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Government to extend new housing finance scheme to other regions

Affordable Housing 58 A photo of a commissioned Affordable Housing Project

Fri, 20 Nov 2020 Source: Business 24

Following the successful piloting of government’s new National Mortgage and Housing Finance Initiative over the past two years, the next major move is to extend the initiative to other regions of the country, the co-coordinator of the National Housing and Mortgage Fund, Dela Zumanu, has said.

In an interview with Business24, Mr. Zumanu said the pilot phase, which has been completed, is being reviewed for lessons learnt in order to inform government on the scalability of the project.

“Going forward, we will be going to the regions. The result of the pilot in Accra looks promising. So the idea is to go into other regions and replicate what has been done in Accra in those other regions.”

Government launched the National Mortgage and Housing Finance Initiative in 2018 to fix the challenges of home ownership and stimulate the local currency mortgage market.

The National Housing and Mortgage Fund (NHMF) was set up under the initiative to pilot two schemes—the National Mortgage Scheme (NMS) and the Affordable Housing REITs (rent-to-own) scheme.

The mortgage scheme works with participating banks—GCB Bank, Stanbic and Republic Bank—to provide mortgages at reduced rates of 10-12 percent compared with the market average rate of 28 percent.

The Affordable Housing REITs scheme, on the other hand, promotes the rent-to-own scheme, whereby renters of affordable houses supported by the scheme have the option, after a period, to acquire the rented properties.

In October, the government inaugurated 204 housing units located in the Ashaiman municipality, which were constructed under the scheme and will be offered to public sector workers.

Other privately-developed housing units, including 60 apartment houses at Tema Community 25 and 50 apartment houses at Tema Community 26, are being offered to workers under the rent-to-own scheme.

Mr. Zumanu indicated that as the initiative expands, more banks are expected to sign up as participating institutions.

Source: Business 24

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