Government, acting through the Ministry of Works and Housing and other stakeholders in the real estate and housing industry, has developed a framework to drive a new affordable housing programme using an appropriate mix of public and private sector investments, sector minister Francis Asenso-Boakye has said.
He disclosed that his ministry, in the quest to bridge the yawning housing deficit, was exploring the possibility of prospective home buyers using their tier-2 and tier-3 pension funds as deposit to secure mortgages.
“The reality is that governments have struggled over the years to provide housing at a cost affordable to the low- to middle-income population, and this can be attributed to our inabilities to supply housing that meets the general low-income levels of majority of the population,” he said at the maiden Business24 Real Estate Conference (REC2021) in Accra.
He added: “This certainly requires putting in place sustainable policies and programmes aimed at ensuring that the issue of affordable housing no longer becomes a myth but a possibility.”
Additionally, Mr. Asenso-Boakye emphasised that achieving affordable housing would require innovation and a workable agenda that places emphasis on the entire ecosystem.
To this end, he said, his ministry has identified the various cost-drivers in the real estate value chain and has mapped out specific strategies targeted to address them, with the sole aim of making housing affordable for a large section of the population.
“The future of real estate in Ghana is in the provision of affordable housing, and I want to urge all developers to come to that direction. It is only through this that we can reach out to majority of our citizens and positively affect the lives of the larger population,” the minister said.
The one-day real estate conference, organised by Ghana’s premier business e-Newspaper and digital media firm, Business24 Limited, in collaboration with the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GHCCI), discussed workable actions aimed at the creation of a vibrant housing market that will deliver the housing needs of Ghanaians.
On the theme “Affordable Housing for Every Ghanaian: A Myth or Possibility”, it convened a carefully selected group of industry players, professionals and experts to engage in discussions that seek to match the various challenges of affordable housing development to workable solutions.
Panelists agreed unanimously that affordable housing for every Ghanaian is possible with the right policy direction and support systems to drive down the cost of building.
“When it comes to whether affordable housing is a reality or not, I think the answer is yes, except the caveat that something has to be done for it to be yes and a proper yes,” said Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA).
“We cannot continue to talk about it and do nothing about it. So, affordable housing is a reality, it is possible, but we have to do what has to be done,” he added.
Dan Adjetey Mohenu, Senior Manager, Commercial and Retail Banking, for Republic Bank Ghana, added: “As a financial institution, one of our responsibilities is to make sure we are providing affordable financing to everyone who qualifies for it. So, [affordable housing] is possible, but we need to put a lot of policies in place to make sure it is a reality.”