Government must create an enabling environment to attract the private sector to the housing sector, that’s according to the Chairman of Financial, infrastructure and technological development firm, Skidlab Ventures Ghana Ltd.
Sean Ekow Brown said his outfit is ready to support government significantly reduce the cost of operations in the housing sector.
Speaking to Joy Business after a signing agreement with Construction firm, AAK & Associates, Mr Ekow Brown said, “As long as government is providing an enabling environment there will be nothing to worry about. It will be difficult if the private sector does this alone.”
He believes the contract, which was awarded by the Housing Ministry will see the construction of 50,000 affordable housing units nationwide and it will be overseen by the Ministry of Works and Housing.
“It’s an arrangement between Skidlab and AAK & Associates. We’ve had series of interactions on best ways to partner us in the construction of affordable housing, We’ve got a contract from the ministry and we want the right partnership to hit the ground for 50,000 affordable housing units,” he stated.
Speaking at the signing in, CEO of Haswwani & Sons Inc, Abdul Hashwani, urged the Chinese company to prioiritze best standards to make this contract materialize.
Housing and mortgage finance have experienced several difficulties in Ghana. Limited mortgages have been attributed to inadequate capital allocated to long-term financing, persistent gaps in borrower credit appraisals, and difficult macroeconomic conditions resulting in high interest rates. Similarly, housing microfinance has also encountered challenges in its consolidation, perhaps worse than mortgagees.
As such, many housing is out of the reach of many households in Ghana since the least expensive house would still be unaffordable to over 95 percent of Ghana’s urban population considering monthly mortgage repayments relative to household income of urban residents estimated at $4 735 (GH¢20 930).
The majority of housing, about 90 percent of the total, is delivered by individuals and the most common method the building is incremental construction, where owners self-manage, relying on craftsmen and tradesmen to build progressively, dictated by the availability of funds.
This trend has implications on the quantity and quality of the dwellings. The result has been overcrowding, particularly in urban areas, evidenced in the Greater Accra Region.