Legislation to use SSNIT contributions as guarantee for mortgage in the offing

The government is pushing for legislation which will allow 30 per cent  of contributions of Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributors to be used as guarantee for mortgage to help workers to own their house before retirement, Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, has said.

He said the Ministry of Works and Housing was also working with the Ministry of Finance to provide guarantees for the private sector to enable them  to construct affordable housing for Ghanaians.

Mr Atta-Akyea who disclosed this at the launch of Eden Heights, a luxury residential accommodation facility located near the West Hills Mall, along the Accra-Kasoa road, said the move was to reduce the housing deficit which currently stood at 1.7 million housing units.

The master-planned development facility, which started in 2015, is being developed by Westhills Ridge Company Limited in collaboration with SSNIT and Amandi, and Israeli Construction Company.

Mr Atta-Akyea  said the government could not fathom why contributors of SSNIT could not use part of their contributions as a guarantee to purchase a house before they retire and said government would work to ensure a “credible mortgage regime is developed  in the country.”

He said the current mortgage with an interest rate of about 35 per cent was not affordable to workers adding that “ with a law mandating SSNIT to release 30 per cent for a mortgage guarantee interest rates on mortgage could be reduced to about 11 per cent.”

Mr Atta-Akyea lauded Westhills Ridge Company its partners for the project and said government would create a congenial environment or the private sector to invest in affordable housing to address the country’s housing deficit.

The Acting Managing Director of Westhills Company Limited, Emmanuel Ansah  Offei, said the Eden Heights Facility which was about 30 minutes drive from the Airport and five minutes’  walk from the West Hills Mall was to provide residents with convenience, comfort, security and peace of mind.

He said the facility was developed outside Accra to relief customers of the pollution in Accra and provide them with a serene environment for relaxation.

Mr Offei said the facility comprise one to four bedroom apartments and penthouses within a gated community, all with grade ‘A’ finishing and options for customers and the company had partnered with Cal Bank, GHL Bank, Stanbic Bank and Ecobank for customers who want to purchase the house.

The General Manager of Amandi, an Israeli Construction Company executing the project, David-Ben Ayum said the first phase of the facility has 34 storey buildings with 608 apartments, while the phase two has 24 storey buildings with 664 apartments.

He said the luxury apartments, which had been developed to meet local and international standards, has a market, basket and tennis courts, Olympic-size swimming pool, playgrounds for children and a football field, pointing out the facility was one of the real estate houses in Africa with the biggest football field.

In addition, Mr Ayum said the facility had been developed with a seismic technology to be able to withstand earthquakes and is fitted with quality fittings to meet the taste and lifestyle of customers.

The Deputy Director General of SSNIT in Charge of Finance, Michael Addo, said SSNIT was proud to be associated with the project.

He said the partnership of SSNIT with Westhills Ridge Company Limited and Amandi to build the houses formed part of the company’s commitment to address the country’s housing deficit.

By Kingsley Asare

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