GOVERNMENT TO REDUCE COST OF HOUSING UNITS WITH STRATEGIC INCENTIVES – HON. ASENSO BOAKYE

The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon Francis Asenso-Boakye has indicated that the government’s new strategic intervention of providing incentive packages such as unencumbered land banks, infrastructure services on the designated lands, tax incentives and exemptions to interested private developers as part of its new affordable housing programme will meet the needs and financial capacity of low to middle income Ghanaians.

The completion of the project, the Minister disclosed, will greatly reduce the price of the housing units, and make it affordable to majority of Ghanaians, who are normally priced out of the markets due to current affordability gap in the real estate industry.

Speaking at the Annual Breakfast Meeting of Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) within the Real Estate Industry (GREDA) today in Accra, the Sector Minister observed that the country’s estimated level of the housing deficit, which is in excess of 1.8million housing units, is as a result of absence of the required support from successive governments, culminating in a substantial increase in the affordability gap.

The Ghana Housing Profile, prepared with the support of the UN-Habitat, revealed that 60 per cent of Ghana’s urban population will need some form of government intervention to access housing, while 35 per cent will not be able to access housing even with government subsidy. Only 5 per cent of the population can have access to housing without any support

Again, data from Ghana Statistical Services’ 2021 General Report on Housing Characteristics reveals that 12.7% of the total national housing structures counted are vacant housing units.

Asenso-Boakye said the data provides evidence for the growing concern about the country’s housing supply which continue to outprice the average person in Ghana and ultimately failing to address the housing needs of a significant segment of our society.

Owing to this, Asenso-Boakye reiterated his Ministry’s intention to create an enabling environment to de-risk affordable housing, induce private sector investment and engender the mobilization capacity of the not-for-profit sector towards meeting the needs of lower income households, as well as other vulnerable groups.

“The prevailing strategy of government is to secure land banks and provide the requisite infrastructure services to the sites, designated as affordable housing enclaves, to leverage private sector investment for affordable housing construction.” He stated.

With the assurance that government will strengthen the provision of the requisite tax incentives and exemptions available in laws to attract private sector capital, the Sector Minister urged GREDA to embrace government’s new framework and invest more in the provision of affordable housing where the deficit is prevalent.

The Chairman for the occasion and Managing Director of Koans Building Solutions Limited, Prof. Andrews Kofi Anokye reassured of GREDA’s preparedness to support government on its new affordable housing project to provide homes to low to middle income earners. He welcomed the collaboration and support from the government towards creating the enabling environment for the industry to thrive.

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