The 2ndedition of the Real Estate Experience-Housing Fair opened on Thursday in Accra with a call on stakeholders in the housing sector to collaborate in finding solutions to challenges of home ownership in the country.
According to the Minister of Works and Housing (MoWH), Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the collaboration was important looking at the challenges the sector faced caused by rapid urbanistion and population growth.
Mr Asenso-Boakye made the call when he opened the event which was organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in partnership with the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and sponsored by the Republic Bank.
On the theme “Home Ownership through Collaborative efforts of Individuals, Institutions and Industry,” the three-day event brought together prospective and existing home owner, investors, real estate developers, financial advisors, interior decorators and other industry players in the housing sector.
It also afforded participants the opportunity to obtain first-hand information on housing related matters such as financial instrument, funding options, investment plans and insurance.
According to the minister, the government had recognised the challenges faced in the housing sector for which it had pledged to critically address those challenges through the implementation of various policies and initiatives.
Notable of such initiatives, he said, was the Ghana Housing Authority (GHA) Bill currently before Parliament for approval and the establishment of the Real Estate Council.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said “The GHA when established will lead the supply side of the housing market. The Authority will not only serve as a regulator in the sector, but also plan, develop and manage public housing”.
Additionally, he noted that “The GHA would help complement the newly created Home Ownership Fund which was to stimulate the demand side of housing market to make housing accessible to the low-middle income earners”.
The Real Estate Council, the Minister said, would be coming up with a regulatory scheme for all players in the housing sector to ensure that standards were harmonised.
The Managing Director of GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, in brief remarks, said housing was a critical requirement for any human being and it was even believed that it was a human right.
He noted that as a Communication Group, his outfit was interested in addressing the housing deficit in the country through the provision of accurate information in the housing sector to the public by partnering with key stakeholders such as GREDA and the MoWH.
Mr Afful urged the general public to leverage the opportunities provided by the Fair and also engage GREDA for their housing needs as it was made up of expertise in the housing sector.
The MD also thanked Republic Bank for the support provided since the first edition and promised for more of such collaboration.
On his part, the Executive Director of GREDA, Mr Samuel D.K. Amegayibor, noted that the need for collaboration was important as the government could not address the housing deficit alone.
He also commended the government for coming up with the GHA Bill, adding “government must stay committed to it when approved by Parliament in order to address the housing challenges in the country”.
.BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY & CHARLOTTE BARNS