We need a real budget for housing

Accra, Feb 25, GNA – Madam Freda Prempeh, the Minister-of-State-designate for Works and Housing has advocated a budget for housing in the national efforts to roll out adequate and affordable housing.

She said such a budget was necessary to fund housing projects, which required intensive capital.
Madam Prempeh, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North, gave the suggestion during her vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, at the Parliament House, in Osu-Accra, on Thursday.
The Committee, chaired by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, who is also the MP for Bekwai, draws its existence and power from the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
It vets persons nominated by the President to public office, to recommend for approval or otherwise, to the plenary of Parliament.
They include Ministers and Deputy Ministers of State, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court and any other persons specified under the constitution or under any other enactment.
Madam Prempeh, in response to what funding strategy she would adopt to finance the development of housing suggested tapping into the Shelter Afrique programme and other funding schemes.
Shelter Afrique, also known as Company for Habitat and Housing in Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is a pan-African finance institution created to exclusively support the development of the African real estate and housing sector.
Ghana, she said, was rated Number three, under Shelter Afrique’s programme.
Through its strategic partnerships, it offers products and related services, which supported the efficient delivery of commercial real estate and affordable housing.
She also said the Ministry, under the National Mortgage Scheme, would team up with other Ministries to work out more accessible mortgage financing for health workers and teachers to encourage them and other service workers to accept postings to rural areas.
Madam Prempeh, who was also an immediate past Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, said if approved, she would ensure that the Housing Ministry collaborated with Ministries such as the Local Government and Rural Development, as well as and traditional leaders to secure lands for the development of affordable housing.
In that regard, she paid compliments to traditional leaders in Ghana that had made lands available for investment in housing projects.
She called for more education on the use of local materials, especially, brick and tile, to increase the use of the materials in housing development.
She, consequently, agreed to a suggestion to have more professional bricklayers trained.
A lot of developers in the Tanoso area were turning to the use of brick and tile in the building of houses, she said.
The Chairman of the Committee announced that he had offered land at Bekwai to the predecessor of the nominee for the development of rental unit, particularly for young upstarts.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, indicated the readiness of traditional rulers in his constituency to give out lands for affordable housing schemes.