Govt explores use of pensions funds for mortgage

BY: News Desk Report
Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye
Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye

The government is exploring the possibility of prospective home buyers using their Tier Two and Tier Three pension funds as initial deposit to support their mortgage plans.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, who made this known, observed that the quest to provide access to housing for Ghanaians, especially low-to-middle income earners, required sustainable policies and programmes aimed at ensuring that the issue of affordable housing no longer became a myth but a possibility.

At the maiden Business 24 Real Estate Conference in Accra yesterday, the minister said despite the economic impact associated with the housing sector, successive governments had not been able to provide housing that met the needs and financial capacities of majority of Ghanaians, meaning people required some level of support to access housing.

The conference brought together key industry players, professionals and experts to engage in discussions that sought to match the various challenges of affordable housing development to workable solutions.

Mr Asenso-Boakye noted that there was great disparity between housing cost and income levels of people, and that it raised the question of access and affordability.

Deeper collaboration

The minister, therefore, stressed the need for a deeper collaboration between the government and the private sector to create the needed opportunities to make it possible for majority of the citizenry to have access to decent, safe, secure, quality and affordable housing.

“The government’s new affordable housing programme will involve an appropriate mix of public and private sector investments to meet the financial capacity of the average Ghanaian, as well as our urban population, to access safe and secured affordable housing,” he added.

Housing and Mortgage Fund

On the need to meet the needs and financial capacity of low-to-middle income earners, the minister indicated plans by the ministry to collaborate with appropriate authorities to scale up the National Housing and Mortgage Fund that was piloted in 2020 to stimulate the demand-side of the housing market and create more access to affordable housing.

The National Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme was established to provide extensive construction of residential housing across the country to promote social equity and stimulate the economy.

The scheme was also intended to ensure that low to middle income earners have access to mortgages to buy homes, as well as to address the high cost of financing for the construction of residential homes for a large segment of the public.

The minister further appealed to stakeholders in the housing sector to embrace the government’s affordable housing framework and to partner with banks and other financial institutions to invest more to wipe out the prevalent housing deficit, adding that “it is only through this that we can reach out to majority of our citizens and positively affect the lives of the larger population”.

Absorbing cost

Mr Asenso-Boakye also disclosed that the government was working on a framework that would absorb the cost of land and infrastructural services in the provision of decent, secured, quality and affordable accommodation for private developers.