A housing expert has argued that it is tough for private developers to target the vulnerable in society due to the challenges in acquiring land and the cost of building construction.

Dorothy Quarshie, the Executive Director of Elegant Homes bemoaned the cost of infrastructure and building materials, costs which must be covered by the developer themselves.

“Assuming you go and borrow from the open market, who pays the interest for you,” she quizzed.

Quarshie also expressed concerns that, like individuals, developers also face the challenges with land procurement and ownership which is rife in the country.

Land Guard issues

Procurement of land in Ghana has been herculean, especially in recent years – since ownership of most of lands are disputed.

The advent of Land Guards — armed young men who guard the lands for one or more of the disputing factions — has also not been helpful.

These Land Guards attack, shoot and kill persons who come on the land, other than those they are guarding it for, in other circumstances, buildings of the other party is torn down.

Parliament recently passed an Act to outlaw their activities but the implementation of the law is yet to be seen.

Lands have to be bought multiple times from all disputing parties in order to acquire it.

Corroborating the reports, Quarshie told JoyNews’ PM Express programme on Wednesday that sometimes, “you have to pay four times for one land.”

Dorothy Quarshie
Dorothy Quarshie is the Executive Director of Elegant Homes

“Nobody gives you a land bank,” she said, adding that as a developer, you have to source for land yourself.”

Aggregating these reasons, Quarshie said “these are some of the challenges that make developers unable to build for such category of people [the vulnerable]” because they cannot afford to make loses.

The responsibility of targeting the vulnerable, she said, rests with the state.

The housing deficit in the country currently stands at an estimated 1.7 million.

To tackle this, Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea says the government intends to construct 250, 000 Housing Units over the next eight years through Public-Private Partnership.