Gov’t to establish land banks to mitigate housing challenges

The Ministry of Works and Housing has announced the establishment of land banks to provide the needed infrastructural services for affordable housing projects across the country.

The Ministry says the land banks would offer private sector investments to enable the construction of affordable housing units for low-income earners.

The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Abdulai Abanga made this known at the 2022 Ghana Property Awards.

He bemoaned the housing deficit in the country, in the midst of the many housing apartments which are vacant due to their high price tags.

“We have a housing deficit of over 1.8 million housing units, but there is also about 12 percent of houses that are vacant because people cannot afford to buy those houses, so it is, for this reason, the Government has prioritized the delivery of affordable housing units over the medium term, and in our desire to institute a pragmatic approach to address the affordability gap and increase access to various housing, we are doing this to reduce the deficit.

“In doing so, our Ministry intends to create an enabling environment to induce private sector investment and engender the mobilization of the capacity of the not-for-profit sector towards meeting the needs of the lower income households.”

Touching on how the Government intends to establish and ensure the successful implementation of the project, the Deputy Minister said the Government will have designated areas and supply the necessary infrastructure to lure private sector investment.

“The prevailing strategy of the Government is to secure land and provide the requisite infrastructure services to the sites, designated as an affordable housing enclave, to encourage private sector investments in the areas for affordable housing construction and so the Government intends to have some land banks designated for affordable housing and expects the private sector to come in to invest.”

Ghana has made attempts at providing affordable housing to Ghanaians, in some deals that have resulted in the country losing monies. Notable among them is the  $10 billion STX deal signed in 2009 which was meant to construct some 200,000 affordable housing units.

The most recent of these is the Saglemi Housing project which has been abandoned and, recently, discussions are underway to sell it off to a private investor.