Radical and innovative approaches needed to address the country’s housing demand

A view of the plush newly commissioned Adinkra Heights building, in the heart of the Accra city

The Board Chairman of the Switchback Developers Limited (SDL), a property development and management firm, Mr. Charles Nimako, has called for a well-thought-out and ground-breaking approach to tackling the country’s housing deficit, which currently stands at 1.8 million.

While noting that housing is one of the many responsibilities of the government, and the role the private sector has played over the period, Mr. Nimako noted that the housing challenges can be overcome through collaborative efforts.

It is in line with this, for instance, he said a Public Privat Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Lifeforms Limited and Trasacco Estates Development Company Limited led to the Switchback project – Adinkra Heights, in 2014.

The project among others is intended to contribute to addressing the need for housing in the high-end and also commercial sectors. SDL was incorporated as a special purpose joint venture company to make it realisable, he added.

Mr. Nimako, who was speaking at the official opening of the project, said “This is an exceptionally well-considered landmark development demonstrating the significant benefit of strategic master planning and setting the standards for future development in Africa and elsewhere in the country.”

SDL, he indicated, aims to make a difference by impacting through its landmark development and producing quality houses and accommodations that are sustainable.

Adinkra Heights, according to the Board Chairman, is a building that exhibits the lifestyle of modern residential and complex architecture. It also seeks to breathe new life into this area of Accra, providing a vibrant, modern landscape, he said.

The Minister of Trade and Industries, Alan Kyeremanteng, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony, in his remarks noted that the project is an excellent example of a PPP investment.

While noting that the local real estate industry is largely dominated by the private sector, for this particular project he said it was appropriate to have government interest, therefore commended SSNIT for the efforts.

The location of the project, he revealed offers a lot more value to it, and among others said the development of such projects will further open the way for corporations as it justifies the country as the commercial capital of the continent.

Also, the Deputy Managing Director of SSNIT, Kofi Bosompem Safo Maafo, observed that the development offers city dwellers an opportunity to live in a serene environment at a strategic and convenient location.

“We envisage this development in the coming years to become the heart of the first class or best mix-used development in the Accra Metropolis,” he said.

According to Mr. Safo-Maafo, the Trust over the years has made some considerable investments across all the subsectors in the country’s real estate sector with Adinkra Heights being one of them.

He stressed that there is always the need to invest the funds of the Trust prudently to generate maximum returns and to ensure it is sustainable in the long term.

“In investing funds of members, the Trust is guided by the key principles of safety, yield, liquidity, diversification and capital preservation,” he added.

SSNIT together with other partners, he said, have committed enormous resources to the project, and expect good returns to continue to strengthen the financial position of the scheme SSNIT operates.

Adinkra Heights, which is the maiden project of SDL, has 77 units of accommodation comprising 17 units of two-bedroom apartments, 49 units of three-bedroom apartments, 9 units of four-bedroom apartments, two penthouses and 560 square meters of retail space.

It comes with ground and underground-level car parks, secured access, 24/7 CCTV surveillance, an infinity pool, elevators, air-conditioned rooms, and firefighting systems, among others to make life comfortable and worth living.

The 10-6 storey building is incorporated with passive development features that allow optimum preservation of energy and root of natural daylighting and ventilation. Its supporting systems have been designed to be environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and adaptable.

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