Regulatory body for housing long overdue – GREDA

Business News of Monday, 9 March 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Affordable Housing

The umbrella body of real estate and construction companies, the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), has welcomed the proposed establishment of a regulatory body for the real estate sector, explaining that the move, if executed, would represent a dream come true for players in the industry.

While stressing that a regulator for the sector was long overdue, the National President of GREDA, Mr Kwakye Dopoah-Dei, said that its establishment would help weed out the unscrupulous and shoddy service providers in the real estate business.

Mr Dopoah-Dei, who was sworn into office on February 26 for a secong term presidency, thus welcomed President John Mahama’s call for the establishment of the regulator in his State of the Nation Address.

“It is something GREDA has been pushing for and we will be available to partner the government in whatever way possible to make it a success,” he said at a swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected nine-member Executive Council of the association.

Mr Dopoah-Dei, who is also the Managing Director of Rivonia Ghana Limited, was retained by members of the association, made up of over 400 registered members, last year for the second term after his first two years in office ended in 2014.

The executive council include Mrs Regina Botchway of Regimanuel Gray Limited as the First Vice-President, Mr Patrick Bonful of PS Global as second Vice President, Mr Samuel Tenkorank of NTHC Properties as Treasurer and Mr Sammy Amegayibor of Rumuel Development as Executive Secretary. Mr Eddie Akotey of Edlorm Housing Properties, Mr Kwabena Nyarko of Buena Vista, Mr Seth Adu of Devtraco Limited and Mr Kojo Biney of Smart Investments Limited were also elected as members of the GREDA Executive Council.

A High Court Judge, Justice George Aboage-Tandoh, administered the oath of office to the members after which he urged them to serve instead of wanting to be served.

The real estate and construction sector, which provides the housing and building needs of the public, has been battling with the emergence of unprofessional and shoddy developers, who mostly use inferior materials and techniques for their constructions, resulting in the collapse of buildings or destruction of properties after a short period of completion. Others also swindle the public desire to own real estate properties or rent apartments.

Although the practice is a common development in all segments of the business arena in the country, it is particularly pronounced in the real estate sector, where housing supply consistently does not meet demand.

Currently, it is estimated that the country has a housing deficit of 1.7 million units and that requires an annual supply of 700,000 units to be bridged over a 10-year period.

Most of the quack developers are taking advantage of this development to outwit the gullible public, Mr Dopoah-Dei said.

Although professional bodies such as GREDA are doing their best to help weed out those quacks, the GREDA President explained that a regulatory body with the legal mandate to police the sector and possibly license players will help make the needed impact.

Such a body currently exists in African countries such as Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.