Ghana’s housing deficit has hit 2 million units and as such the Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea has hinted that government would have to build 190,000 to 200,000 units of houses each year for the next 10 years to bridge the gap.
The 10-year housing deficit eradication plan is estimated to cost the country about US$3.4 billion every year.
Atta Akyea bemoaned the “sorry situation in which we find ourselves”, saying: “No wonder we are struggling with a housing deficit which is now in excess of 2 million housing units”.
The government announced an ambitious plan to establish a GH¢1 billion mortgage and housing finance to leverage private capital while providing affordable housing for Ghanaians to help bring down the housing deficit.
Though the plan was announced in the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the government is yet to implement it.
The minister has, therefore, inaugurated a National Housing Committee on affordable housing.
The Committee is made up of representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Roads and Highways; the Architects Registration Council, Public Servants Housing Loan Scheme Board, Rural Housing Department; Architectural and Engineering Services Limited; the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, Ghana Water Company Limited, Power Distribution Services Ghana, and the Lands Commission.
The Commission is charged to craft a policy to promote the building of communities and ensure equitable distribution of affordable houses, oversee infrastructure development such as roads, water and electricity connections to new sites, and implement the social housing component.
At the inauguration ceremony, Mr Atta Akyea urged the members to bridge the housing deficit by identifying and creating land banks and helping with land acquisition for the projects.
The Committee is expected to come up with relevant solutions to the housing crisis by October 2020.
It is chaired by Atta Akyea with support from his deputy, Barbara Asher Ayisi.
The announcement of the committee coincides with concerns expressed by the Minority in parliament that some 1,412 affordable houses at Saglemi have been left to rot since the Akufo-Addo government took office in January 2017.
The Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea has stated that the government intends to terminate the existing contract for the Saglemi housing project.
According to him, the state was short-changed in the $180 million deal which was entered into by the John Mahama government.