Govt committed to reducing housing deficit – Works, Housing Minister

The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, says government is committed to the full implementation of housing programmes to bridge the country’s housing deficit and challenges.

Describing the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) data on housing that puts the national housing deficit at 1.8 million, a 33 per cent reduction from the previous 2.8 million as great news, he said the Ministry was focused on ensuring that the old-age problem was effectively resolved.

Speaking at the presentation of the 2021 Population and Housing Census General Report on Housing Characteristics in Accra yesterday, he said the Ministry was working towards eradicating impediments facing Ghanaians in owning decent, quality and affordable accommodation. 

MrAsenso-Boakye stated that government was concerned about the 2021 Population and Housing Census which indicates that 12.7 per cent of the total housing structures were vacant with variations across the 16 regions due to non-affordability.

“The percentage of vacant housing units reported in Greater Accra provides evidence for our growing concern about the number of exclusive high-rise apartments that are out of the price range of the average person in the country,” he said. 

The Minister noted that the affordability concerns was the reason the government has committed to introducing new policies that seek to reduce the cost of owning a decent accommodation by 40 per cent.

He said, while this required a multi-sectorial approach to addressing the challenge, the Ministry would work with the GSS to interrogate the findings to be able to better serve the housing needs of the population.

The Ministry, MrAsenso-Boakye stated, would soon launch a new affordable housing programme which would include government making land available, tax exemptions and other social amenities such as electricity, access roads etc. for private developers towards the construction of affordable housing facilities.

Research from the GSS indicates that the country’s housing deficit in the last 50-year period continually witnessed an upward trend from a figure of one million to 2.8 million from 1950 to 2010. 

However, the 2021 Population and Housing Census data on structures, housing conditions and facilities as presented by the GSS reveals a reversal in the housing deficit by 33 per cent. 

This, according to GSS, points to possibly some of the interventions that are happening both from the governmental point of view and from the private sector point of view. 

Despite the reduction in the national housing deficit, the GSS data also captured the quality of housing units with the use of unconventional structures such as kiosks and metallic containers as housing units.

It said those kind of units was on the rise and accounted for about 21.3 per cent of housing stock.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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