Housing poverty in Ghana

  • +7,500 families served +7,500 families served
  • +200 volunteers hosted +200 volunteers hosted
  • Projects: home building and renovation as well as microfinance Projects: home building and renovation as well as microfinance

Please note that as of late 2016, we do not operate in Ghana anymore due to a global restructuring to focus on countries where we can have the biggest impact.

The population and the housing situation in Ghana is so alarming that the need for housing assistance cannot be over emphasised. Housing deficit is in excess of 1.2 million (Stated by the Government of Ghana).

Overcrowding and homelessness

Ghana needs 85,000 housing units annually (Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing). The over-crowded compound housing, homelessness and casualties as a result of rainstorms do not spare inhabitants of the rural communities.

Meanwhile most of the existing houses were built long ago and have never been renovated. There are an average of 10 to 12 rooms in a house (family house) and between 10 and sometimes even 20 people sharing a room.

Unsafe homes

Most of the rooms have poor or no ventilation and the walls are cracked, allowing dangerous insects to creep in during rainy nights. Women cook under the sun. Most of these houses lack basic amenities like toilets or bath houses.

Sometimes there is no electricity and water and women have to walk long distances to get water. Bathrooms are usually wooden structures erected outside the house (to the armpit or shoulder level) and a piece of cloth used as screens during bathing.

The spread of diseases such as cholera

In rural areas, the children tend use the backyard as a place of convenience, because they are too young to use the public pit latrine.

The women have the additional duty of cleaning the backyard every morning to sweep these human wastes. These are some of the contributing factors to cholera and other health hazards.

Key facts & figures

  • Population: 25.7 million
  • Urbanisation: 51.9% live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 65 years
  • Unemployment rate: 11%
  • Population living below poverty line: 28.5%

How we tackle housing poverty in Ghana

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Our programmes currently focus on:

- Housing microfinance with "Housing Support Services" programme
- Advocating for change in government housing policies and systems to positively impact the poor
- Building the capacity of artisans at the district and community level to deliver quality houses through a Housing Resource Centre.

Improving rural housing

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We work on renovation & repairs of existing houses as well as the construction of new houses. Home repairs or renovations include but are not limited to: the provision of a utility block or sanitary sewer system, roofing, addition of rooms, etc.

Families work with our staff to develop individual plans to ensure the proposed plans meet their needs and fit within their budget. For new constructions, the typical Habitat homes in Ghana consist of 2 rooms, kitchen, bathroom, and toilet.

Housing microfinance

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Currently we are shifting to wholesale Housing Micro-Finance (HMF) as the main source of intervention for fulfilling our strategic mission. The HMF project will be implemented in partnership with selected microfinance institutions in Ghana. The project involves the provision of a loan to low-income families and groups to either build or improve upon their houses.

This strategy will ensure scalability(reaching an ever growing number of Ghanaians), sustainability and self-sufficiency (as the loans reimbursed are reused to fund more loans), allowing our local team to deliver on its mission effectively and efficiently.