A new ground-breaking agreement has been signed between UNOPS, SHS Holdings (SHS), and the Government of Ghana, through its Ministry of Education, to build 100,000 sustainable homes for university students and teachers.
SHS, through its student housing brand, Suite Living, will provide student housing that uses energy-efficient solar rooftops. All buildings will be treated with a product to help prevent malaria through the eradication of mosquitoes, based on a World Health Organization (WHO) approved non-toxic chemical.
SHS has already established a factory site in Accra, where it will apply cutting-edge building technology to produce advanced building materials. All production and construction will be carried out by local employees, thus creating several thousand new jobs.
The project is already underway and, following the selection of appropriate sites, the first phase should be delivered within two years of construction starting. A unique aspect of the agreement is the inclusion of financial assistance for teachers with mortgage support from the Ghana Education Trust Fund.
The project is the latest step in UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3i), which aims to de-risk and attract financing from the private sector to national development projects. SHS and UNOPS, together with their partners, seek to attract additional project finance to deliver at least 200,000 affordable homes across Ghana thereby reducing the current shortfall of almost 2 million homes.
The Vice President of Ghana, Hon. Mahamudu Bawumia said:
“This initiative with UNOPS is a game-changer in the Ghanaian housing market”.
The Minister of Education of Ghana, Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh said:
“The Ministry of Education and the Government of Ghana are very excited over our inclusion in the UNOPS sustainable housing project and the proposed 100,000 units for teachers and student accommodation. We eagerly look forward to the success of this project as it will go a long way when implemented to help alleviate the accommodation challenges our country faces in the sector”.
UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo said:
“Last year, UNOPS and the Government of Ghana signed an agreement to help change thousands of lives in the country. Today, our commitment extends further and focuses on one of the most important sectors in any country - the education sector. This landmark project will not only give Ghana’s future generation access to affordable housing, but will also give the people teaching that future generation the opportunity and security to own their own home”.
SHS Chairman Dr Allen Zimbler said:
“We salute the Ministry of Education of the Government of Ghana for its bold and proactive approach to solving the perennial and growing problem of accommodating increasing numbers of students and faculty. SHS, through its Suite Living subsidiary, is proud to partner with UNOPS once again in providing innovative, sustainable and high quality housing, while at the same time creating opportunities for employment and skills development. This follows the landmark agreement for 100,000 affordable homes signed between UNOPS and the Government of Ghana in September 2018 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and witnessed by H. E. President of Ghana, bringing the total to 200,000 affordable housing units to be constructed for the people of Ghana”.