The Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Protection Agency, Kofi Capito has challenged government to end what he called the political gimmicks and initiate the best social innovative Housing policies for the urban poor and low income earners in the country.
According to him, shelter is among one of the three basic necessities of life after food and Health, and implored the government to provide adequate and affordable housing for the citizenry.
Kofi Capito was commenting on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Monday on the rocketing housing deficit in the country which is expected to reach 3.6 million by the year 2022.
Ghana’s housing deficit is now 1.6 million and is expected to double in the next 10 years if the current trend of providing housing persists.
But successive governments have only tried to initiate some housing projects to curtail the menace.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) while in government initiated a number of affordable housing project which were never completed before it exited office in 2008.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has only three months to end its first term in power has also demonstrated its commitment to providing affordable housing for the many Ghanaians who cannot afford a decent accommodation.
But Kofi Capito on Ekosii Sen maintained that failure on the part of government to directly invest in the housing sector has worsened the housing deficit and has made the Ghanaian renter poorer.
He said the housing deficit has given ‘greedy’ landlords the leeway to exploit their tenants for their selfish gains.
Kofi Capito could not fathom why politicians make so much noise about providing affordable housing when in fact he says the only ones who can afford the houses are their [politicians] cronies.
The Consumer Protection Agency boss wondered how the middle and low level income Ghanaians can afford to buy the so called affordable housing which he says ranges between $30,000 to $50,000.
He noted that the income level in the country is so low that the general population is poor and as a result, even after retirement old men and women who are supposed to have social benefits are often seen on the streets selling to make ends needs.
Kofi Capito urged government to build subsidy apartments which he believes most Ghanaians can afford to solve the increasing housing deficit in the country.