General News of Saturday, 28 November 2009

Source: GNA

Ghana's housing deficit stands at one million - Mr Abongo

Accra, Nov. 28, GNA - Ghana's housing deficit currently stands at one million, Mr Robert Abongo, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housingon Saturday said.

He said on the average, the annual national housing requirement is 140,000 units with a supply of about 45,000 units per annum Mr Abongo said this at a dinner and awards night organised by Koans Building Solutions, a private construction company.

The ceremony, which marked the 10th Anniversary of Koans, was under the theme: "Building Quality but Affordable House in Ghana: The Role of the Real Estate Developer."

Mr Abongo said drastic measures were needed to close up the yawning deficit and urged private housing providers to contribute greatly to the provision of affordable housing units in Ghana.

He noted that housing was a fundamental need, which needed to be facilitated and secured by government at all levels. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, he said, had no option than to pursue the agenda of providing adequate, decent and affordable housing to Ghanaians.

He pledged government's support to private investors in the real estate business and said: "The real estate industry must start considering the use of local materials in building and construction."

Mr Adongo said in order to achieve that, it was important that construction firms did not only focus on Ghanaian clients living abroad but also those living and doing business in Ghana.

He also urged real estate developers to depend on local building researchers and architects to design decent and durable housing units built with local materials.

He said government would continue the Affordable Housing Programme, which the previous administration started in 2006 and indicated that it would be extended to all regional and district capitals.

He noted that currently there were about 4000 housing units at their various stages of completion at six different sites located in the country. The Minister said government would in the next five years promote Public Private Partnership in the housing delivery in order to bridge the=

housing gap. Mr Andrew Kofi Anokye, Chief Executive Officer of Koans Building Solutions Limited said the company after some years of research had made a breakthrough in the use of bamboo in the construction of storey building. He said as part of its social responsibility, Koans had contributed to the treatment of more than 20 Buruli Ulcer patients and promised to spend=

GH¢10,000 for the next five years on the treatment of the disease in th= e Ga West Municipality. He called on the judiciary to speed up the adjudication of land disp= ute cases which he said had been a worry to many estate developers. Prizes were given to deserving workers.