The Minister for Works and Housing and Member of Parliament for Akim Abuakwa South, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, has hinted that the 275 constituencies in the country would be benefiting from high rise affordable housing for workers.
He indicated that the ministry has written to all the MPs of their constituencies for spaces to build the structures for workers.
Speaking to ghanajustice.com in an interview in Parliament, Mr. Atta Akyea explained that workers in the various constituencies will have the benefit of high rise structures, with affordable prices and converge at places that will form complete communities of their own.
He reiterated that “some MPs are gracious enough to embrace this project. They want the ministry to speed up the process to salvage the housing problems in some areas of the country. This major project will also stem the tide of rural-urban migration”.
Mr. Atta Akyea however cautioned that the ministry is faced with challenges in achieving the plans on the drawing board and added that the ministry will work tirelessly to pursue the project rigorously.
Current housing deficit
The housing deficit in the country currently stands at over 1.8 million units and is said to be growing by 70,000 units per year, a figure that has been thrown into doubt by experts who contend that it is probably more.
The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) estimates that about 50 percent of Ghanaians live in sub-standard houses and various unsuitable structures.
With the population projected to reach 32.2 million in 2020 and about 57 percent living in urban communities, the challenge facing the government cannot be over-emphasised .
The soaring price of land in major cities like Accra, Takoradi, Tema, Kumasi and Tamale, as well as other regional and district capitals, has made it difficult for low and middle income earners to build decent houses to shelter their families.
A plot of land measuring 100 X 70 feet on the fringes of Accra in suburbs like Abokobi, Oyarifa, Amrahia, Oyibi and others cost an average of GH¢40,000. The situation is not different in Tema, Kumasi and Tamale.
While individual buyers struggle to raise enough money to purchase plots of land, estate developers have also had to contend with the rising cost of land.
The government, in an attempt to stimulate investor interest and also to make housing affordable, scrapped the 5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on real estate in the 2017 budget approved by parliament. However, this is yet to translate into any reduction in the retail price of houses.