Middle and low-income earners can now breathe a sigh of relief as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given them an assurance that the government is rolling out pragmatic housing interventions for them to acquire decent and affordable houses.
In his 2019 State of the Nation’s Address ( SONA) to Parliament last Thursday, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said there were many well-intentioned projects that ended up pricing out the low-income earners who were supposed to be their beneficiaries.
“We are determined to learn the lessons from past projects. The Ministry of Finance is working to launch a one-billion Ghana cedi housing fund that would target low-income earners,” he said.
Ghana’s housing deficit is currently estimated to be in excess of 1.7 million housing units. Experts have projected that a minimum of 190,000 units would be required annually for a 10-year period.
President Akufo-Addo said the government was committed to laying a good foundation to give a lasting solution to housing challenges.
The President said the government would prioritise the bridging of the housing deficit in its 2019 development agenda.
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He acknowledged that there was an acute shortage of user-friendly and decent housing for people in the middle and low-income brackets in the country.
President Akufo-Addo said the interventions would begin with the completion of the many abandoned projects dotted around the country.
“A consortium of local banks has raised 51 million dollars to fund the completion of the social housing units started by the Kufuor administration in 2006 at Koforidua, Tamale and Ho,” he said.
He said the Saglemi Housing Project, started under the last National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) government was also high on the government’s list of priorities this year.
The Saglemi project is a 5,000 housing unit project being undertaken by Construtora OAS Ghana Limited, a Brazilian construction firm, and funded by Emerging Markets Fixed Income Division of the Credit Suisse, London.
The President said the 5,000-unit project, when completed, would boost the affordable housing numbers.
“We are, therefore, establishing the value for money issues surrounding the project in order to reconcile the number of houses built with the schedule of payments made, and accelerate delivery,” he said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the 2019 budget had made provision for the construction of 200,000 housing units, and a database of local and foreign developers had been created to help make the policy a reality.
He said land banks had also been secured in several towns across Ghana, where factories producing pre-fabricated building materials could be sited to facilitate the government’s housing delivery agenda.
He said the government would continue with the other housing projects for the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces and government workers through agencies such as the State Housing Corporation.
“The most exciting news on the housing landscape, though, is the drafting of plans to regenerate Nima, which holds the dubious title of being Accra’s first slum,” he said.
“I am a proud resident of Nima myself, and I am extremely excited that the regeneration plans will not dislodge or dispossess residents, but would rather transform Nima into a well-laid out residential area with full amenities,” he said.
He said he was looking forward to the good work that was being done by the Ministries of Inner Cities and Zongo Development and Works and Housing to bring the Nima regeneration into reality.