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Posted on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:01

Ghana signs social housing deal

By Billie Adwoa McTernan

Ghana is set to get more than 9,000 housing units to help bridge the country's expanding housing gap.

On Monday Water Resources, Works and Housing minister, Collins Dauda announced that Ghana will receive 9,120 housing units after a deal was struck with Credit Suisse and Barclays Bank for a $400 million loan for the construction.

A total of 5,000 of the units will be built by Brazilian company Construtora OAS for $200 million and the remaining 4,120 will be constructed by Ghana's Italconstruct International for a total cost of $200 million.

This will be the biggest housing development scheme since 1957 when the country gained its independence, as only 150,000 low cost housing units have been built.

The deficit of 1.7mn housing units puts particular pressure on urban areas, where there is a population boom.

In Greater Accra, the population swelled from 491,817 in 1960 to 2,905,726 in 2000, and then to 4 million in 2010.

An average of 85,000 units need to be built over the next 20 years to fill the country's housing gap.

The announcement comes more than a year after the demise of a controversial deal between the Ghanaian government and South Korean company STX Korea for the construction of 30,000 housing units for security personnel at a cost of $1.5bn.

The conditions and size of the STX deal sent alarm bells ringing among Ghanaians.

A former legislator with the ruling National Democratic Congress told The Africa Report that the sheer number of units meant that it was an impossible task.

"Even if we used Takoradi [port] as well as Tema the containers carrying the necessary materials would be backed up for weeks."

The construction of the 9,120 housing units is part of government's affordable housing project.

About 500 semi-detached and detached houses built by Ghanaian company Blue Rose are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The cost of the units begin at $25,000.



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