The Minister of Works and Housing, Hon Samuel Atta Akyea has bemoaned the state of Ghana’s mortgage evnrionment and mode of acquiring housing. He describes the market as non-workable therefore compelling the larger population to build from their own resources. Building by an individual takes roughly 5 – 15 years to complete a house. ‘Completing a house between 5 – 15 years is a mockery we should try to overcome’, he said. He calls for Pension funds as a source for financing housing and mortgage.
He made this statement at the Land and Housing conference being held in Accra. He has thus called for a radicalized approach to deal with the two million housing deficit which the minister described as ‘embarrasing’.
HOUSING FINANCING OPTIONS
He outlined a number of options, namely, the government sources, the bond market and the pension funds as sources for financing housing and mortgage. He was however quick to settle on using private pension funds as was in the case of Singapore. Pension funds should be used to create both Housing Construction Finance as well as a credible Mortgage Regime. This in his estimation would help provide less costly financing for housing. Currently the mortgage rates of banks are about 36.6% and according to the minister is an impossible situation. ‘Pension funds should be used as a leverage for purposes of building houses for the people’, he said.
This is the second time the Honourable Minister has made such a submission. His earlier submissions were however received with some opposition from the labour unions. Their reasons were the weak systems that usually guide such activities and the non-exemplary situation of SSNIT who are known to have invested heavily in the housing sector howbeit ineffectively.