MWH working towards addressing growing housing deficit-Minister

The Ministry of Works and Housing (MWH) is developing a sustainable framework that focuses on the overall ecosystem of housing delivery to address the growing housing deficit.

The country’s housing deficit is estimated by the MWH at more than two million housing units.

Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, the Minister of Works and Housing, who disclosed these at the Graphic Real Estate Revolution and Housing Fair in Accra yesterday, said the objective of the framework was to address both the supply and demand sides of the housing market.

The three-day housing fair being organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited in collaboration with Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) and ELRANO Projects and Consultants.

It was on the theme “Bridging the housing deficit in Ghana: Investment opportunities, financing, affordability and accessibility.”

Mr Asenso-Boakye said the intention of government was to increase the output of housing units at an affordable rate and developing a credible and sustainable mortgage market for all Ghanaians.

“The strategy adopted is to provide incentive packages to create a very conducive atmosphere for affordable housing delivery,” he said.

The Minister said the housing deficit in the country was increasing and said the objective of government was to “wipe away the deficit within the shortest possible time by using an appropriate mix of private sector investments that meet the needs and financial capacity of the average Ghanaian.”

Mr Asenso-Boakye indicated that a significant proportion of construction materials for the housing sector were imported from countries such as China and Italy, which were among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This situation, however, presents an opportunity for the country to capitalise on supporting local manufacturing industries to bridge the supply gap,” he said.

The Minister said his outfit would maintain and strengthen the existing relationship with all the players in the building industry, saying “it is only by close and continuous cooperation that we can move the sector forward.”

He commended the Graphic Communications Group Limited and its partners for organising the programme and urged the partners to come out with pragmatic solutions to address the key challenges confronting the housing sector.

The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful, in his remarks said the programme was to bring players in the housing industry to dilate on strategies to bridge the growing housing deficit.

He said it was to also provide a one-stop shop for people who want to buy or build their own house to meet the players in housing industry for advice and buy a house.

The President of GREDA, Patrick Ebo Bonful, in his address called for effective collaboration between the government and stakeholders to come out with strategies to address the growing housing deficit.

He said per the current population figures and population growth, the housing deficit was going to be worse if nothing was done to address the problem.

Among others, Mr Bonful called for the use of local building materials, long term mortgage and low price mortgage to help address the housing deficit.

The Manager in Charge of Mortgage Business at the Republic Bank, Mr Frank Oppong-Yeboah, said his outfit had played a key role in bridging the housing deficit for the past three decades by offering housing mortgage to the public.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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