Government is determined to address the housing deficit through forging stronger investor partnerships to provide affordable housing units to meet the demands of Ghanaians, the Minister of Works and Housing has said.
Samuel Atta Akyea said investors would also be sought to invest in rural housing projects under which affordable houses would be built in the rural areas so that people could opt to live there while they worked in the city.
He said the Ministry would also push through cabinet the establishment of mortgage banks that could provide long-term loan arrangements to afford the people the opportunity to buy such houses.
Speaking during a tour of some housing projects around Tema, Kpone and Ningo in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Atta Akyea said the current 1.7 million housing deficit needed to be closed-up and so government would do all it could to build affordable houses in all the regions to be accessed by the people.
The Minister, together with his two deputies, Freda Prempeh Opare and Eugene Boakye Antwi, visited the Kpone Affordable Housing project, the Naval Housing Unit at Tema Newtown, and the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) Towers at Tema Community Two to inspect the progress of work.
The other housing project inspected was the dilapidated Kaizer Flats at Tema Community Four of which the TDC had secured a court order to demolish four out of the 30 flats currently being occupied by squatters.
Due to their state of dilapidation, the four blocks had been declared unsafe for habitation by the court which had also given the TDC the approval to eject the squatters and demolish the blocks.
The legal occupants in the other 26 blocks of the Kaizer Flats would be later relocated to enable the TDC to demolish those blocks and build new high-rising apartments for the people, Joe Abbey, the Managing Director of TDC, who took the Minister round, said.
The OAS Housing Project at Saglema near Ningo was also inspected by the Minister and his entourage.
The project, being constructed by OAS Constructora Ghana, had 1,502 unit blocks currently ongoing at a cost of 180 million dollars made up of single family apartments and single family units and other two-room storey apartments.
The Kpone projects, which were between 80 to 90 percent complete, also had one to two bed-room units of 104 blocks out of which 24 units were fully completed.
The TDC Towers had office complex, two super markets, two banking facilities, and restaurants which were all ready for rental and had been given out under a two-year management contract to Broll Company to manage.
The Naval Housing Project with 368 flats was 98 per cent complete and would be given out to Naval personnel for accommodation.
The Minister expressed satisfaction with the ongoing projects, especially the OAS Project, and gave the assurance that every support would be given to the managements of OAS Constructora Ghana to finish in time and join the rural housing project later.
“The OAS will be one of the key companies that will help Ghana address its housing deficit. Work so far is tremendous,” Mr Atta Akyea said in admiration of the OAS apartments he inspected.
He said the Ministry would engage the OAS Company in a critical dialogue for them to replicate the housing projects in other parts of the country.
Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of AOS Constructora, thanked government for the cooperation and support so far and said the management looked forward for more collaborative ventures.