We need housing schemes - Developers

January 18, 2017
Source: Dominic Andoh |thebftonline.com|Ghana
We need housing schemes - Developers

A well-thought-out housing scheme is the solution to the country’s growing housing deficit and not one-off projects like government has been undertaking, Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), has said.

A housing scheme concerns a properly funded system of housing the populace, be it through mortgage guarantees, low interest loans or a help-to-buy system.

Successive governments have failed to create, institute and implement a sustainable housing scheme to bridge the existing 1.7million housing unit deficit and meet future demand.

One-off housing projects have been initiated by various governments, but such projects have been relatively expensive. Experts say the country is running against time given the rising population. It is estimated that the country’s housing deficit is growing by about 70,000 housing units per year.

“I will encourage the incoming government to look at establishing a housing scheme; this has existed before. GREDA, the then Bank for Housing and Construction and the Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) worked together.

The arrangement was such that SSNIT, as a partner, acquired a lot of the land and provided services on the land; GREDA then took money from Bank for Housing and Construction at a very cheap rate, because it was like a fund, to build those houses.

HFC was also established around that time to provide mortgage for the people. The people came to us the developers to buy and we were able to return whatever we borrowed from the Bank,” Mr. Amegayibor told the B&FT in Accra.

Mr. Amegayibor, who is also the Managing Director of Home Direct, added that: “Government has been sitting and implementing projects. One thing I will really want to caution the new government about is not to go into the habit of ‘execute and go’; we don’t need that for housing.

Housing is going to be with us forever and, so far as human beings, we are going to live and children are going to be born in the family. Housing will be with us forever, so, we will need housing schemes that will be self-funding and self-revolving to sustain it.”