Ghana News Agency (Accra) – Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Works and Housing, says the national housing policy implementation plan is at its concluding stage and will help solve problems of housing in the country.
He said the policy document has undergone stakeholder consultative assessments and contains strategies that will go a long way to solving the myriad urban housing problems facing Ghanaians.
He was speaking at a ceremony in Accra to mark World Habitat Day.
Atta Akyea said: “It is, therefore, appropriate for us to take stock of our accomplishments and challenges in the areas of the national housing policies and programmes to ensure that our vision is properly understood by all, and effectively implemented, to urgently address the crucial aspect of housing affordability.”
The celebration was held virtually, on the theme “Housing for All: A Better Urban Future”.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Works and Housing in collaboration with the UN-Habitat, and other Ghanaian ministries.
World Habitat Day is marked on the first Monday of October each year and is recognised by the United Nations. It reflects on the state of towns and cities, and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.
Atta Akyea said the government is adopting a two-pronged approach to mobilise funds both domestically and internationally to support the housing sector.
He said the government, through the Ministry of Works and Housing, is implementing the Ghana Affordable Housing Programme, aimed at providing adequate and decent affordable housing, particularly to low- and middle-income groups.
“The government is committed to achieving our targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ghana believes that the effective implementation of the 17 SDGs remains critical to making the multilateral system relevant in addressing the global challenges we face,” Atta Akyea said.
“Indeed, one such challenge is the threat to the consolidation to achieve SDG 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.”
Affordable homes create a big challenge not only for the Ministry of Housing but also for all collaborating ministries, business and civil society.
Addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, young people and those who live in slums must be a priority in the nation’s development agenda.
Charles Abani, the UN resident co-ordinator in Ghana, stressed that housing is a fundamental human right. The COVID-19 pandemic had shown that cities, local and national governments around the world could move towards reducing inequalities and poverty levels, he said.
This could also provide access to adequate housing for all, as a catalyst to achieve other fundamental rights.
“This is central in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Abani said.