The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Development Association, GREDA, Sammy Amegayibor, has stated that the lack of continuity among different governments in the country will affect the housing sector.
According to him, this does not augur well for the country’s development in housing delivery.
His claims follow the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s pledge that the government will establish a Ghana Housing Authority and a National Housing and Mortgage Finance Company to oversee the building of more housing units in its next term of office.
But the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Development Association, Sammy Amegayibor, believes this pledge is a repeat of what it is in the national housing policy launched in the era of the previous government.
“While there are programs and discussions that have taken place in the past, which we have to take a look at, and see how we can follow it through, and begin to benefit from the results that are expected, we keep going round in circles and try to assume to be doing new things yet it is the same things that we are recycling. Is this a national housing policy or it is NPP’s housing policy?” he said.
He further suggested a national agenda to tackle the problem of housing instead of leaving it to the political parties to plan.
“We need to maintain continuity, that is why I don’t believe in politics for housing. We cannot use manifestoes to run housing issues. It cannot be. Our population keeps increasing and housing will never get away,” he added.
Housing in Ghana is challenged in all aspects – from land acquisition through to construction of the physical structure and access to basic services and infrastructure as well as financing.
It remains one of the critical development challenges because of the huge gap between the supply and demand for housing.
The housing question is largely a case of demand for houses outstripping supply.
Another major factor is the high cost of houses which are often priced far above what an average worker can afford.
The situation has resulted in the development of many slums in different parts of the country, with many people living in unhealthy conditions.
Ghana’s Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index released this year indicated that poverty reduced between 2011 and 2018 though gains have not been made in areas of housing and education.
It noted that statistically significant progress being made across all of the 12 indicators of multidimensional poverty among the poor “except school attendance and inadequate housing”.
To tackle this situation, the incumbent government has promised to set up two institutions to drive the housing delivery process if given the chance to run the country for another term.
According to the government, the Ghana Housing Authority will improve the legal and regulatory framework, create land banks, and provide infrastructure, while the National Housing and Mortgage Finance Company will establish financial arrangements for the demand and supply side of housing markets.