Ministry to construct 200,000 housing units

Mr Atta Akyea,Minister of Works and Housing

Mr Atta Akyea,Minister of Works and Housing

Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, has disclosed that the ministry will embark on the construction of 200,000 housing units across the 10 regions of the country, in 2019.

He said drastic efforts were needed to address Ghana’s yawning 1.7 million per annum housing deficit.

Mr Akyea, Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South Constituency, in the Eastern Region, was contributing to debate on 2019 budget statement, on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday.

He said though the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government inherited a “dangerously anaemic economy,” it was unwavering in its resolve to give Ghanaians social security.

The housing sector, Mr Akyea said was capital intensive and that the government of Ghana’s sources would not be able to undertake such a venture and there was the need to involve the private sector.

The challenge, however, he acknowledged was that the private capital would swell the national debt, and the argument on debt sustainability would have been on the front burner of national discourse “but we need to intervene.”

Mr Akyea said “if this nation is afraid to spend to give our people housing, a time is going to come that we will be so challenged. We wouldn’t know what to do about where our people will sleep.”

He indicated “So (next) year, in a very powerful social intervention, we will attempt 200,000 housing units which will be in all regional capitals”.

Mr Akyea said there was the necessity to create a mortgage regime for Ghana because a lot of people were interested in getting houses of their own.

“That is the paradigm shift President Akufo-Addo is bringing but we are not going to use the commercial rate of borrowing when we are dealing in housing,” he explained.

According to Mr Akyea, all housing projects that have been left unattended to since former President Kufuor’s era through Atta Mills and John Mahama would be completed as funds have been provided in the 2019 budget.

He stressed that “we are ready to find the requisite private money to complete these housing projects for the benefit of our people.”

Mr Akyea said Article 35(7) of the 1992 Constitution places an injunction on the former government to execute projects and programmes commenced by previous governments, but that was not the case under the Atta Mills-John Mahama administrations.

Ghana, he said, was in an economic doldrums when the NPP took over, but after being in office for two years, the stage was set for the creation of jobs and economic expansion.

The budget, Mr Akyea said, did not only address local issues, but encompasses the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 international goals, earmarked to speed up the development of the world.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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