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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Housing Ministry draws plan to address current housing deficit

Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister for Works and Housing

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has hinted at plans to develop a framework that would absorb the cost of land and other infrastructural services key, in the provision of decent and affordable housing as the government strives to address the current housing deficit.

According to him, the intervention was pivotal to address “supply-side constraints within the housing industry and make accommodation much affordable in the country.

Speaking at the 2021 Business 24 Real Estate Conference opened in Accra yesterday, Mr Asenso-Boakye said, his Ministry had identified cost drivers contributing to the high rate of housing in Ghana and has since mapped out strategies including the pending framework, to address the challenge.

He mentioned the high cost of building materials which are mostly imported into the country as well as lending rates from financial institutions as major contributors to the ‘outrageous’ price of houses in the country.

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Making reference to a UN-Habitat Study, the Minister pointed out that families having to pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing was unacceptable and increases the difficulty in affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

He said, for housing to be deemed as affordable, housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of a household’s income be it for purchase, mortgage, rental or rent-to-own.

The Minister thus urged industry players to embrace the use of local building materials, emphasizing that developers who wish to partner government on its affordable housing drive will be required to do so without fail.

“This will go a long way to reduce building costs and ensure the provision of affordable accommodation while boosting the local economy,” he said.

Mr Asenso-Boakye further appealed to industry players to embrace the government’s instituted affordable housing framework and partner with banks and other financial institutions to invest more to wipe out the housing deficit prevalence, saying, “it is only through this that we can reach out to the majority of our citizens and positively affect the lives of the larger population.”

The maiden edition of the Real Estate Conference brought together key industry players, professionals, and experts to engage in discussions that seek to match the various challenges of affordable housing development to workable solutions

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