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Ministry Revamps Housing Project
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The affordable housing project which was begun in 2005 with the objective of providing accommodation for low  middle-income workers has been revamped, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, has stated.
He said the ministry was currently in partnership with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) and other housing developers to complete the projects which had stalled over the past seven years.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah made this known when he opened the 2016 edition of the Water Africa and West Africa Building & Construction Exhibition and Seminar in Accra last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, he said, work on the Borteyman housing project, comprising 1,368 housing units, was progressing steadily and scheduled to be completed next month, while the government was making arrangements with SSNIT to complete the 1,030 housing units in Asokore Mampong.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah said current housing supply stood at an estimated 35,000 units annually, out of which about 90 per cent was provided by the private sector. 

Meanwhile, he said, the government needed a minimum of 170,000 housing units per annum over the next 10 years to address the housing deficit fully. 

Under the circumstance, he pointed out that addressing the challenge was the responsibility of the government, private sector operatives and academia.

Other interventions

Dr Agyemang-Mensah also announced that in line with the effort to promote the development of affordable housing units, the Rent Act which was enacted in 1963 was being replaced with a new act.

He said a Real Estate Agency Authority Bill meant to regulate and sanitise the activities of practitioners in the real estate sector had also been laid before Parliament for consideration. 

The bill covers the sale, purchase, renting and leasing of real estate and related fixed assets in the country.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah said increases in population and rapid urbanisation were associated with high demand for houses which when in short supply, led to the creation of slums and squalor conditions. 

He, therefore, expressed the hope that the event would make for fruitful discussions and focus on key issues pertaining to the industry, such as how to reduce cost of construction, promote an effective maintenance culture and for professionals in the industry to come up with innovative designs that promoted the usage of solar energy.

Water supply

The minister said with support from the World Bank, the government was carrying out the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project which aimed at expanding the water distribution network within the area. 

He said because Accra was continually expanding and the population was also increasing, it was becoming more difficult to supply water to homes.

He, therefore, encouraged consumers to make known their concerns and complaints to the Ghana Water Company.

On rural water supply, Dr Agyemang-Mensah said the government, with support from the Chinese Government, was currently undertaking a project to dig 1,000 boreholes in six regions, namely Upper East, Upper West, Western, Central, Volta and Eastern. 

He said six other regions were also to benefit from a sustainable rural water and sanitation project. They are the Northern, Upper East and West; Central, Brong Ahafo and Western.

For her part, the Managing Director of African Conferences & Exhibitions Limited (ACE), the event managers Ms Tracy Nolan-Shaw, said the event was an internationally recognised trade show which allowed exhibitors to reach out to key decision-makers from the water, waste water and building and construction industries in West-Africa.
Source: Daily Graphic

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