Law to allow part of pension fund for mortgage in the offing

A Legislative Instrument will soon be sent to Parliament to allow for part of the pension fund to be used as mortgage for workers to buy their own houses, Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, has said.

The LI, he explained, would give a greenlight for government to use about 30 per cent of workers’ Social Security and National Insurance Trust contributions as a mortgage to enable them to buy their own house before they retire.

Mr Atta-Akyea who disclosed this at the Ghana Real Estate Developers 30th anniversary dinner dance and awards night on the theme, ‘30 years of housing the people’, said the move formed part of measures taken by the government to create a “credible mortgage” regime in the country.

The event was used to reward some long serving members of the association and to outdoor a nine-member council to man the association for three years.

The new council members are Patrick Ebo Bongul, President, Stephen Debrah-Ablormeti, First Vice President, Cynthia Opuni, Second Vice President, Eva Andoh-Poku, Treasurer, Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary, Eric Ebo Acquah, Bright Adom, Seth Adu, and Salah Kalmoni.

Mr Atta-Akyea, who was the guest of honour, said it would be a “huge psychological relief to move from a tenant to a landlord and that is what the government is doing to ensure that workers benefit significantly from their pension contributions”.

He said the government could not fathom why some workers would retire without a house to live in, yet they had monies in the pension fund which could help cushion them to acquire a house.

Mr Atta-Akyea entreated GREDA to come out with new housing technologies which could help address the housing deficit, which currently stood about two million housing units.

He pledged that the government and his ministry would create the congenial environment for the real estate industry to thrive, and disclosed that government had scrapped the tax on inputs imported into the country for real estate purposes.

Mr Bonful expressed concern about land litigation in the country, saying that “land litigation is a real and constant threat to the survival of our industry, and we will need a deliberate collective effort to address this problem.”

To this end, he suggested that government should take land from the allodial owners in lieu of cash to create litigation free lands for the players in the real estate industry.

The out-gone President of GREDA, Kwakye Dopoah Dei, in his address, entreated the government to create a congenial environment for the construction industry to flourish.

He said the construction industry currently contributes about 14.7 per cent to Gross Domestic Product, saying the “the value chain touches almost every sector of the economy and contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated”.

By Kingsley Asare

 

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