1) Background and normative/institutional framework for the promotion and
protection of housing rights: constitution, legislation, policy measures, national
jurisprudence, housing rights institutional arrangement (e.g. national housing rights

• The provisions of the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms are entrenched in
Chapter 5, Articles 12-33 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana. The rights, duties,
declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms
specifically mentioned in this Chapter shall not be regarded as excluding others not
specifically mentioned which are considered to be inherent in a democracy and
intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man.
• The Constitution of Ghana does not expressly protect the right to adequate housing. It
nevertheless provides for the right to own property alone or in association with others,
the right of non-interference with the privacy of one’s home as well as protection
from the deprivation of one’s property, all of which can be found in Chapter 5 of the
• In addition, article 11 of the Constitution provides for the recognition of the existing
laws of the land as part of the laws of Ghana, thus making the Rent Act of 1963, the
Conveyance Decree of 1973 and related regulations governing accommodation in the
country. The right to adequate housing is intricately linked to the enjoyment of other
human rights like security of person, education and health.

2) Promotion and protection of housing rights on the ground: national legislation
and voluntary commitments, national housing rights activities, public awareness of
housing rights, cooperation with housing rights mechanisms, etc.

• Centre for Public Interest and Centre on Human Rights and Evictions (both NGOs)
have organized training programmes on Housing Rights for the civil society.
• Sensitization workshops have been organized for the need for judges and lawyers to
recognize the right to housing based on Ghana’s international obligation to housing
rights instruments and how other countries have progressively used these instruments
• For the purposes of developing responsive housing policies, various ministries to
need to effectively collaborate and work as a team, i.e. the ministries for housing and
works, local government, energy, manpower development, and women and children,
education, and health

3) Achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints
3.1. Achievements

• For the nation as a whole, the number of persons per dwelling unit fell from 10.57 to
9.05 from 1960 to 1970, but by 1984 had increased again to 10.1 and was 5.1 by
2000, an indication that some improvement had taken place in the housing situation.
• UN-HABITAT and Government through a roundtable meeting of 25-26th May 2005
brought all stakeholders together to deliberate on possible ways of addressing the
issue and set the roadmap towards a reviewed housing policy. A communiqué was
• Ghana together with UN-HABITAT organized a High Level Peer Exchange on
Enablement of Private Sector Lending for Affordable Housing. It provided
participating countries an opportunity to share experiences on how best governments
can support the private sector and domestic financial services industry to invest in
affordable housing.
• Ghana successfully hosted the 2007 African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF)
conference, which aimed at formulating strategies for innovative housing finance
products. The theme of the conference, held in Accra between the 17th and 21st of
September, was "The future of sustainable housing finance system towards affordable
housing and infrastructure".
• Preceding the Annual General Meeting (AGM) a training programme focused on
various topics under "Loan Origination and Servicing in Effective Housing Finance
Management". The AUHF AGM and Conference and Housing Finance Training
Programme were sponsored by HFC Bank, IFC and CMHC of Canada, FMO of the
Netherlands, the Ghana Housing Finance Association and other local and
international agencies

3.2. Best Practices
• To address the problems of the housing sector in Ghana, His Excellency, President
J.A Kuffour, announced in the State of the Nation Address in 2005 the
commencement of a programme to build 100,000 housing units over a ten year
period, through Public-Private-Partnerships aimed at providing decent, affordable
accommodation for the middle and low-income groups.
• Government alone has committed to date over of 35 million Ghana cedis (about USD
35 million) for the Affordable Housing Programme. Work is ongoing at 6 sites in 5
regions of Ghana, namely Borteyman-Nungua in Accra, Kpone near Tema, Asokore-
Mampong near Kumasi, Koforidua, Tamale and Wa.
• For the first phase, it is anticipated that a total of about 5,000 housing units will be
completed. The housing units are contained in four-storey high blocks of one and two
bedrooms. These new townships will have modern amenities such as schools, clinics,
commercial centres, recreational grounds, places of worship and light industrial areas.
• The units will be for sale and rental because Government recognizes that not
everyone within the target group can afford to buy and own a house.

3.2. Challenges and Constraints
• Rapid population growth and increasing urbanization have made shelter one of the
most critical problems currently facing the country. Increasing overcrowding,
declining quality and access to services characterize much of the housing stock in
Ghana. The shortage of housing grew considerably worse during the intercensal
period 1970 to 1984.
• Various data suggest 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 annual
requirement of 70,000-100,000 units. Currently, the national annual housing supply to
demand ratio (for new housing) is estimated at about 35%.
• The inability of housing delivery system to meet effective demand over the years has
created strain on the existing housing stock and infrastructure, especially in urban
areas. The housing needs of urban inhabitants are often restricted to sub-standard
structures and unsanitary environments in squatter and slum settlements.
• Slum creation has been the result of a recent upsurge in rural-urban migration, limited
supply of land, and regulatory frameworks that are not addressing the needs of the
urban poor. In 2001, the slum population for Ghana was estimated at 4,993,000
people growing at a rate of 1.83% per annum scattered in all the major cities in the
country and is expected to reach 5.8 million by 2010.
• The market for land in Ghana is highly unorganized. Information about who owns
what piece of land is not readily available and the legal and administrative systems
for transferring title are very cumbersome. These features have serious repercussions
on housing supply. Currently, property transactions are slow and costly, and financial
institutions are unwilling to extend credit to property holders without clear title.

4) Key national priorities, initiatives and commitments that the country intends to
undertake to overcome above challenges and constraints and to improve the housing
rights situation on the ground

• His Excellency President J. A. Kuffour reiterated the challenge of (urban) housing in
his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on the 3rd February 2005 when he
identified the lack of adequate and affordable housing as one of the critical problems
faced by the nation. More importantly, the President announced the government’s
intention to initiate a review of the national housing policy for a more realistic and
responsive framework, which will deal with low-cost housing. The expressed
intention of the government to partner with the private sector in addressing the
problem of housing adequacy and affordability reflects the recognition of the need for
increased participation of non-public actors in housing
• Ghana is in a process of preparing a shelter policy with the ultimate goal of providing
adequate, decent and affordable housing which is accessible and sustainable with
infrastructural facilities to satisfy the needs of Ghanaians.
• The National Land Policy provides a comprehensive framework for dealing with land
constraints and providing the legislative and institutional framework for land
management and administration in the country, taking into account the provisions of
the 1992 Constitution on private property ownership, compulsory land acquisition,
public lands, and stool and skin lands management.

5) Ongoing and planned capacity-building and technical assistance activities that
contribute to the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, by UNHABITAT
and/or other actors

• UN-HABITAT, humanitarian NGOs and Government have been advocating for the
promotion of the right to adequate shelter and other human settlements issues
especially with regard to the urban poor.
• The Government of Ghana has been organizing training programmes for all
stakeholders involved in the shelter policy for the various processes the document has
to go through. UN-HABITAT provides technical and financial support for the
completion and publishing of the Shelter Policy Document.
• The Government of Ghana under the Land Administration Project (LAP) which is
running from 2004-2008 is undertaking reform and capacity building for
comprehensive improvement in the land administration system. It is envisaged that
the problems in the land sector will be solved through the implementation of the
Ghana Land Administration Project (LAP).