President Akufo-Addo has charged members of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GhCCI), to find innovative ways the country could build cheap houses for the citizenry, noting that housing in Ghana is largely a “monopoly of the rich.”
Addressing a delegation of the GhCCI when they paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, (2 March 2022), President Akufo-Addo said policy makers in the built environment cannot continue to ignore the expensive methods of construction in the country.
“If we are going to be able to deal with the infrastructure deficit in our country, apart from roads, we have a deficit in our housing, 1.8 million units of housing that we need, a critical aspect of it is our ability to build houses cheaply,” he said.
“We cannot continue to ignore the expensive methods of construction that has made housing here virtually a monopoly of the rich, it shouldn’t be the case” President Akufo-Addo said.
According to the President, “the richest country in the world (America,) has some of the cheapest housing that you can come across anywhere in the world.”
Lamenting the expensive state of housing in the country, President Akufo-Addo, indicated “we are here in Ghana and some small three-bedroom house in East Legon will cost you 350,000.00, 400,000.00 to 500,000.00 dollars.”
“You get mansions for that in many parts of America. 100,000.00, 200,000.00 dollars’ maximum, that gives you a very well-appointed home because of the materials that go into construction in the United States” the President stated.
“They are local, indigenous and they are very cheap. We need to find a solution to how we can build strong houses here but cheaply. I think that it is something that we all have to put our heads around and find a solution to it so that we can address our housing matters,” President Akufo-Addo advocated.
The country’s current housing deficit of one million, eight hundred thousand (1.8 million) housing units, according to President Akufo-Addo, is largely due to the fact that it is expensive to build in Ghana compared to rich countries, particularly, the United States of America.
Mr. K.H. Osei Asante, a member of the governing council of the GhCCI, speaking on behalf of the delegation proposed the passage of specific bills and the review of some existing laws in the built environment.
First was the call for the passage of a Housing Authority Bill to coordinate social housing projects by the Government of Ghana. Secondly, he called for support to pass the Surveying Council Bill. Thirdly, he called on government to prioritize the introduction of the Construction Industry Development Authority Bill.
In the area of the review of existing laws, Mr Osei Asante said some aspects of the Architects Registration Council Law needs to be reviewed as well as the Rent Bill which is currently in Parliament.
The GhCCI has been established along the lines the Telecommunications Chamber, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber of Mines, among others.
The main objective of the GhCCI is to serve as a medium for continuous dialogue among the various stakeholders (Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, State Bodies that regulate various aspects of the Construction Industry/Built Environment, and others) and to advocate policies, policy reforms, and amendments as well as their implementation so as to ensure it leads to the creation of a conducive business enabling environment
The GhCCI also exist to facilitate the establishment of Construction Industry Development Authority as a state regulatory body in Ghana and collaborate with that body and also to provide an avenue for networking among the various Members and Stakeholders including learning and sharing of experiences, business information, and innovative ideas among others.