Group to draft Condominium Property Bill
The Ghana Housing Finance Association (GHFC), a trade association of practitioners of housing finance, is working with stakeholders to draft a Condominium Property Bill to develop condominiums to address challenges in the housing sector.
The bill would be used as an advocacy tool to influence both legislative and executive arms of government to pass a Condominium Law.
A condominium property is the ownership of a unit in a multi building, plus an undivided interest in the ownership of common elements which are owned jointly with other unit owners.
Mr Charles Bonsu, General Manager, Mortgage and Consumer Loans of HFC Bank Limited, announced this at a four-day sensitisation workshop in Accra on Wednesday.
It was for the development of a Condominium Law in Ghana, that the purpose for the GHFA was to develop a form of national housing finance network to support pilot schemes, innovations and initiatives.
In addition, to strengthen collaboration and partnership between government, private sector, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies as well as civil society to address housing finance challenges.
The workshop is to train and equip GHFA members with general information and advocacy skills and to take them through the essential steps in designing and planning an advocacy campaign.
The GHFC, supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC), would undertake the advocacy action leading to the development and promulgation of a Condominium Law in Ghana.
Players in the housing industry therefore, say there is the need to pass a law to regulate the industry and also encourage the formation of property management companies for such facilities to instill discipline in the industry and facilitate the development of more high rise properties.
With challenges in the housing industry, which has a deficit of about 100,000 houses a year, high cost of land and inadequate long-term finance, the development of condominiums is seen as a way of addressing the challenges.
Mr Bonsu noted that Ghana had no condominium law to spell out regulations on shared ownership of common areas and other issues and therefore, needed to pass a law to regulate the industry and encourage the formation of property management companies for such facilities.
He said the law would not only instill discipline in the industry, but also facilitate the development of high rise properties.
Mr David K. D. Letsa, Partner of Bentsi- Enchill , Letsa and Ankomah, consultants for projects, identified some of the challenges facing the housing sector as high cost and access of land, lack of transparency in land tenure and multiple sale of landed property, heavy reliance on imported building materials, high cost of building materials, margins of developers, prolonged land title registration process and undeveloped local building materials industry.
He said there was the need for a condominium regulation that would avoid haphazard, uncontrolled developments, unsound engineering, risk to life and property.
It would also encourage developers, assurance of title, adequate maintenance and induce financiers to invest.
Mr Letsa said the preparation of the bill was a formidable exercise and must be responsive, forward-looking and necessarily complement the reforms currently being undertaken in land administration and use.
This is very important, sooner the better. Once into law need to be revisited every 5 to 10years for twiking or changes to protect both owners, tenants.