The Managing Director of the State Housing Company, Kwabena Ampofo Appiah, has dismissed reports that State houses are not affordable.
Ghana is said to have a housing deficit of 2 million meaning the government has to work harder and set up affordable houses for the citizens.
Successive governments since the erstwhile Kufour regime have all embarked on a housing project to resolve the country's housing deficit but the houses which should be affordable to ordinary Ghanaians tend to be extremely expensive that only the rich can afford.
But, according to State Housing Boss, juxtaposing the quality and prices of the State houses and the arrangements in place to purchase a house, the State housing project is very affordable and should be okay for Ghanaians with average income to make a purchase.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday's 'Kokrokoo' on Peace FM, he justified the pricing of the houses saying the buyer has long grace period in tranches to pay up for the houses.
He noted that the State house prices range between 324000 cedis and above depending on the apartment a person purchases but has 20 to 25 years of grace period to finish paying for the house.
This, to Mr. Ampofo Appiah, is far cheaper as compared to private housing.
"We have arranged with Republic bank that if you want to buy the house, you'll have a long way between 20 to 25 years to pay at an interest rate of about 11.9%. So, that is a clear departure from previously when you would buy and house and be given 1 year or 5 years with an interest rate 30%. 11.9%, to me, is still a bit on higher side but it is much [much] better than the 25 percents that was happening in previous regimes," he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
He added that unlike the housing projects in the private sector where only the buildings are erected, the State houses are all furnished to make it easier for the buyers to settle in without incurring huge additional cost.
"We have done the kitchen, wardrobes, painting, tiles and everything," he said.
He also said focus should however not be on the pricing but the quality of the State Houses.
''The solution is not necessarily on the cost of the homes but on the way that we finance our homes. Imagine you're buying a two-bedroom house and you are to pay 50000, and we give you 20 years to pay, I don't think any person will say the house is not affordable. If you say you want to minimize the cost of construction, you might end up sacrificing quality. And with the State houses, we have established that we won't compromise on quality. So, when you look at the homes that we're building which I gave you an example that they're about 70% lower than the market, the quality is higher.''
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