The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye, called on the actors of the housing sector to be innovative and to propose pragmatic solutions to help meet the challenges of the sector.
He said the main challenges for the sector included a national housing deficit of more than two million housing units, the high cost of available houses, building materials and rental housing, and insufficient access to mortgages.
The Minister made the appeal when he launched a three-day real estate housing fair in Accra yesterday organized by Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), in partnership with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and Elrano.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said innovations and pragmatic solutions are major solutions to housing challenges that the country has struggled to tackle for years.
The fair takes place at the National Theater under the theme: “Bridging the Urban Housing Gap in Ghana – Investment Opportunities, Financing, Affordability and Accessibility”.
More than 30 companies, including banks, investment companies, developers, telecoms, security, insurance and property managers, participate in the show.
In addition, there are companies that sell building materials such as roofing, tiles and furniture that have set up stands at the fair to provide advice and solutions to customers of the fair.
Mr Asenso-Boakye commended the GCGL and its partners for creating the platform to raise public awareness of the issues facing the housing sector, saying the ministry is proud to be associated with it.
“As we all know, the housing deficit in Ghana is currently increasing, and as a ministry our aim is to close the deficit as soon as possible using the appropriate mix of public and private sector investments that meet the needs and financial capacity of the average Ghanaian.
“Significantly, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has prioritized the provision of mass affordable, decent, quality, safe and secure housing aimed at reducing the housing deficit, and my ministry is ready to embrace any collaboration that will support this roadmap.
“This ‘one-stop-shop’ event is expected to create strong business ties and foster business networks in the construction industry. For visitors, the event should be a convenient place to buy everything related to housing and building a home, ”he said.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said the ministry is developing a sustainable framework focused on the overall ecosystem of housing provision aimed at improving the housing situation in the country.
He said the objective of this framework was to meet both the supply and demand of the housing market by increasing the production of housing at an affordable rate and developing a credible and sustainable mortgage market for all. Ghanaians.
He said the strategy adopted was to provide incentive programs to create a very conducive atmosphere for the delivery of affordable housing.
He said the housing components made housing a very capital intensive business, requiring careful planning and huge investments to be successful.
“Indeed, Ghana’s growing housing market which is expected to provide safe, secure, decent, quality and affordable housing for low to middle income earners has become a very complex and expensive business. This can be attributed to rapid urbanization and, in recent times, the high cost of building materials.
“It should be mentioned that a significant proportion of building materials for the housing sector are imported from countries like China and Italy and these countries are among the hardest hit by the current coronavirus pandemic.
“This situation, however, presents an opportunity for the country to capitalize on support for local manufacturing industries to fill the supply gap,” he said.
GCGL Director General Ato Afful said the scale of the national housing problem requires collective national efforts by government and the private sector to provide the best, responsive and timely solutions.
He has previously said that studies put Ghana’s overall annual deficits at between 70,000 and 120,000 housing units, with only 30 to 35 percent of the estimated annual needs being met.
He said provisional figures from the 2021 population and housing census carried out by the Ghana Statistical Service indicated a population increase from 24.6 million to 30.8 million.
“This has implications for the already large housing deficit the country faces, especially in urban areas. The country is expected to need at least 100,000 homes per year, while the supply is estimated at 35% of total needs, ”he said.
Mr Afful said that in recent years there have been significant policy interventions to regulate the real estate and construction sectors in Ghana.
He said the government also announced several measures to secure a credible mortgage system, including the establishment of a National Housing Mortgage Fund.
“At GCGL, we will make a contribution by using our influence to rally such national efforts. This platform is one of those rallying efforts to create great solutions for the ordinary Ghanaian in need of a home.
“This platform will also give potential homeowners the ability to choose from a range of housing options that best suit their budget and needs, as financiers showcase their housing finance products / services and guide them. participants throughout the process / how to acquire a house. he said.
He said industry players, experts and advocates have respective roles in proposing innovative solutions to alleviate this national and human well-being challenge.
The GCGL MD encouraged people who were considering building their own homes to take into account certain variables, such as life stages, needs, livelihoods, children, among others, to enable them to plan properly.
He said affordability was possible and did exist, but the question of affordability depended on how it was approached.
GREDA President Mr Patrick Ebo Bamfo said that GREDA had a lot to contribute to the national affordable housing campaign.
He said the association was working with the government and other partners, such as financial institutions, to help resolve the issue.
“What I’m going to urge us all to consider is reexamining the methods of delivering affordable housing. I think our traditional way of building is no longer profitable and we believe that a second look should be taken at building materials in particular, ”he said.
Mr Bamfo said it could boost the delivery of affordable homes and help lower the cost of homes.
He said if the cost of homes were high, mortgages would also be high and the likelihood of the majority not qualifying would also be high.
“I sincerely hope that through this program and this exchange of ideas, we will be able to generate pragmatic solutions to the national affordable housing needs,” he said.