State Backs Novel Diaspora Homeland Housing Scheme

ACCRA: Ghana Home Ideas (GHI), has launched the ‘Universal Property Investment scheme’ in Ghana to provide housing solution through a flagship scheme that would provide Diaspora Mortgages and savings for Ghanaians living abroad.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Providing Homeland Housing Solutions to Ghanaians Abroad,’ Mr. Sam Danso, Executive Director GHI, observed that, research had revealed that most Ghanaians in the Diaspora are victims of social fraud, perpetrated by relatives or acquaintances under the pretext of acquiring land or homes in Ghana.

He said as the number of the second and third generations of Ghanaians in the Diaspora was on the increase there is the need to encourage new generation of Ghanaians in property acquisition in Ghana.

He stressed that as these generations had shown keen interest in visiting Ghana regularly, it was the vision of Universal Property Investment Ghana Limited to serve as a bridge between the Diaspora and local companies, as well as organizations operating with the housing sector, to promote effective housing schemes for Ghanaians in the Diaspora.

Mr. Danso, who is also based in Amsterdam, noted however that, to achieve the goal of Universal Property Investment Ghana Limited, a ‘Save and own’ model has been adopted. He explained that GHI would promote and facilitate the opening of a bank account in Ghana with Unibank, where applicants would be required to operate the account for a minimum of six months to raise at least 20 percent of the value of the property they intend to acquire from a pool of carefully selected developers.

‘Ghana Home Ideas will further facilitate a mortgage to the applicant over a period of 15 to 20 years,’ adding that ‘With this simple model, we expect to become the vehicle of change that will transform the disappointment and disillusionment of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora into hope and aspiration of having their own properties in Ghana,’ Mr. Danso further introduced participants to the company’s website:

Mr. Solomon Korbieh, Foreign Services Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said the initiative was timely, as government had recognized the importance of Ghanaians in the Diaspora, and had created a directorate in the ministry with the sole aim of addressing their concerns. He expressed the ministry’s delight in the enterprise between GHI and Unibank for bringing some relief to Ghanaians living in the Diaspora by providing housing solutions.

Mr. Korbieh noted that in this era of globalization and heightened competition in the pursuit of national interest, there was no way any nation could develop effectively without implementing a clearer strategy that sought to harness the potentials of majority of its human resource, including its Diaspora, particularly those who consider Ghana as homeland.

He said the ministry in collaboration with the private sectors such as GHI would try to remove the animosity befalling Ghanaians living abroad. He therefore encouraged Ghanaians abroad to take up the opportunities offered by GHI and Unibank, to help bridge the housing deficit in Ghana which was estimated at 1.7 million as at 2012.

Mr. Ekow Dennis Nyarko, Finance Manager Unibank, hailed the initiative which he observed as a pragmatic tool that sought to put an end to the misappropriation of hard earned monies by relatives of people in the Diaspora. He pledged Unibank’s support to make the vision of GHI worthwhile, and solve homeland housing problems of people living abroad.

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