The National Tenants’ Union of Ghana has petitioned government to convert the Saglemi Affordable Housing project to a social housing project for rental accommodation.
The Union, in an open letter to the Works and Housing Ministry, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Frederick Opoku, said the housing deficit of the Country had rocketed in excess of two million housing units and was still rising at alarming rates.
“Experts project that our country needs a little above 5.7 million rooms by 2025 and the current housing stock delivery by both private and public sectors stand a little over 40,000 housing units annually which is in deficit of 140,000 housing units considering the required stock of 200,000 housing units annually,” it said.
To bridge the gap, the Union said it was expected that the annual stock provided by both the private and public entities of 40,000 housing units had to increase four folds in other words, 160,000 units annually for a continuous period of 10 years from now.
The letter said the current state of the housing deficits had plunged the country into the landlords’ market, where the few who plied trade in residential and commercial rental housing took undue advantage in the housing rental market to charge rent and take rent advance exceeding the duration required in law.
The Union said Section 25(5) of the Rent Control laws of 1963, Act 220 was clear on that, however due to the limited supply of housing units, and demand outrunning supply, government was unable to enforce that portion of the law, rendering tenants hopeless and impoverished resulting in the rise and spread of slums in the cities of the country.
“We have also observed that, past governments’ housing policies and directives have been one for only the public sector without giving any serious consideration to the private sector, though they constitute more than 75 per cent of the population in need of a place to lay their heads.
“In your pledge to the nation in your manifesto 2020, you were categorical that in your second term, low income and social housing to provide affordable housing to the poor would be your priority,” and appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to direct that the 1500 houses built by the previous government at Seglemi be made available to the poor to rent and subsequently own it.
“We are of the view that converting that affordable housing at Saglemi would prove to the good people of Ghana that you and your government are committed to promoting social housing as promised.”
The Union pledged to assist government to succeed when a decision was taken to use the Seglemi Housing Project for rent purposes.
“The Union will put in maximum efforts to help governments recoup investment into the project and build more social housing for the poor to benefit. We are hopeful that such a gesture would help improve the messy conditions that the housing sector finds itself to today.”