General Manager of Sawer-Nanor and Sons (SNS) Company Limited, Simon Sawer Tetteh is advocating for government to consider the inclusion of local real estate developers in decision making for a clear policy direction to address Ghana’s housing challenge.
To him, realtors are key to the forward match of the nation, therefore engaging and collaborating with industry players is crucial in planning of government affordable housing projects for Ghanaians.
“My view is that engage the Ghanaians, especially those who are already in the industry, sit them down and let them think about our country and how to get some resolutions. I believe strongly if you engage those using the products and there is a clear policy direction and a clear plan, I think that they will find a way of solving it,” Mr. Tetteh said.
He is optimistic that if government contracts existing local real estate developers like Regimanuel-Gray, Emefs and others and provide them with resources just as they do for foreign companies, most of the affordable housing projects would not have been left hanging.
“If these people who have been in the industry for a very long time have been contacted and enquired from them how they have been able to do it we would not be where we are. But when you bring in foreigners from China, Hungary, etc, to develop houses for us in their own style, it will not work, that is why most of the affordable housing projects are left uncompleted.
If Regimanuel-Gray, Emefs and other local developers have been tasked with land, access road, service plot and all the things they do for international companies etc, they can get the affordable houses completed. It is my believe that when you engage these people, they will contribute tremendously in easing the housing deficit in the country,” Mr. Sawer Tetteh told the B&FT in an interview.
Importance of housing in the economic and social development of a nation cannot be overestimated. The country has been suffering for many years in trying to solve the housing situation through so many programmes and policies but to no avail. The consequences have resulted in a housing deficit of well over one million houses.
Former Minister of Works and Housng, Samuel Attah Kyea in April 2019, announced that the housing deficit has topped up from 2million, up from 1.5million in 2015. To close the gap, between 190,000 and 200,000 housing units would need to be built at a cost of US$3.4billion a year over the next decade.
Mr. Sawer Tetteh urged government to support them by extending amenities such as water, electricity, communication, drainages and access roads before development or absorb cost of such amenities in order to reduce high cost of construction and drastic reduction of housing for Ghanaians to buy.