Mr Joseph Agbeko Kpogo, an aspiring Parliamentary Candidate for the Anlo Constituency of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has questioned government commitment to confront the yawning challenges at the Housing sector of the country.
According to him, the government recent pronouncement on the National Housing
Mortgage and Financial Initiative is political rhetoric and not reality.
He emphasized the need for the government to specify how the policy would be carried out to benefit the ordinary Ghanaian.
Mr. Kpogo was reacting to the 2019 Mid-year Budget Review and Supplementary Estimate of Government presented to Parliament by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta.
He said the NPP government has made several of such promises in the past yet it has not manifested and wondered how the housing project will be executed as the Nation draws closer to the general election.
Presenting the mid-year budget the finance minister stated that the Housing and Mortgage Finance Initiative as announced in the 2018 Budget has started the National Housing and Mortgage Finance Initiative.
He said the objective of the initiative – “Decent Homes, Better Life” is to provide quality housing to all citizens starting with public and civil servants.
Two of the schemes under this Initiative: National Housing and Mortgage Scheme (NHMS) and Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have commenced, he explained.
The finance minister further stated that under the NHMS, funds have been released to three participating Banks (GCB Bank Limited, Stanbic Bank and Republic Bank) to commence the pilot phase of the Housing and Mortgage Finance Scheme.
“The NHMS in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is building a pipeline of potential home owners to participate in the scheme,” homeowners
Mr Ken Ofori Atta explained that the government is also intervening in the housing market through Affordable Housing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to serve as a vehicle for rent-to-own schemes.
He said the intention is for the REITs to buy properties and lease to public sector workers over an extended time and sell at predetermined values.
“The rental payments will count as equity which will help new entrants into the workforce own properties without the initial huge down payment. Work on the REITs has started in earnest with GCB Securities, a subsidiary of GCB Bank,” he said.