The head of Ghana Institute of Housing (GIH), Ms. Helen Ankrah, has described land litigation as a bane of sustainable housing development in the country.
According to her, matters on ownership and sale of land were hampering sustainable housing and called for comprehensive strategies by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to address such challenges.
“We need to address the 1.7 million housing deficit. To do this, government should first ensure that the problem of land litigation revolving around most lands allocated for development be resolved to help developers who are partnering government to solve the housing problem she said.
Ms. Ankrah, made the observation in Accra yesterday, when she addressed a press conference held ahead of a three-day housing conference stated for September 23 to 25.
Under the theme,“Ghana must build again, using coherent strategies for a sustainable housing delivery”, the conference is expected to draw many industry players from Ghana and international community to discuss issues confronting the housing sector.
Ms. Ankrah, who is also a principal housing consultant at Consult Alliance of African Social Housing (ConsultASH Ltd), said there was the urgent need for a comprehensive strategic plan to tackle the existing housing deficit.
She said though government had made strides in developing a housing policy that aimed at providing affordable housing for middle and lower income earners, there should be a strategic plan to back it.
“This plan should include means of stamping out litigations on land allocated for development. There should be a clear statement on who is supposed to own a land and which land is supposed to be sold”, she said.
Ms. Ankrah said “the ministry has an action plan but it needs a comprehensive strategic plan to support it”.
“She asked government to task local assemblies to collate number of people in need of houses through a need assessment at various communities and later vet them for development by government and private developer.
Ms. Ankrah said such a plan should be consolidated into a law that would be binding on estate developers and any person who would want to build in the country.
A senior lecturer at London South Bank University, Ms. Diane Paice, said besides land problems therefore there was the need to look at affordable housing.
She urged government to strengthen its public private partnership, to bring on board more private developers, to build more houses for Ghanaians.
By Charles Amankwa