EDITORIAL:Is The Revival Of SHC In Sight?
7/17/2012 6:00:23 PM -
Fifty-three years after independence, Ghana is still struggling to address the housing deficit in the country.
As of 2011, the housing deficit was put at more than 1.5 million housing units and this figure keeps growing because of the lack of a clear direction in housing policy. In fact, almost every government in this country has come up with its own housing policy, most of which have not been realised.
This situation has resulted in real estate developers quoting exorbitant prices in dollars, while landlords also charge exorbitant rent from their prospective tenants.
The end result has been the horizontal and haphazard development of houses all over the country, with some developers putting up their structures on water courses.
We believe it was for a good reason that the State Housing Company (SHC) was set up to address the housing challenges confronting the nation. Many of the residential estates at Dansoman, Lartebiokoshie, Mamprobi, Korle Gonno, Kanda, Achimota, all in Accra and other regional capitals were put up by the SHC.
But, over time, the SHC has been reduced to insignificance, through inefficiency on the part of its successive management or a deliberate government policy or a combination of both. We believe that if the SHC had received continuous support from its inception, the country could have gone far in providing low-cost accommodation for Ghanaians.
It is in this vein that the Daily Graphic welcomes the re-generation programme by the current management of the SHC to redevelop its existing sites to accommodate more Ghanaians. For instance, the Kaneshie site, when completed, will accommodate more than 500 tenants, instead of the existing 144.
The Daily Graphic thinks that this is an initiative that every Ghanaian must support to enable it to succeed and for us to return to the days when the SHC provided the leadership in the housing industry.
We, however, hope that the management of the SHC will live up to its obligation to the existing tenants by relocating them to the redeveloped flats. That way, we believe, other tenants in other parts of the country will not put impediments in the way of the SHC.
It is also our hope that the management will put in the requisite systems to avoid a situation where some of the members of staff of the company will take advantage of this initiative to defraud anxious Ghanaians seeking places of abode.
The Daily Graphic believes that resolving this housing problem will also contribute to enhancing productivity at the workplace.
We also expect the SHC to incorporate its housing policy into the national programme in order to avoid the duplication of tasks.