Dr. Stephen Agyeman-Yeboah, PhD.
Ghana is one of the most urbanised and most densely populated countries in SSA. According to the final results of the 2010 population and housing census, Ghana’s population now stands at 24,658,823 (Ghana Statistical Service, 2012). This means that between 2000 and 2010, the population in Ghana increased by 30.4% from 18,912,079 representing an annual inter-censual growth rate of 2.5% (Ghana Statistical Service, 2012) and the population of the country is expected to double by 2020 (Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, 2012). Like most countries in SSA, despite past and current direct intervention efforts by governments in Ghana to provide houses, only a fraction of poor could be accommodated in this way and programmes have failed to reach a considerable portion of the low income households or meet housing requirements. As indicated by Willis and Tipple (1991) these failures undoubtedly include the inability to provide enough dwellings. CHF international (2004) reports that in the last 15 years at most 50,000 detached and semi- detached houses have been constructed by the private real estate developments industry. According to the 2000 Census, the Ghanaian’s housing stock was 2.2 million dwellings units and the number of households has increased more than the annual provision of housing (UN-Habitat, 2011b). As set out in Chapter 4, various data confirm that the housing deficit is in excess of 500,000 units whilst supply figures vary between 25,000 and 40,000 units per annum as against requirements of 70,000- 100,000 units (UN-Habitat, 2011b). With the burgeoning population, a major challenge confronting urbanisation in the country is shelter deprivation in terms of inadequate housing, especially among low-income households and the urban poor (Kessides, 2005; UN-Habitat, 2003a). As noted above the growth in demand has consistently outstripped that of supply. The prices of houses have risen as a consequence. As house prices have increased so too have rents. High housing costs accentuate financial hardship for low-income households. High house prices have generated problems of access and affordability for lower groups, problems that increases pressure on housing policy makers and housing providers. As indicated house prices are a key element in the affordability equation along with the distribution of income. The severity of the problem is further demonstrated. However, assessing the precise level of affordability is difficult as it depends on the measurements used and there is no single methodology. These issues are considered. As discussed and to understand the nature of housing affordability problems among the low incomes groups, key worker’s households is used.
Keywords: New Institutional Economies, Land Tenure, Land Administration Systems