Real Estate News - Minister Slams Real Estate Developers For Housing Deficit

The Minister of State in charge of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has blamed real estate developers for the current high housing deficit in the country.

Mrs. Dapaah says the concentration on the middle and upper ends of the housing market with little concentration on affordable and economic housing for the average Ghanaian worker is the major cause of housing shortages in the country.

The Minister made these remarks at the ongoing African Union for Housing Finance Conference in Accra.

Currently, there is an estimated deficit of over 500,000 housing units in Ghana as analysts predict about a million housing unit deficits.

The total cost of the deficit is estimated at $17.25 billion with an annual requirement of $4.32.

Recent studies of the housing situation in the country shows that the majority of housing supply is by private individuals.

A study by the Building and Road Research Institute in Kumasi shows that out of a total housing supply of 40,000 in 2004, supply from private individuals amounted to 38,200 or 95.5 per cent with the next largest contributor being the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA).

Mrs. Dapaah said: “A sustainable housing finance system must be supported by a vibrant savings culture that provides savings funds for lending institutions.”

According to her, this will be achieved through various elements including a stable macroeconomic environment, adequate liquidity for financing institutions and a vibrant housing market among other factors.

Even though most of the contactors engaged by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to construct government’s affordable home in Kpone, Borteyman and elsewhere have abandoned their work, she pointed out that Government is on track to provide 100,000 housing units within the next few years.

President of the Ghana Housing Finance Association, Asare Akuffo said at the same ceremony that the time to raise housing to the top of the development agenda on the continent has come.

Mr. Akuffo who is also the Managing Director of HFC Bank Ghana Limited said the new environment that democracy has brought onto the African continent should spur on the young and vibrant private sector businesses to take the mantle to develop the housing sector.

The conference, which will end on Saturday, September 22, will identify challenges and potentials for micro housing finance to support upgrading activities such as affordable housing and infrastructure.

A total of about 150 delegates and resource persons from South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius among others are attending the conference.

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