Financing Housing Improvement in Urban Ghana: Experiences from the Rental Sector in Accra and Takoradi
Ghana, a low-income country, experiences several unsatisfactory situations in urbin housing provision as a result of rapid population growth, a poor economy and persisting poverty as well as lack of effective and consistent public policy formulation and implementation. This paper looks at the housing conditions and upgrading financing in the rental housing sector, the largest and most affordable segment of the country's urban housing market, using the experiences of two of the country's largest urban centres. The findings presented here are based on the analysis of questionnaires that were administered to 200 landlords and 200 tenant households in four low-income communities within the study areas. The analysis reveals that the majority of low-income urban households live in rented accommodation, usually of substandard quality. Landlords are generally willing to upgrade their rental units but are largely constrained by lack of access to finance. The provision of easy access to housing finance in the form of micro-credit, participation in savings and credit cooperative schemes along with community involvement are the options suggested by the paper for achieving sufficient and good quality housing for the urban poor. At the same time the paper recognises strong political commitment and support through local authorities as preconditions for sustainable urban housing delivery.