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General News of Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Source: classfmonline.com

Government’s affordable houses not affordable – Deputy Minister


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The affordable housing units being put up by the government to be sold to low-middle income earners are not affordable at the current rate, Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Eugene Antwi has said.

The affordable housing project was started under the Kufuor administration and continued by the Mills and Mahama administrations.

The units are meant to reduce Ghana’s 1.7 million housing deficit.

According to Mr Antwi, the ministry’s tours of the project sites in Accra and Kumasi showed that the houses are about 95 per cent done.

“…They are completed but at which rate would you sell it to the low-middle income earners of our country? [They] are completed but you have to sell them and how are you going to sell them? So, inevitably the wealthy and the richer ones in our society are going to end up buying them, and, so, it defeats the purpose of affordability,” Mr Antwi observed.

He said the fact that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) had to bankroll the project owing to government’s inability to fully fund it, means the state pension manager must sell the units at a rate that will enable it recoup its investment.

“Now SSNIT has to sell, so as to recoup the money government has invested … but how do you sell to the target market to buy them? That’s why we are trying to bring up innovative ideas or ways to really bolster the word affordability because of the target market …” Mr Antwi noted, adding: “At the current rate, it’s not [affordable]. There’s a bracket – a low- to middle-income …”

“I think President Kufuor had a laudable idea, but after the implementation, we’ve seen the loopholes [land acquisition, borrowing rate, cost of building material] which we have to plug,” he told Starr FM’s Francis Abban on Tuesday, 3 October.

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