Middle and Low Income Housing: a proposal for Mankranso, Ahafo-Ano South District, Ashanti Region

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The definition of a “house” goes beyond the provision of shelter and a place of dwelling. It embodies the shaping of a man’s total socio-cultural, economic, religious and political life. Further, housing offers man the essential substances f family life, neighbourhood contacts, education base, human relations recreation and a sense of identification with what we are and really want to be. This is summed up in the notion “housing as a verb”. Housing delivery to the lower income group has become a global problem, more especially so in the developing countries. This is so because of the immense political and economic dimensions involved. Various causes account for the emergence of the housing problem. Chief among them is the increasing rural-urban migration. The provision of general social infrastructure and shelter falls far below the rate of migration. This has caused severe shortage of domestic accommodation in the urban areas, and consequently, the development of slums and shantytowns. Another cause of the problem is the declining economic conditions, which have made the affordability of basic shelter impossible for the ordinary worker. This is attributed to the rising cost of housing impute, especially land. It has become almost impossible for the lower income group to obtain owner-occupied houses. A more plausible solution lies in the provision of rentable accommodation. However, the economic implications of this are numerous. This is because housing is a marketable commodity and an economic investment where the private sector is concerned. In a bid to recoup the investment and make profits, the rents are soaring. it has therefore become imperative that institutions that employ a considerable number of people provide rentable accommodation for their workers at subsidised rates. The crisis in the housing situation, resulting from the widening gap between housing supply and demand in Ghana has been recognised by the government as a major problem. Many aspects of the housing delivery system face severe constraints, including institutional capabilities, provision of land, finance, infrastructure, materials and skills. In 1987, a Draft National Housing Policy and Action Plan were prepared. The broad objectives of this plan were to assign a new role to the public sector as a facilitator instead of a provider of housing. Also, housing is to be viewed as a productive investment providing a national economic wealth and creating a base for attaining national policy goals such as health and sanitation, and not as consumption good. It is in pursuit of these goals that the District Assemblies are to serve as agents for change and development, providing the broad-base infrastructure for housing development
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture, 1997