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Business News of Saturday, 17 October 2015

Source: Isaac Kyei Andoh

Gov’t houses not affordable - Koans Estate Boss

Kofi Anokye receives award Kofi Anokye receives award

Chief Executive Officer of Koans Building Solutions, Kofi Anokye has questioned government on the affordability of houses built under the Affordable Housing Policy.

Re-echoing the concerns of Estate Developers on TV3’s News @10, the Ghana Real Estate guru indicated that despite the withdrawal of privileges previously enjoyed by Estate Developers and the imposition of more taxes on them by government, private developers are still building houses at far cheaper rates than government.

“At the moment, we (GREDA) are at a loss as to how government manages to build houses at far more expensive prices than we do despite the many exemptions they enjoy on tax payment and import duties compared to us who pay virtually for everything.

He indicated that “the mere fact that government cannot build cheaper than the private person calls for a deeper look into the concept of affordability; give a clear definition with cost range and build within that range."

He added that, “if government cannot build within that range, then private developers willing and ready should be given the needed incentives to build within the range of affordability.”

He revealed that; “whereas Estate Developers build Two Bedroom Semi-detached apartments at a cost between Thirty Thousand and Forty Five Thousand Dollars, Government is building the same houses at over Seventy Thousand Dollars under [the] affordable housing policy.”

Quizzed on effectiveness of Private Public Partnership, he said “government's preference to deal with foreign developers instead of Ghanaian developers and [the] withdrawal of all privileges given to indigenous developers to build at a cheaper cost, calls into question the commitment on the part of government to the partnerships.

The winner of the Golden European Award for Quality and Business Prestige in Real Estate Sphere at the 2015 World Business Assembly’s International Socrates Award has called on government to restore withdrawn privileges to enable GREDA build cheaper and affordable houses for Ghanaians.

He added that the appreciation of the dollar to the cedi over the last couple of years and “the ever increasing interest rate on borrowing is killing the estate industry and the least government can do is to at least restore previous privileges and then task as to build at really affordable prices”.

“At the moment, everything points to the fact that government can’t be relied on to build affordable houses,” he concluded.