September 25, 2020

Eight ways next NPP government plans to fix Ghana’s housing deficit

Ghana’s 2010 Population and Housing Census report states that almost 44% of Ghanaians do not have adequate housing.

Ten years down the line, the situation has worsened.

It was revealed, in 2019, by the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, that Ghana’s housing deficit has hit two million units.

By this, the government would have to build 190,000 to 200,000 units of houses each year for the next 10 years to bridge the gap, and this is expected to cost around US$3.4 billion.

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.

To bridge this gap, the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has laid down various plans ahead of the general elections in December this year.

According to them, the appalling housing situation will be looked at if given the nod to maintain their seat in government after the elections.

The government plans to solve the problem of accommodation for Ghanaians by:

• Expanding the capacity of the State Housing Company Limited (SHC) to lead government’s efforts, along with the private sector, to build a large pool of affordable homes for Ghanaian workers and families;

• Creating Land Banks and providing infrastructure in partnership with land owners and District Assemblies. The serviced plots will be managed by Ghana Housing Authority to reduce the problems faced by individuals and real estate developers during the land acquisition process;

• Promoting and sponsoring Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as a vehicle to encourage rent-to-own schemes, private sector mortgage finance companies and mortgage-backed securities;

• Reviewing the Home Mortgage Finance Act, 2008 (Act 770) to ensure that foreclosure processes are simplified;

• Implementing more rigorously the tax-deductible mortgage interest regime;

• Amending the law to allow for Pension Funds to invest more than 5% of their portfolio in real estate assets, including pension backed mortgages;

• Providing targeted, project-based tax incentives (instead of blanket incentives) for private developers to build more social housing, as well as inner city redevelopment and revitalisation schemes; and

• Promoting setting up of an integrated local manufacturing industry to support the housing sector through tax incentives, creation of markets as well as tax rebates on some imported materials among others.



Source: Business