The first National Housing Policy (NHP) to facilitate the provision of decent, safe and affordable houses to all was launched in Accra yesterday. The policy aims to accelerate efforts at addressing the national housing deficit estimated to be in excess of 1.7 million housing units.
It will also provide an enabling environment for the private sector to intensify its leading role in the provision of safe affordable houses.
The 39-page policy document contains the role and responsibilities of all key institutions, including the sector ministry, Regional Coordinating Councils, Town and Country Planning Department and the private sector.
The policy identified the challenges in the housing sector to include high cost of land and accessibility, lack of access to credit facilities, high cost of building materials, outdated building codes and standards and the lack of effective regulatory and monitoring mechanisms.
It also outlined measures to address those bottlenecks to include the promotion of greater private sector participation in housing delivery, investment in rental housing, promoting housing schemes that maximises land utilisation and making housing programmes more accessible to the poor.
The outgoing Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, who launched the policy, said it had gone through extensive deliberative and consultative steps to ensure that a consensus was reached.
“I know stakeholders in the housing sub-sector have been waiting anxiously for this policy to give direction to the activities in the industry to enhance government intervention at addressing the housing deficit,” he added.
The minister, therefore, expressed gratitude to all stakeholders and development partners including the UN Habitat, for the support in the institutionalisation of the policy.
The President of the Ghana Real Estates Developers Association (GREDA), Mr Kwaakye Dopoah Dei, said the policy would enhance operations of the private sector in the industry as the government alone could not solve the current housing deficit.
Source: Graphic Online