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Business News of Friday, 23 November 2018

Source: GNA

Government working to partner private sector in fixing housing deficit

Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea

Government is exploring various options to partner the private sector to address the country’s housing deficit, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister for Works and Housing, has said.

He said government through the State Housing Company is focused on partnering with the private sector to deliver houses across the country.

In a speech read on his behalf at the third Capital Market Conference and the 20th Anniversary of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Atta Akyea said government is committed to fixing the housing deficit in the country.

The theme for the third Capital Market Conference and the 20th Anniversary of the SEC is: “Ghana Beyond Aid, The Role of the Capital Market”.

Speaking on the topic: ‘Financing the Housing/Real Estate Sector in Ghana: The role of the Capital Market and REITS,’ he said government and the private sector have not taken advantage of the capital market in raising long term capital to finance the housing deficit.

He said the country’s housing deficit was estimated to be in excess of 1.7million units, adding that government in the 2019 budget indicated some measures to support the private sector in the construction finance market.

He said government would complete all the on-going housing projects across the country adding that some works have started in the Ashanti, Eastern and the Brong Ahafo Regions.

Madam Freda Prempeh, the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, said government has already signed an initial memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) towards development construction funding for an affordable housing model for country.

In defining an affordable house, the Madam Prempeh said there is the need to consider amongst others the land prices, location of project, financing and the technology employed.

She said the project is targeted at building affordable 100,000 homes for Ghanaians in a cost-effective, sustainable way using modern technology and cheap materials from UNOPS approved suppliers and using UNOPS approved constructors.

She said the Ministry is in the process of finding potential areas for funding and construction and the model it would propose for the repayment also engages with the project supervisors regarding the updates.

Mr Charles Adu Boahene, the Deputy Minister for Finance, said there is the need to develop the country’s underdeveloped capital market, which has limited long term planning banks working towards the financing of the real estate sector.

He said there is the need to develop the capital market and enhance its role in the development of the real estate industry and help minimize the housing deficit the country faced with.

Mr Adu Boahene said government is committed to addressing financing challenges head on in the sector to reverse the housing deficits, adding that every Ghanaian should be able to realistically aspire to own their homes.

He said the SEC is in process of developing a legal framework which would guide how properties are traded on the Ghana Stock Exchange to bring sanity into the sector.

He said government was also the process of developing a national mortgage and housing finance initiative and would soon launch it to create a vibrant housing financing ecosystem in the country.