The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Samuel Amegayibor, is demanding for a clear structure that deals with continuity of housing projects in the country.
Citing the Saglemi housing project as an example, he lamented the various projects that successive governments have failed to complete and left to rot.
Mr. Amegayibor told Citi Business News that unless this trend is curbed, the country’s housing deficit would never be solved.
“The issue of continuity is one of the things that we are lacking. Former President Kufuor started affordable houses to deliver 5,000 houses. Those projects are still ongoing. So if it is taking us over 20 years to just build 5,000 houses, then there’s a problem with our continuation of projects. Another government comes in, and he doesn’t feel like he has to continue what has been done,” he complained.
“If Kufuor’s project, for example, was finished in his time, or continued by the next government, at least it would have taken as maybe eight or 12 years. And if we had doubled that 5,000 in the next years, by now, we would have made some significant changes. But we didn’t do that. Then Saglemi came on board and has also been abandoned in the bush. So we should have a structure that going to regulate continuity.”
Mr. Amegayibor further stated having a working national policy document will ensure that successive governments commit to a set target for housing in Ghana.
According to him, the many manifesto promises by the various political parties is one of the main causes of stagnancy in the sector.
“It is not political manifestos that should run housing. Housing should be a national agenda with a document that exists for all of us to come and [reference] and see how best to address the issue. The political manifesto can look at how to finance the project but as to the structure of housing, it should be one [document],” he said.
Abandonment of projects
Former President John Mahama has on several occasions slammed the NPP government for abandoning projects that were started during his tenure in office.
The Saglemi Affordable Housing project, one of the many was stalled due to a decision by the Akufo-Addo administration to probe the financial arrangements around the project.
The facility, which sits on a 300-acre land with one to three-bedroom flats for low-income earners, was meant to be a 5000-residential unit facility to ease the accommodation deficit in the country.
Phase One of the US$200 million project saw the construction of 180 blocks comprising over 1,500 flats.
But soon after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to power, the project has become a matter of controversy, following years of abandonment.
Although the government has promised on several occasions to complete the project to benefit many Ghanaians, citizens are yet to see that come to pass.