Demilition will be an excercise in futility, if.....(Wednesday, April 21,2010 pg 21)

Housing and slums (gn)
Story: Seth J. Bokpe

THE demolition of unauthorised structures in the country would be an exercise in futility, if the National Housing Policy is not passed, a Former President of the Ghana Institute of Architects, Mr Steve Akuffo has observed.
Mr Akuffo made the observation in a presentation entitled ”Urban Housing and Slum and Real Estate Development in Ghana“ at a Colloquium organised by the GIA to deliberate on issues concerning the housing sector in the country and the way forward.
The National Housing Policy which is expected to regulate the real estate sector in the country has been on the table since 1987.
Available information indicates that the annual national housing requirement is 140,000 units with a supply of about 45,000 units per annum with the national housing deficit said to be 1 million.
According to the Building and Road Research Institute, housing delivery in Ghana is dominated by private individuals whose contribution is 95 per cent.
Mr Akuffo said that even though the country had high on its agenda, the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) 2 which captured urban development, housing and slum up-grading, “there is no clear-cut policy on slums and urban development.”
Mr Akuffo stated that the inadequate involvement of real estate institutions had created strains in the existing housing stock and infrastructure, especially in the urban areas adding that “the current situation is such that housing needs of urban inhabitants are often restricted to sub-standard structures with accompanying sanitation problems.”
He said housing should not be viewed as a mere provision of shelter but all facilities that enhance the spiritual well being of a person.


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