Gov’t revives stalled housing projects to address deficit

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By Joshua Worlasi AMLANU

Government has resumed work on several stalled housing projects across the country, in a bid to address the acute housing shortage.

Led by State Housing Company (SHC), the goal is to complete abandoned projects while developing new ones to provide affordable housing for Ghanaians.

Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, recently toured housing units under construction by the SHC in Adenta and Amarhia in the Greater Accra Region. The visit was to get first-hand experience of efforts by  government to revitalise projects that had been idle for years due to various challenges, including legal disputes.

“We’ve made the point over and over again that we should not allow the little resources we have which have gone into projects to be wasted,” Minister Oppong Nkrumah stated during the tour. “We need to finish them and put them to use.”

A key focus of the tour was the SHC Gardens or SHC Court project in Adenta. This development, initiated in 2011 under the presidency of former President John Evan Atta Mills, has been stalled for about a decade due to disagreements between the previous SHC management, the contractor and government.

Kwabena Appiah, Chief Executive Officer-SHC, provided details about the project, stating: “This is about 70 units made up of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. It includes shops, a swimming pool and a basketball court as well. This is right in the heart of Adenta”.

The Adenta project’s revival is part of a broader initiative to complete stalled housing projects nationwide. Mr. Nkrumah highlighted government’s strategy of partnering with the private sector to overcome financial constraints.

“Because of the limited fiscal space we have, government cannot necessarily bear the burden of refinancing everything,” the minister explained. “Sometimes it makes more sense to work with the private sector. Not that you are selling it to them, but you are working with them to complete this project and put them out.”

This public-private partnership approach is being applied to other projects as well. Government is also focusing on developments in other regions, with plans to revive President Kufuor’s affordable housing project in Akwadum, Koforidua.

The minister praised the SHC for their quick action in resuming work on these projects.

“The speed with which they are doing this is impressive, replacing all of these doors, tiling and doing the integrity test on plumbing and other things, because 10 years is a lot of time,” he added.

For the Adenta project, extensive renovations were necessary due to the long period of abandonment. “We basically had to strip the building down and start basically from scratch, because most of the doors, tiles, windows were all outdated, rusted and not useable,” Mr. Appiah explained.

The SHC aims to achieve a significant level of completion by end of the year, allowing potential homeowners to move in. Pricing for the units starts at around GH¢500,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the SHC CEO.

This initiative represents a crucial step in addressing Ghana’s housing deficit. By reviving stalled projects and partnering with the private sector, government hopes to accelerate the completion of these developments and make more affordable housing available to Ghanaians.

The successful implementation of this programme could provide much-needed relief to the housing market and offer new opportunities for homeownership to many citizens. As work progresses on these revived projects, stakeholders and the public will be watching closely to see how effectively government can deliver on its promise of increased affordable housing options.

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