Ghana Housing Authority begins soon

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Works and Housing addressing the launch.

The Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) is hopeful that it will soon complete the necessary processes to establish the Ghana Housing Authority (GHA) to assist the country deal with its 1.8 million housing unit deficit.

It is, however, putting in place the required impetus to support the review and enactment of relevant legislations for the operationalisation of the authority with the mandate to regulate, plan and manage housing developments in Ghana, in collaboration with private developers.

This is part of other initiatives being executed by the ministry to transform the housing and construction industry in line with the agenda of the government for infrastructure development in the country.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, made this known at the launch of a new commercial office building dubbed Adumuah Place at Appolonia City in Oyibi in the Greater Accra Region.

“My ministry is presently focused, among other things, on the review and enactment of legislations and addressing the institutional gaps, to create the appropriate platform for best practices within the industry.

“For this reason, the MWH has initiated the process to establish the Ghana Housing Authority which will have the mandate to regulate, plan and manage housing developments in Ghana, in collaboration with private developers,” he said.

Rent Act

He said the Rent Act, 1963 (Act 220) (as amended) was passed by Parliament 59 years ago and therefore, its relevance has been outlived by rapid urbanisation and population growth, as well as other attendant difficulties that have engulfed the housing sector.

He said it has become necessary to reform the existing legislation, remove inherent constraints on housing supply, maintain the protection it offers low-income and vulnerable tenants from abuse and arbitrary actions, and offer incentives which will stimulate private sector investment.

According to him, the government, as part of its efforts to address the affordability and accessibility challenges of the rental housing market, intends to implement a National Rental Assistance Scheme.

He said the scheme among other things seeks to address the market imbalances in the rental housing market, provide assistance to streamline processes for accessing rental accommodation for lower income households, while leveraging such assistance towards the improvement of the quality of rental accommodation.

The minister said it was gratifying to note that Appolonia City has taken into consideration a comprehensive planning concept that provides for a self-sustainable community by providing relevant social amenities, including schools, healthcare facilities, shopping centres, amongst others.

Mixed-use office

The Adumuah Place is a mixed-use office building with retail and services spaces designed to meet the needs of the Ghanaian and international businesses.

Developed by Gateway Real Estate Africa (GREA), the first commercial office building was strategically positioned at the entrance to Appolonia City.

With the development of Adumuah Place, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GREA, Greg Pearson, indicated that much emphasis was placed on reducing tenants’ overall cost of occupation by focusing on design features that could reduce utility charges while ensuring comfort.

He stated that the use of perforated aluminum cladding, for example, shades the building internally, reducing glare and reliance on air conditioning for cooling.

Boosting investment

To further boost development in the real estate industry, the CEO of Rendeavour, Stephen Jennings, stressed the need for the country to improve its investment environment to attract large-scale foreign direct investment.

“Key infrastructure bottlenecks need to be addressed. This region is one of the fastest developing nodes in Accra, but people spend two to four hours commuting to work.

“Upgrading of the Adenta-Dodowa highway has been on the books for several years without anything happening. Expanding the road will catalyse further investment in the area and accelerate growth,” he said.