President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced a comprehensive plan including a ¢1 billion Housing Fund, to address the country’s housing deficit.
Making the announcement Thursday, during his third State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) to Parliament, he said the initiative is “aimed at targeting low-income earners.”
Acknowledging the importance of housing and the “long-standing problem that gets worse” by the passage of time, he said his government will do its best to address the challenge.
The President said in addition to the setting up of the Fund, targeted to complete existing housing projects which are at various stages of completion, his government will deal with the challenge of accommodation comprehensively.
According to him, the government has allocated funds in “the 2019 budget for the construction of two hundred thousand (200,000) housing units, and a database of local and foreign developers has been created to help make this policy a reality. “
He added, “Land banks have also been secured in several towns across Ghana where factories, producing pre-fabricated building materials, can be sited for this huge construction effort.”
The government, in the words of the president, “will continue with the other housing projects for the police, armed forces and government workers across the country, through agencies like the State Housing Corporation.”
President Akufo-Addo also hinted of a draft plan to get rid of Nima as one of the oldest slums in the country.
The plan according to the president, “will not dislodge a single person in Nima” but will decently accommodate them in the new housing plan.
The President is hopeful that this massive housing project will create massive jobs for artisans, dealers in building materials and financial institutions across the nation.
His prescription of the housing challenge for 2019 is a marked departure from what he proffered in 2018 when he addressed parliament the same time last year.
In that address he said government’s “abolishing of the 5% VAT/NHIL on real estate sales will be consolidated by a continues process to create “a conducive environment that is reducing interest rates on mortgage loans.”
He added that “discussions are also on-going between the Pensions Regulatory Authority and the Banks to underwrite an effective mortgage system. This will facilitate access to housing for the ordinary budget.
“Government will also continue to create the enabling environment that will promote private sector investment in cheaper housing for the people, he said to parliament in the year 2018,” he said.