Guest Blog: Affordable Housing in Ghana

Nim Leaves

Richmond Anane, a business developer with Timonane Construction calls for the building of more affordable houses in Ghana.

Whilst waiting to honour an appointment in the lobby of a banking hall in Ghana, I saw an advertisement of a two-bedroom and three-bedroom house for sale in Kasoa for a GHC 200,000 and GHC 150,000 respectively.

I read about apartments and townhouses for sale and I also see a lot of houses and properties listed for sale on a number of real estate platforms and I cannot help but gasp.

The housing deficit in Ghana stands a little above 1.5 million units, with affordability cited as a contributory cause. The question of affordability has always remained a conundrum. What is termed affordable may vary widely even within Accra alone and the entire nation or the sub-region?

For the purpose of this analysis, I use the definition of affordable housing used by the United States government which defines “affordable housing” as housing and related expenses (mortgages utility bills, property taxes, insurance, etc.) that do not exceed 30 percent of a household’s income.

It also holds the allusion that a household with housing expenses more than 30 percent of their income is burdened.

For a working-class household (primarily the husband and wife) to afford a GHC 125,000 listed two bedroom home advertised in a newspaper with a GHC 100,000 mortgage facility at a flat rate of 12.75 percent per annum implies the household to make consistent monthly payments of GHC 1,248.84 for 15 years or GHC 1153.81 for 20 years.

That household would have to earn an average of GHC 4162.8 and GHC 3846 monthly for 15 years and 20 years respectively considering the definition of affordable housing used and mind you, the calculation has not factored other housing expenses; utility bills, insurance, etc.

With this value in question, I doubt (yet possible) that a lot of working-class households can finance their dream home without being burdened.

Jumia House Ghana

It is nice to have these high rise exquisite apartments, condominiums and executive homes listed, but for every investment made in such worthwhile ventures, a commensurate investment must be made in the low-income housing units (a chunk of the deficit) and gradually upgrade up.

Let us make it possible for life starters to afford decent accommodation, be it for rent or for sale, and gradually upgrade with time rather than have to live in a “chamber-and-hall”. Let us make owning a decent home a right for all and not a privilege.

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Comments

  • Affordable housing and housing affordability – A fallacy in Ghana – Realteum Group
    7 May, 2019 13:26

    […] ​http://meqasa.com/blog/guest-blog-affordable-housing-ghana […]

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