Government is working towards completing the housing projects initiated by the previous administration, committing itself to source funding to undertake the venture. To this end, a committee has been constituted to advice government on interventions aimed at realising that goal to ensure that the initial investment by government was not lost.
Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, who disclosed this in Parliament on Wednesday, said the Ministry had also constituted a Housing Project Committee to evaluate proposals received from the public on the issue for implementation.
He was answering a questioned posed by the MP for Oforikrom, Mrs Elizabeth Agyemang on what was being done by the ministry to complete the various affordable housing projects being currently occupied by squatters.
Mr Mensah told the House that under the affordable housing programme, not a single unit out of the over 4,700 housing units dotted across the country were completed even though some 70 million Ghana cedis had been sunk into the project, drawing criticisms and heckling from the minority.
He said the ministry had to devise measures that would enable the completion of the projects, including a technical audit to determine why the programme stalled; the exact status of each single unit of housing; the contractors working on the project and those on site; how much it would cost to complete those facilities; where to acquire funds and revaluation of the housing units and the mode of allocation.
The Minister said investigations revealed that the housing project had been held up due to a plethora of reasons that created complexities to completing the projects. One major hindrance to completing the project, he noted, was a directive by the previous government that the ministry procured building materials for the project and supply same directly to contractors working on the project, describing it as a “disincentive to contractors that compromised the diligent execution of work”.
The Minister said that stance meant the progress of the project was dependent on the ability of the ministry to mobilize financial and other resources to supply the inputs, which led to the stalling of the project.
He said the ministry had also initiated action to get contractors who had been paid advance mobilisation but did not move to site to refund the monies paid to them.
The project was initially funded with an amount of 40 million Ghana cedis from HIPC sources and an additional 30 million Ghana cedis sourced from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust.
The projects including the Nungua Bortey-man, Kpone, Asokore-Mampong, Koforidua, Tamale and Wa housing units are at various stages of completion.