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05.05.2004 Business & Finance

Govt directs SNNIT to invest heavily in housing delivery

By GNA

Accra, May 5, GNA- The Government has requested the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to make substantial investments in the delivery of decent and affordable houses to meet the pockets of ordinary Ghanaians, Vice President

Aliu Mahama announced on Wednesday.

Additionally, the National Trust Holding Company (NTHC) has been asked to mobilize funds through instruments such as housing bonds to help finance the Housing sector.

Opening a two-day workshop on Accelerated Delivery of Affordable Housing Delivery (ADAHD) in Accra, Vice President Mahama urged banks and other financial institutions to support these efforts not only as profitable ventures, but also as part of their social responsibility. The Workshop, organized jointly by the Ministry of Works and Housing and SSNIT for the major stakeholders in the housing sector aims at developing practical strategies to radically, the high national housing deficit.

According to a Building and Roads Research Institute survey, only 37,000 of the 90,000 annual demand of housing units is met. Vice President Mahama who expressed the commitment of the Government to play an effective facilitation and monitoring role to help address the problem, announced that several financial arrangements had been concluded with international partners to solve the issue.

He tasked private real estate developers to rise up to the challenge and work with other stakeholders to provide high quality houses in good time.

They should also consider the provision of more vertical units and rental ones, he advised.

The Vice President deplored a situation where housing providers deliver shoddy work or fail to provide utility services for which they have collected fees.

"There have been too many complaints of developers failing to meet their commitment to home buyers in accordance with contractual agreements," he noted.

He cautioned: "In future, consultants are going to be held equally liable for lapses on projects just as contractors. Those found guilty would be blacklisted at the very least, and in exceptional cases, surcharged."

Vice President Mahama said the Government had initiated some interventions to streamline land administration and acquisition procedures and urged landowners to cooperate with the relevant institutions to make land available and without litigation for projects. 05 May 04

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