The Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye, has assured the private sector of the Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the construction of mass housing in the country for the next four years.
“The vision of Government for the housing sector is to use an appropriate mix of public and private sector investments to deliver quality, safe, affordable housing solutions that meet the needs and financial capacity of the ordinary Ghanaian”, he said.
The Minister, who was speaking at the Breakfast Meeting on the Real Estate Sector organised by the Real Estate Times in Accra said, the Government recognises the key role of the private sector and that as a sector Minister, he will lead the process to engage key stakeholders within the housing sector to find ingenious ways of creating the enabling environment, especially for the private sector.
According to the Minister, affordable housing has always been on the agenda of the Ministry and considering the growing housing deficit, there is the need for a concerted government policy direction to tackle the current institutional gap that is required to provide mass affordable housing for the people of Ghana.
Hon. Asenso-Boakye stated over the years, there hasn’t been a clearly defined institutional framework that is responsible for the planning, developing and managing housing in Ghana. For that reason, he added Government will set up a National Housing Authority to lead the supply side of the housing market. The main function of the Authority will be to plan, develop and manage housing development in Ghana.
He added that the Government also intends to leverage the Pension Funds to finance Housing delivery in Ghana which he said is one of the surest ways to secure long term and sustainable financing for the housing sector.
He explained that the intention is to review the Pension Act to increase its portfolio for financing housing from the current five per cent.
Touching on the regulation of the housing industry, the Minister disclosed that Parliament has passed the Real Estate Agency Act, 2020 (Act 1047) to regulate the practice of real estate agency, the conduct of real estate practitioners, commercial transactions including the sale, purchase, rental, and leasing of properties.
He noted that the practice of real estate has grown considerably as the property market has become more active with buying, selling, and leasing of property for investment but in recent times, the institutional and regulatory framework for the real estate sub-sector remained fragmented making real estate practice in Ghana not adequately regulated.
He was of the view that the expectation of the implementation of the provisions of the Act will go a long way to plug the avenues in which real estate transactions are used to launder money, including the prohibition of the use of cash for real estate transactions which in turn will generate more revenue for Government.
The Minister commended the organisers of the event and said the Ministry welcomes events of that nature as it does not only create the opportunity to share experiences and network with industry players but also promotes continuous growth and development of the real estate sector.