More than 700 of Former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s housing projects abandoned since 2006 will see completion by the close of 2020, Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea has said.
The projects which have stalled are spread across the Upper West, Northern and Eastern Regions, specifically in Wa, Tamale and Koforidua respectively.
When completed, the projects will decrease the country’s housing deficit which currently stands at an estimated 1.7 million housing units.
Speaking to ABC News after the 2020 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, Mr Atta-Akyea disclosed that the country will have an additional 700 housing units if the projects are completed.
He noted that as part of measures to improve the housing sector his Ministry has promoted the redevelopment of some areas in the country as well as enlarging the country’s land banks.
“The Housing Ministry has made what we call quiet achievements. For example, we’ve enlarged our land banks. we have also promoted redevelopment of a few areas we have in the city. But what is very important is that we are pushing an agenda that by the close of the year, all the houses that President Kufuor could not complete in Koforidua, in Tamale, and in Wa will be completed.
“It is a matter of deep regret that since 2006 the NDC government abandoned Kufuor’s affordable housing projects. We can talk about the one in Wa, we can talk about the one in Koforidua and we can talk about the one in Tamale. We’re talking about not less than 700 housing units we will have if we should complete them.”
The Minister also noted that Government will complete the Saglemi Housing Project which was started under former President John Dramani Mahama’s administration.
The Project started during the Mahama administration and it included the realization of about 5,000 residential units. In the first phase of the project’s construction, 180 apartment blocks comprising of over 1,500 flats were built within a very short time.
The project was expected to be a complete city; with industrial and recreational facilities, schools, shopping malls and other social amenities.
It is meant to provide a solution to the housing deficit in the country with a percentage of the houses, set aside to be sold at subsidised rates for low-income earners.
Progress was however stalled after the former President lost the 2016 general elections and a subsequent audit into the cost of the project proved some of the aspects of the project may have been allegedly inflated.
“We are also committed to completing the saglemi mess which President Mahama started and they couldn’t come to the level that we wanted to have. I am tempted to believe that the reason why there’s not much visibility on housing is that it’s extremely capital intensive and most of the developers wanted financial instruments called guarantees they did that but the guarantees are equal to debt and our debt stock would have skyrocketed
“But what is happening is that as they’ve given space for roads, the President will have the mandate to deal with the massive problem of Housing. It’s going to come out strong because the value for money audit is about to be done we will assemble the facts and give it to appropriate authorities to look at the criminality of it. But essentially those who are responsible, they will deal with them but what is very important is that we should give houses to our people to live in,” he stated.