President Mahama Calls For Partnership In Housing

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called on Mortgage institutions to partner government to provide sufficient housing units for government workers and other individuals. The partnership, he suggested, should cover the use of local building materials that would reduce cost of production, and the diversification of their building projects from the urban areas to smaller towns where workers could be settled. President Mahama said this when some mortgage institutions called on him at the Flagstaff house, Kanda. They were made up of Ghana Association of Bankers, Ghana Home Finance Companies and Ghana Home Loans. They were at the Presidency in fulfillment of President Mahama's promise to meet them to help solve the housing deficits during his State of the Nation's address. President Mahama said statistics available indicates that growth rate of Ghana's population could lead to 63 per cent of the population moving into the urban areas by 2050, hence the need to increase housing projects to accommodate them. He said government is ready to partner the private sector under the Public-Private Partnership programme to build more housing units in the coming years throughout the country, to make it easier for individuals to purchase them and pay by installments. The president said government had acquired 30,000 acres of land around Prampram in the Dangbe-East District Assembly out of which 5,000 acres, would be used for the construction of an ultra-Modern Airport; and called for partnership that would make use of the remaining 25,000 acres of land for development projects including housing units. On the economy, President Mahama gave the assurance that government is working around the clock to reduce the budget deficit and stabilise the economy that would enable investors including those in the housing industry to step up their activities. President Mahama also appealed to the mortgage institutions to develop a system that would support workers and other individuals to complete their own building projects to reduce the high rate of uncompleted building projects dotted throughout the country. He also called on them to support others to pay for their rent advance to reduce the creation of slumps in the cities. Mr Simon Dornooo, President of Ghana Association of Bankers, called on government to facilitate the acquisition of long-term financing for the institutions to construct more housing as the industry demands huge investment and financial dependence. He also called on government to convince financial institutions to subsidise loans on housing to enable the mortgage institutions to efficiently and appropriately address the housing deficits in the urban areas. Mr Kwadwo Addo-Kuffuor of Ghana Home loans expressed regret about delays in land titles, long term land litigations among other challenges and called on government to intervene to ensure that the obstacles are reviewed for the betterment of Ghanaians. Mr Charles Bonsu, Home Finance Companies, commended government on holding the implementation of the new Value Added Tax system and called for thorough review that would be investment friendly.