Saturday, February 7, 2015

MLGRD Promise MMDAs Affordable Housing Project If They Provide Land

Julius Debrah

GHANA’s Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has challenged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) that have challenges in providing accommodation for their staff to make available land and it would provide resources for an affordable housing project to be rolled out for them.

According to sector Minister Julius Debrah, his ministry had got enough resources and ready to provide decent and affordable accommodation for all staff of MMDAs and other civil servants across the country but that could only become a reality if the Assemblies on their own made available land.

Mr. Debrah who threw the challenge to all Chief Executives of MMDAs in the Northern Region during a one week tour of Assemblies and courtesy calls on some traditional rulers, said the particular housing project was very affordable in the right sense of the word and payment was also such that, a person could be given up to five or seven years to pay and own a house.

At the moment, the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly is the only Assembly building some 200 two-bedroom houses and each is expected to cost GH¢20,000.00 when completed. The technology being used is called hydrofoam and it enables a builder to produce many houses within the shortest possible time with materials which are also less expensive as compared to modern houses build with cement and blocks.

Ghana is currently faced with an acute housing problem and according to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, there is a deficit of about 1.7 million housing units. Spreading it over a 10-year period will mean that, a minimum of 170,000 housing units would have to be built annually.

The situation has compelled many citizens who are unable to afford decent accommodation particularly in the cities and towns to sleep in structures that are inconducive. In some instances, some end up sleeping on the streets and frontages of abandoned structures and uncompleted houses belong to government and other individuals.

As a demonstration of commitment, the MLGRD signed a memorandum of mnderstanding with a local contractor, PUMPTECH to replicate the Tamale housing project across the country. Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Nii Lantey Vanderpuye who signed on behalf of government, said a total of 21,000 housing units were expected to be built.

Mr. Debrah was impressed with the initiative by the Tamale Metropolis when he visited the site for construction work and consulted with President John Mahama for the project to be replicated in all MMADs in Ghana.

The Programmes Director of PUMPTECH, Osman Sahanunu thanked government for recognizing their occupation and forming partnership with them to expand their building project to all MMDAs.

He estimated that a total of 130,000 people would be employed within a year as a result of this partnership which definitely required more hands to execute the project within the time frames that would be given.

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