The fifth edition of the Ghana Property Awards has been held with a call on industry players to intensify their efforts at addressing the country’s widening housing deficit.
Ghana currently has an estimated 1.5 million deficit in the housing front with cost of existing facilities on the constant increase, according to the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing.
The theme for this year’s award was “Optimising the Use of Building Materials for a Sustainable Built Environment.”
This year’s edition moved beyond just a night of dinner and awards to the organisation of an exhibition and conference culminating in the awards event.
Manet Properties was voted the Overall Housing Company of the Year for adopting the most sustainable mechanisms in its building projects and for social responsibility.
Other award winners in other categories included Trassacco, Lakeside Estates, Koans housing and Devtraco, among others.
Honorary awards were also given to past and present ministers of Works and Housing for their contributory roles to the development of the sector.
The first edition of the award scheme was held in 2007, with Buena Vista homes taking the prize for the best estate developer.
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Hannah Bissiw, challenged stakeholders in the housing industry to adopt innovative ways of making housing affordable to low income earners while maximising the use of local materials.
She stressed the need to use land appropriately by prefering high structures to flats to address the challenge of climate change, which is on the rise.
She reminded real estate players of the need to furnish rain water harvesting systems, solar panels and waste treatment facilities to help meet emerging challenges arising out of climatic change.
She said the industry had undergone a lot of change and had seen some improvements. She also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to make affordable housing available to as many Ghanaians as possible through efficient public-private partnerships.
The Director of the Ghana Property Awards (organisers of the event), Ms Irene Agyenkwa, said the awards scheme was to stimulate competition among industry players and to reward best practices for those who kept to high standards in delivering affordable but quality service to their clientele.
According to her, the major challenges that persist in the housing delivery service of the country are real and need urgent attention.
She touched on funding, poor infrastructure and the growing congestion in many parts of some major cities in Ghana as challenges that needed to be dealt with.
Ms Agyenkwa said the awards scheme for 2012 would focus on infrastructure, with particular attention on original ideas that had been implemented in property development front.
She said emphasis would also be laid on companies that had incorporated better and more affordable transportation, reduced emissions and pollution, and the provision of water, roads, phone services and constructions that had generally improved the living conditions of urban environments.GB
Story: Justice Baidoo