Accra, June 2, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama, on Tuesday urged Real Estate Developers to make their houses available and affordable to the average and lower income-earning Ghanaians.
He said although many Real Estate Developers were constructing more housing units, they were mostly expensive, and only suitable for the affluent in society.
President Mahama said this when he addressed the 34th Annual General Meeting and Symposium of Shelter-Afrique in Accra on the theme: “Developing Shelter Affordable Housing For Rent”.
The President said apart from constructing 5,000 housing units at Prampram, other housing projects were underway in other regions.
He said government was currently spending close to50 million dollars on the provision of housing units for the security agencies, to ‘remove’ them from living in scattered houses.
President Mahama said government was on course to reduce the 1.7 million housing units deficits, and commended Shelter Afrique for approving a total of 44 million dollars for the construction of more housing units.
The President said government needed an average of 150,000 units of housing to meet the housing units of Ghanaians in the next 20 years.
He said the government would work around the clock to ensure that all necessary funding was available for the execution of those projects.
He said by 2020 about 55 per cent of Ghanaians would be dwelling in the urban areas, and it was therefore expedient for the government and private real estate developers to maintain their composure to reduce the deficit levels in the coming years.
Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, who assumed the chairmanship of Shelter Afrique, said the current state where rental housing was privately-based ……was expensive and exploitative, on the part of some landlords.
He commended President Mahama for supporting his Ministry to host the conference, and gave the assurance that they would make maximum use of the outcome, to advance the course in providing housing units in the country.
Mr James Mugerwa, Managing Director of Shelter Afrique, said housing was a major indicator to catapult the development of Africa, and urged member-states to attach enthusiasm to enhance the housing needs of their people.
He commended Ghana for becoming the third best in housing, even though it was the 43rd member to join.
Shelter Afrique which was established in 1982, is a pan-African organization engaged in partnership with government and private sector real estate developers, to provide decent housing for Africans.
The annual general meetings give the stakeholders the opportunity to take stock of their performance, brainstorm and take strategic positions on housing in the region.
Participants, drawn from all member-states in Africa, would contribute their quota towards addressing housing deficits on the continent in the coming years.