February 27, 2018

The mortgage challenge facing Ghanaian workers is set to receive a major boost as Government expedites action on a proposed bill that will ensure that 30percent of workers’ pension fund is dedicated to addressing mortgage financing, Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea has disclosed.

The Ministry he said is seriously formulating the bill to enable low and middle income earners in the country who have expressed worry about their inability to access mortgage or build their own houses to breathe a sigh of relief.

“As far as the formulation of the law; we are on it, we are very anxious to expedite it and we are putting certain things together, we want to run the numbers and be able to bring something for the house to see” he said in an interview with ghanamps.com.

The Minister who earlier mentioned the subject matter on the floor of Parliament when contributing on the President’s State of Nation Address urged the need to make money available for developers to make houses easily available for Ghanaians.

The Abuakwa South Member of Parliament noted that since income levels are low, there is the need for a credible mortgage system where about 30% of workers income through their pension fund is used to service a mortgage loan for them.

“I am even submitting that we touch the first Tier, 2nd and 3rd and ring-fence about 30percent of all the monies and give them to banks at a very competitive administrative rates and then when we have developers, they will tell them that go ahead and develop the properties, because the developers are many, their fear is that when they finish the house they can’t be paid and they don’t have the luxury of time to be looking for end-users, so there is a good system in which you can now have the developers being paid by the banks.

After all the banks are having the monies of the pension funds coming in all the time, the banks are excited when monies come to them all the time and we tell the banks the interest rates which is good for our people” he suggested.

Mr Atta Akyea said it is important for Ghana to learn from best practices in Malaysia and Singapore, this said requires a legislation to achieve.

Effecting changes in the nation’s Pension Act according to him will boost the confidence of investors to consider pre-financing housing projects across the country.

Ghana is on the verge of a housing crisis as demand for decent housing far outstrips supply.

According to the 2000 and 2010 Population and Housing Census, housing demands by citizens is at 55.5 percent, representing some 1.7 million housing deficit.

Former President John Kufuor’s government rolled out the Affordable Housing programme in 2005 to address the challenge.

Also in 2016, former President John Mahama inaugurated 1,500 housing units at Ningo in the Greater Accra Region as part of phase one of the affordable housing project.

The project which is expected to produce 5,000 housing units is aimed at halving the deficit in 2016 but this has not been achieved.

The proposed mortgage financing model through the pension fund is also expected to further increase citizens access and ownership of houses.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com