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General News of Thursday, 18 October 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Gov't's new housing deal in limbo

After a botched deal with STX to build 30,000 housing units for the security agencies, government’s hope of getting a South African company, GUMA Group, to construct 500 housing units, seems to be hitting the snag.

The construction firm had promised to complete the housing project by the end of the year, but months after the agreement was signed in May, the deal is yet to be submitted to cabinet for approval.

The issue of money has been one of the biggest challenges bedeviling the smooth takeoff of the project, the Minister of Works and Housing, E.T Mensah has confirmed to Joy News.

He told Joy News’ Araba Koomson that the project is being stalled because the company is finding it difficult to secure an affordable loan, and the government is also concerned about the cost of the completed project.

“The prices, we have gone back and forth on the financial terms, the loan is quite expensive, the payment period is too short, and the interest and even cost of property when they have eventually rolled out, so that is what is stalling it,” Mr E.T Mensah pointed out.

He said his ministry is still in discussions with the GUMA Group, insisting they want to ensure that they are convinced about the whole projects before asking cabinet to give its blessings.

“We haven’t sent it to cabinet yet because we are still discussing the details,” he explained, “until we ourselves we are satisfied that we are operating within a set criteria.”

Meanwhile, E.T Mensah said all hope is not lost, adding that government is also finalizing some deals with other companies.

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