The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has blamed the current state of the Saglemi Housing project on the lack of a national housing policy in the country.
The $200 million project initiated by the erstwhile Mahama government was initially for the construction of 5,000 housing units.
Though the first phase of the project has 1,500 housing units and was commissioned in 2016, it has since been left unused.
Amidst this development, the country is currently embattled with an over two million housing deficit.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson stressed that such occurrences and the country’s housing deficit can only be addressed with a national housing policy that is binding on whichever government is in office.
“It tells you that none of the two governments has a collective strategy towards achieving universal access to housing for Ghanaians. Everybody comes, and they do what they want to do disjointedly and all that. So it’s important that we have a national housing policy, a policy that points to a clear-cut goal for example achieving universal access to housing by 2040 or reducing the housing deficit to below 5% by 2030.”
“You know all these things are strategic targets and when you set these targets then you put on implementation plans. When a new government comes they will do a new appraisal of the assets and liabilities, and they will realise that they can’t achieve that universal access to housing if they don’t build on what you left and that is where we want to get to. To the point where there will be a national policy and a national vision on housing and each of the political parties come, and they do their bid.”
The government has however stated that completing the rest of the Saglemi Housing units remains its topmost priority.
A review of the contract documents by the Attorney General in 2019 recommended that the government should revert to the original contract for the construction of 5,000 housing units.
The government has come under heavy criticism for abandoning the project, even though 1,500 units have been completed.
But the new Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, insists his outfit will raise funds to rather complete the remaining units.
“Having understood the complexity of the issue surrounding this project and upon assumption of office as the new sector Minister for Works and Housing, I directed the Architectural and Engineering Services department (AESL), a consultancy Agency under my ministry to validate the report of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors and advice accordingly. At this stage, we are looking at completing 1,500 units. In fact, the Institute of surveyors mentioned a figure that will be needed to complete the 5,000 housing units but as far as I am concerned my aim is to be able to complete the 1,500 units of the entire project.”