THE government is committed to putting in place a complete plan to address the country’s growing housing challenges, the Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye, has given an assurance.
The plan includes making the right investments in the sector and putting in place the right regulatory framework to encourage more private sector participation in the sector.
According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census report, Ghana’s housing deficit for the first time decreased by 33 percentage points (over 1.8 million units).
The decrease was attributed to interventions in the housing sector by the government and private developers.
At a webinar organised by Deloitte Ghana on the topic, ‘Africa Construction and Housing Trends; ‘A focus on Ghana’, Mr Asenso Boakye, said the government would continue to adopt various strategies to bridge the housing deficit of 1.8 million.
He said significant investment in Ghana’s construction sector would be prioritised in response to the increasing demand for housing.
“The government is committed to providing decent, safe and quality housing that is accessible and affordable to all citizens.
“The prevailing strategy of the government regarding affordable housing is to secure land banks and provide the requisite infrastructure services to these land banks, designated as affordable housing enclaves to leverage private sector investment for mass affordable housing,” he stated.
He said the government would also strengthen the provision of requisite tax incentives and exemptions available in the laws to attract private sector capital.
Mr Asenso Boakye also emphasised the need for a robust and regulatory institutional framework to support the industry.
He said that was why the government had introduced the Real Estate Agency Act 2020 (Act 1047).
“The Act has led to the establishment of the Real Estate Council to regulate real estate agency practices and activities in Ghana,” he explained.
The sector minister said there was currently an increasing demand for the development of high-rise and compact properties towards maximising limited land space, especially within the prime areas of major cities in Ghana.
He said that had necessitated the need to consider the implications of shared ownership of common areas.
“The government is, therefore, working assiduously to pass the Condominium Bill, which seeks to regulate the use of common areas within the real estate industry,” he said.
Challenges of housing sector
A Partner and Financial Advisory Leader at Deloitte Ghana, Yaw Appiah Lartey, said a survey conducted by the firm highlighted two major challenges in the country’s housing sector.
He said the two challenges were taxes and tariffs for real estate players.
“I know the government has done quite a few things to address this and support the sector in terms of taxes and tax exemptions but players and stakeholders seem to be expecting more to be done from the government,” he stated.
He, therefore, called on the government to ensure that its affordable housing structures and measures were geared towards making sure the average Ghanaian was suited to afford them.