President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday launched the National Affordable Housing Programme and broke ground for work to begin on 8,000 affordable housing units at Pokuase, a suburb of Accra.
The project, President Akufo-Addo maintained, is a further testament of his government’s unwavering commitment to addressing the pressing housing needs of Ghanaians.
The vision of the government, the President stated, is rooted in the philosophy…that “seek to liberate the energies of the people for the growth of the property-owning democracy in this land, with the right to life, freedom and justice, as the principles to which the government and laws of the land should be dedicated in, specifically, to enrich life, prosperity and liberty of each and every citizen.”
The housing project, the President emphasised, embodies “our dedication to prioritising housing as a fundamental need of our people.”
President Akufo-Addo said, the government is breaking down barriers and creating pathways for Ghanaians, regardless of their circumstances, to access homes.
He said the government remains resolute and committed to ensuring housing security for all Ghanaians and would continue to explore innovative approaches to meet the diverse needs of the Ghanaians.
Ghana’s urban population currently stands at an estimated 58 percent with the urbanisation rate of 3.3 percent.
These figures, highlights the pressing issue of housing which has become a critical developmental challenge for the nation.
Statistics shows that only a merger 5 percent of the country’s population can acquire homes without assistance, while 60 percent require support facilitated by the state, to access housing.
The remaining 35 percent of the population would not be able to access homes even with government’s subsidies.
The support required by households, falling into the 60 percent brackets, comes in the form of supported subsidies and policies and uncompetitive, price mortgages.
In recognition of this, President Akufo-Addo said, the government had designed a sustainable framework aimed at enhancing housing delivery in the country.
The framework, according to the President, focuses on improving the overall eco-system of housing delivery by addressing both the supply and demand sides of the housing market.
The objective results, the President emphasised, is to increase the production of affordable housing units and established a reliable and sustainable demand side of the housing market, accessible to all Ghanaians.
That, President Akufo-Addo explained, would ensure homes are readily available to all segments of society, including labour unions, formal and informal, as well as those in the diaspora.
He said the sudden high cost of building materials as a result of the COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war, meant Ghanaians cannot continue to rely on imported building materials for their homes and the construction industry.
As a result, President Akufo-Addo said, the revised national affordable housing programme requires that developers incorporate a significant proportion of domestic manufacturing building materials, such as burnt clay bricks.
The deliberate use of domestically produced burnt clay bricks, he indicated, would not only ensure the durability of the structures but also support the growth and development of the country’s domestic building materials industry.
Through the project, the President explained that the government is paving the way for sustaining the growth and development of the burnt bricks industry.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would leverage on the National Housing Ownership Fund, developed by the Ministry of Finance, to facilitate the participation of labour unions in accessing mortgages to enable them to restructure payment plans for their members.
On the Saglami Housing Project, the President said the government was aware of the delays and setbacks the execution of the project.
He said the issues about the scope of work and the money so far expended had been taken to the criminal investigation department of the Police Service which had resulted in criminal proceedings.
However, in the meantime, President Akufo-Addo indicated that to forestall the Saglami project from deteriorating further, the Ministry of Works and Housing has actively engaged cabinet, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Attorney-General on the completion of the project.
He said it’s been established that in addition to the $198 million already expended on the project, the government would have to raise an additional $46 million to complete the off-site structural works which involved the provision of water, electricity and storm drains to mitigate flooding.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD