%-12% by the participating banks namely, GCB Limited, Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and Republic Bank Ghana Limited.

They indicated that the intervention had reduced mortgage rates by over 60%, compared to the average market rate of 28%. In addition, based on the building specification, the starting price for houses are GH¢140,000 and GH¢90,000 for standard two-bedroom and one-bedroom respectively.

“The monthly rents under this initiative are GH¢525 and GH¢625 for standard two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments respectively, compared to the market average price of GH¢650 and GH¢850 in the neighbourhood,” they noted.

The NMS is working with Republic Bank to procure 21 Blocks (150 Units) of the renovated Asokore Mampong Affordable Houses developed by SSNIT for the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) among others.

“We wish to also commend other private developers including Blue Rose Construction, Yabah Ventures, Waterstones and Devtraco among others, who are also working with the NMS and GCB REITs to develop more affordable houses across the country,” they added.

BY Samuel Boadi