Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA), Sammy Amegayibor, has welcomed the concerns raised by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo regrading the high cost of houses in Ghana.
He said the concerns by the President are genuine however, these matters are not new.
The issues have been raised in the past by GREDA in series of meetings with government yet no action has been taken by the government, he said.
Mr Amegayibor mentioned the issues of high exchange rate, land guards and attitude of Ghanaians towards local materials as some of the challenges facing the sector which have been made known to the government by players in the industry.
He has therefore asked members of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry to find innovative ways to ensure the country builds cheaper houses for the citizenry, adding housing in Ghana has become largely a monopoly of the rich.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Ghana Chamber of Construction, Mr Akufo-Addo there is the need for partnership between government and the private sector to tackle the housing deficit in Ghana
“I hear in Ghana, some small three-bedroom house in East Legon costs between $354,000 and $500,000. You get mansions for that in many parts of America. With between a $100,000 and $200,000 you get a very well appointed home because the materials that are used for construction in the UK are local, and are very cheap.”
“We need to find ways of building strong and cheap houses in the country,” he added.
Reacting to this developmeint in an interview with TV3’s Komla Adom on the mid day news on Thursday March 3, Mr Amegayibor said “I think it is a good call, this is not the first time, the issues of housing have been discussed at several fora but unfortunately we haven’t done much to confront the issues. If the president is raising these issues it gives us opportunity for further discussions.
“He brought a number of issues up and I think they were all valid except to say that the collaboration to confront the the problem is not working out as is supposed to be.
“So for example, cheaper materials, if we don’t build the enabling environment for local production of some of our inputs it will call for importation and that is one of the areas where we are suffering.”
He added “As you can see now the issue of the change rate is eating us so badly that if we want to continue to depend on foreign importation which is currently around 70 per cent as against 30 of what we can find, it tells you that this is not feasible. So, we need to create the enabling environment for local productions to be able to produce as much as we can.
“We have some local materials around but the way and our attitude towards local materials is not good enough. So we need to position ourselves or re-orient ourselves and begin to appreciate what we have locally.
“GREDA had met presidents in the past, we have brought some of these issues up including a mortgage review, we also discussed affordable housing and also talked about how we can deal with land guard menace but we haven’t seen a lot from the side of the government since we met the president
“We need to have that platform with the full commitment of government then the private sector will also come in.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana