Finance and Management Expert, Aaron Kumah, has asserted that mortgages and other housing issues have caused the death of more Ghanaians than the country cares to admit.
He claims the existing mortgage options are only available to a certain class of citizens “and the painful part of this is the fact that this class of people can afford to outrightly buy houses or build them.”
Aaron Kumah described Ghana as a country with a non-existent mortgage system. “Majority of the banks don’t even offer mortgage financing. You can only take loans which you will have to pay back after 5 years. If you’re fortunate to have a bank with mortgage options, those are also so expensive to the extent that you will not be able to save any money as a salaried worker. You may have no money in your name at retirement and may even have to dip into your retirement benefits to pay.”
On his accord, the high level of unemployment and late employment in Ghana also makes it impossible for one to opt for housing finance. “In Ghana, most people don’t get the chance to work early and get their first jobs at around 30 years. These people have a few years to retire so it becomes a burden for them to take mortgages and even own homes.”
Addressing Ghana’s housing deficit on the Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun, he stated categorically, “one of the critical causes of deaths in Ghana is mortgaging or housing issues. A lot of people will buy lands and after 15 to 20 years may have still not completed their houses.
In fact after a lifetime of hard work they can’t even save and spend all they have building a house that will take forever to finish. Because one may not be able to receive any support to complete the house, they will be deep in thought and at a prime age of 50 or 55 years, they will die of stress. This is a critical reason government must consider and help us out.”
The Financial expert believes if government realized affordable housing projects for civil servants, the bigger challenge of housing would have been solved, and banks will now have to focus on providing reasonable financial aid to the remaining Ghanaians.
He encouraged government and industry experts to look at alternative technologies to building houses and improved raw materials for construction.
To him, mortgages are long-term financial aids, and believes they should be pegged at lower interest rates and urged government to intervene in these mortgage rates offered especially by private banks.
Access to affordable housing for the majority of households has been a challenge in Ghana. However, Government has expressed commitment to deliver affordable housing through certain policy interventions such as the National Rent Assistance Scheme and the National Housing Mortgage Fund.