The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has commended the management of State Housing Company (SHC) for the effective utilisation of Internal General Fund (IGF) to finance all its enormous projects over the past four years.
He was so proud of the SHC management, under the leadership of Kwabena Ampofo Appiah, for their effort at salvaging the company from the verge of collapse into a viable and profitable state institution.
The Minister, while address management and staff of the SHC yesterday, as part of his working and familiarisation tour of the sector, said he could confidently say that the Company had positioned itself to lead in the provision of affordable housing for Ghanaians.
Mr Asenso-Boakye reiterated that the gains being made by the SHC were very crucial to the country’s development, since the Akufo-Addo administration had made it a priority to provide decent but affordable homes to the citizenry.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank staff for a very good job done, for having done all these from your limited IGF is commendable. You have not taken a loan. You have not taken any direct support from government. Some companies will rely on loans, yet you don’t see any tangible outcome,” he said.
However, to curb the ever-increasing housing deficits of the country, the Minister has proposed a National Housing Authority, which will oversee the planning and management of housing development.
This, he is convinced, would, first and foremost, fill in the institutional gap that the country is facing in the housing sector.
“Currently, we do not have a clearly defined institutional framework to plan, manage, and develop housing in our country. Everything has been left on the ministry, which duty is to formulate and implement policies,” he laments.
He underscored the importance of establishing a National Housing Authority to bring into realisation land banks, site and services for housing development.
Mr Asenso-Boakye explained that these land banks, sites and service refer to infrastructure, amenities, roads, sewage systems, utilities, and what are views that would be provided under the supervision of the yet-be-born National Housing Authority.
The Managing Director of the SHC, Kwabena Ampofo Appiah, thanked the Minister for the recommendations and promised the company would improve upon the successes.
He said the company had been able to put up affordable houses to help addressed the housing challenge facing the country, solely by IGF.
The Minister, after a brief interaction with the SHC management and staff, toured some of their impressive project sites in the capital, Accra, at North Kaneshie, Adenta and Roman Ridge.
Mr Asenso-Boakye also visited some state-owned bungalows at the Airport Residential Area, Cantoments and Latsebikoshie that had not tasted renovation since their construction.
The Minister, being concerned with the poor conditions of the facilities, promised to engage the Ministry of Finance to make available a certain percentage of the rent being paid by the tenants, who are most public or civil servant, available to the Public Works Department for the maintenance of the buildings.
At North Kaneshie the Minister handed over the key to the first owner of one of the newly-built accommodation, which, according the MD, the building initially HSC Club House was running at a lost, hence, decided to turn it around for better gains.