Ghana currently has a housing deficit estimated at over 1,500,000 units with an increase in demand of over 70,000 housing units annually. It is estimated that more than 50% of Ghanaians live in sub-standard houses, deprived inner city dwellings, uncompleted houses, containers, shops, kiosks and other unsuitable structures. We will respect and protect Media freedom and make it easier to access the information machinery of the state. We are committed to and will support the passage of the Freedom of Information Act.
The NPP Policy on housing has three objectives i) to improve affordability and access to decent homes for all working Ghanaians and their families in new modern communities, ii) develop social housing programs to address the housing needs of vulnerable and marginal groups iii) provide improve infrastructure and the quality of life in our existing communities.
Accordingly, we will, i) promulgate the National Housing Policy, which will provide the overall policy framework for the industry, ii) establish a Housing Agency dedicated to facilitating the role of the private sector players (e.g. GREDA) in delivering both mass social, low and mid-income housing schemes across the country ii) encourage the private sector to partner with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to build affordable rental units across the country.
We will seek to increase the national housing delivery to at least 100,000 units annually by the end of a first term. A key priority for us in 2013 will be the immediate completion of the 5,200 units of houses started when the NPP was in power and totally abandoned by the current government to provide accommodation for our teachers, nurses, civil servants and security agencies among others.
We have a housing crisis on our hands….The housing deficit is projected at about 1.5million housing units. Annual housing demand is about 70,000 units. It is estimated that only about 40,000 housing units are added to the housing stock annually, leaving an annual deficit of about 30,000 housing units and growing.
According to the 2010 Housing and Population Census, there were over 5.8 million dwelling units nationwide, many of which are made up of wood, mud, metal, in an uncompleted and dilapidated form unworthy to be called a home; about 70% of which are without toilets. This is an intolerable situation and we must put all our minds and ingenuity to find solutions.
Unfortunately for all of us, this NDC government under the leadership of our new carertaker president, has preferred to chase a lot of pipe dreams when it comes to housing and that is what has led to the STX fiasco and now to the GUMA no-show. It gives us no joy to say “we told you so”.…. this is another example of how the NDC has run our economy on propaganda and lies. You can’t build houses on propaganda.
I want to start by engaging the Ghana Institute of Architects. I want our architects to give us designs that would make buildings more environmentally appropriate and allow us to use local materials to construct houses that are not as expensive to build.
We believe that government’s role is to facilitate strong collaboration between land agencies, family/stools/skins, banks, insurance companies, mortgage houses, building material suppliers and real estate developers like GREDA. Our goal is to reduce the housing deficit by about 10% within the four-year term, by increasing national annual output from 40,000 units to 100,000 units.
We shall set up a regulatory body and a housing agency which will be responsible for implementing our Public and Social Housing programs…. As presently constituted, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing does not have the capacity, the focus or the resources to execute effectively this program and drive the new agenda. The housing agency will borrow from international best practices and examples of countries such as Singapore, Brazil, and South Africa, which have all successfully carried out massive social and public housing programs, led by a singularly focused housing agency with significantly positive results.
The Agency shall raise funding from GOG Budgetary Support, Loans, Multilateral and Bilateral Sources, GOG Backed Housing Bonds, Pension Funds, Private Capital sources, Modeling and Land Financing Schemes.
Land acquisition by government has become a contentious issue mostly because adequate compensation has not been paid to landowners promptly. We will make sure that compensation is paid timeously.
The aim of creating the land banks is to provide clearly demarcated, safe, secure and properly titled serviced and un-serviced plots for use by the private sector for social and public housing schemes. By doing this, banks and other financial institutions will be encouraged to finance housing projects, with the assurance that lending will be backed by land with secured title.
We will ensure that public servants, teachers, civil servants, nurses, doctors, members of the security services can participate in housing programs that will enable them own homes for their retirement so that the prospect of retirement no longer poses such fear and dread to public officials.
The most urgent need in the housing sector is the delivery of rental housing units. …. We would actively encourage the District Assemblies and NGO’s and support programs that promote self-help housing projects to embark upon a vigorous programme of construction of rental housing. In addition, there will be a more vigorous enforcement of the Rent Control Act, which, hopefully, will deal with the phenomenon of the demand of excessive rent advance payment.
We shall promote and institute the building of hostels for the most vulnerable, like the “Kayaye”, who currently sleep on the streets
The last element of our plan deals with rural housing. The biggest challenge here is more of quality than quantity. I shall be encouraging our architects to come up with a variety of designs that will be suitable for rural areas and help transform the rural landscape.
We intend to deal with the perennial housing financing problem through the issuing of Government backed Housing Bonds, and create the avenue for private capital and pension funds to channel their long-term funds into the “Housing Fund”, which will provide funds to support the private sector. We believe that this program will enable us raise over GHC 1billion annually over the next four years for our social and public housing programs.
A vigorous construction industry will create thousands of highly skilled jobs in carpentry, joinery, masonry, plumbing, electrical, metal workers and other construction industry related jobs. ….New housing projects will spawn the creation of new local building material industries to produce materials such as cement blocks, bricks, door locks, louver blades, roofing sheets, light steel frames, reinforcement bars, floor tiles, toilet bowls, doors etc. which will lead to the further creation of thousand of jobs for our youth.
Our research has shown that the initial 20%-30% down-payment required by mortgage companies and banks, as a pre-requisite for disbursing mortgages, is usually a major obstacle for most applicants in taking a mortgage to purchase a home. A proportion of pension funds and SSNIT contributions will be made available to workers for use as a down-payment to secure a mortgage. Under this arrangement, thousands of Ghanaians will be able to purchase a home.
We will complete the 6000 units of affordable housing started under the Kufuor regime. If one wanted an example of the spiteful attitude that the NDC brought to government, there is no better example than the abandonment of this project simply because it was started by an NPP government. They have had four years, they have not added a single housing unit, they have denied 6000 Ghanaian families the right to live in well-constructed houses.
It is time to rid this nation of this do-nothing, insensitive government. They did not come to do anything, they have not done anything, they are not capable of doing anything; lets be rid of them, lets vote for the NPP and move Ghana forward.
Bullet points from NANA AKUFO-ADDO’S SPEECH TO GREDA – 22ND OCTOBER 2012