The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) is to blacklist companies and individuals that provide substandard products and services to the general public as part of a new initiative aimed at sanitising the sector and preserving the name of the organisation.
The association admits the lucrative nature of the housing delivery and real estate development business in the country serves as a breeding ground for the influx of ill-intended companies and individuals into the sector, who sometimes rip off the general public in the name of providing them with houses.
Given that the situation dents the image of GREDA, the umbrella body of real estate developers and related service providers in the country, its Executive Secretary, Mr Sammy Amegayibor, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the association will no longer countenance would such actions.
“We’ve so many real estate companies springing up; are already in business doing all sort of shoddy jobs and selling to the general public unknowingly. Most of the time, GREDA has to bear the wrath from those affected. They (the general public) always think that any house that was developed by a Ghanaian developer is a GREDA member,” Mr Amegayibor told the paper on November 13.
“We need to work towards that and establish our standards and, perhaps, move towards certification. That is very dear to our hearts. We want to be able to give certification to completed houses for our members,” he added.
These implementation of these measures, he said, would help raise standards in the real estate development and housing delivery, instil discipline and quality in the sector, flush out the quack developers and, in the process, give value for money to housing patrons.
Who is quark?
GREDA, which was formed some 25 years ago, currently has some 400 registered members.
The association, which was formed in November 1988, virtually gave birth to the real estate business in the country, as majority of its current members were incorporated in the same year that the association was established.
Although GREDA was a force to reckon with in the late 1980s through to the 1990s, its executive director admitted that its influence has waned over time, partly as a result of the change in political leadership in the country and its impact on government policies.
Out of its current membership, just 150 are in good standing with the association and also actively producing houses for the general public.
That is meagre, especially given the increasing number of real estate developers and related service providers in the country.
Mr Amegayibor admits there are dozens more developers in the system who dread joining the association, partly due to the various criteria required.
“Joining GREDA is currently voluntary but not all companies want to join. Some are ok being alone so they can do all kinds of things without being checked,” he said.
That notwithstanding the association’s executive director admits its members are not entirely exonerated from the provision of substandard houses and related services to the Ghanaian public.
“Mostly, its these new developers and those not registered that do the shoddy jobs, but that is not to say that GREDA members are exonerated. Some also do poor jobs and when we get to know, we apply the sanctions,” he added.
The association’s silver jubilee celebration and dinner dance is scheduled for December 27 to, among other things, celebrate the success story of GREDA in the housing delivery initiative in the country.
The association’s executive director observed that GREDA’s image has dwindled in the course of time but said that would soon be dealt with as it had resolved to rebrand and reposition itself for present day challenges.
That restructuring, he said, would also enable the association to appeal to and attract modern day real estate developers.
On the issue of prices of houses in the country, Mr Amegayibor said deliberate policy interventions from the government was needed to help bring down the prices of housing units, explaining that current situations in the sector made it difficult for developers, especially GREDA members, to be able to price within the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian.
“There are real estate developers that are also struggling to sell houses because the prices quoted are not within the reach of the people. Nobody wants to price high but the situation on the ground compels us to do so,” he added.
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