Probing the Drivers of Housing Deficit in Ghana: A Fresh Scoping Review

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Civil Engineering, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

2 Centre for Settlements Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

3 Centre for Land Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

4 Department of Land Economy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana



Purpose: The study sought to identify the most reported relevant drivers of housing deficit in Ghana from empirical studies and to be guided by them to propagate practical micro and macro levels housing strategies that could be pursued by households, communities, and government to address the housing needs of both rural and urban households. The review makes a distilling contribution to the housing literature advancing the critical drivers of housing deficit and propagating the dire need for resilient housing remedies in Ghana.
Methods: The study adopted an exploratory research design and mainly reviewed relevant housing literature comprising of scholarly articles, research papers, policy documents, conferences proceedings and dissertations. A thematic content analysis was undertaken to facilitate the mapping out of the interconnected web of drivers of the housing deficit.
Results: The review of the literature indicated that housing deficit in Ghana is driven by a complex web of broad factors of demographic, financial, land, planning and policy drivers. It was also identified that previous research mainly focused on state-centred approach to the housing deficit and neglected the contributions and challenges of individual or community level housing delivery.
Conclusion: Mass social housing is resistant to policy interventions and national housing policies have failed to rescue the housing situation. Consequently, housing policy intervention should shift attention from state-centric housing model to individual or community level housing construction, largely because the interplay of the micro and macro level housing remedies have the capability of providing a resilient remedy to housing deficit in Ghana


Adebayo, O. (2005), “Marketing and Firm Survival in Nigerian   Economy”. PR, Advertising and Marketing Journal, Vol.4, No.2 pp.12-20
Afrane, E., Ariffian, A., Bujang, B., Shuaibu, H., & Kasim, I. (2016). Major Factors Causing Housing Deficit in Ghana. Journal of Developing Country Studies, 6(2), 139–147.
Agyefi-mensah, S., Post, J. M., De Ligny, E. W., Van, E. L., Mohammadi, M., & Badu, E. (2011). Towards Sustainable Housing Solutions for the Low/Moderate Income Group in Ghana: Policy Change or Design Innovation? In 8th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (pp. 1–8). Retrieved from
Ansah, S. K. (2014). Housing deficit and delivery in Ghana : intervention by various Governments. International Journal of Development and Sustainability, 3(5), 978–988.
Appiah-kusi, G. (2014). The Role of the Informal Sector in Housing Provisioning in Kumasi. (Published M.Sc Thesis). Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Ayorkor, A. J. (2017). Average mortgage interest increases to 33.8% in March. Accessed on 9/6/17 at
Bank of Ghana. (2007). The Housing Market in Ghana. Research Department, Bank of Ghana, Accra, Ghana, 1-46.
Bank of Ghana. (2007a). The Housing Industry in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges-Policy Brief June 2007.
Bank of Ghana. (2007b). The Housing Market in Ghana. Accra, Ghana. Retrieved from Papers/bog housing.pdf
Bawumia, M. (2017). Ghana's Mortgage Cost The Highest In The World - Dr. Bawumia. Accessed on 9/6/17 at
Boabang, J. (2015). Residential Mortgage Finance; A Solution to Housing Deficit Challenge in Ghana, (July), 90.
Boachie-Yiadom, E. K. (2015). Assessing the Role of Mortgage in Private Housing Finance in Ghana: a Case Study of Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana. (Published M.Sc. Thesis). Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Boafo, H. K., Wuni, I. Y., & Agyeman-Yeboah, S. (2017). The Role of Financial Institutions in Housing Delivery in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana : An Institutional and Client Analysis. Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, 8(14), 226–236.
Boamah, N. A. (2010). Housing Affordability in Ghana: A focus on Kumasi and Tamale. Journal, Ethiopian Studies, Environmental Vol, Management, 3(3), 1–11.
Boehm, Thomas P., and Alan M. Schlottmann. (2001). “Family Wealth Accumulation and the Housing Hierarchy: An Intertemporal Analysis.” Working Paper.
Department for International Development (DfID). (2015). Urban infrastructure in Sub - Saharan Africa – harnessing land values , housing and transport.
Derban, W. K., Derban, D. K., Ibrahim, G., & Rufasha, K. (2002). Microfinance for Housing for Low / Moderate-income Households In Ghana. In Presented at the Conference on Housing and Urban Development for Low Income Groups in Sub Saharan Africa. 22-26 July 2002 (pp. 1–20).
Djokoto, S. D., Dadzie, J., & Ohemeng-Ababio, E. (2014). Barriers to Sustainable Construction in the Ghanaian Construction Industry: Consultants Perspectives. Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(1).
Flavin, M. and Yamashita, T., (2002). Owner-occupied housing and the composition of the household portfolio over the life cycle. American Economic Review,  9(2), 345–362.
Ghana Statistical Service, (2012). 2010 Population and Housing Census Final Results, Ghana Statistical Service, Accra, Ghana.
Giddings, S.W., (2007). Housing Challenges and Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, International Housing Coalition, Washington DC, U.S.A.
Government of Ghana. (1992). The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Griffith, M., & Jefferys, P. (2013). Solutions for the housing shortage: How to build the 250 , 000 homes we need each year.
Kwofie, T. E., Adinyira, E., & Botchway, E. (2011). Historical Overview of Housing Provision in the Pre and Post Independence Ghana. In In: Laryea, S., Leiringer, R. and Hughes, W. (Eds) Procs West Africa Built Environment Research (WABER) Conference, 19-21 July, Accra, Ghana, 541–557.
Lemo, T. (2007). Liberalization of the housing market and fiscal policy for effective mortgage creation and origination. A paper presented at the National Workshop of Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria, Ota. October 23 – 24, 2007.
Makinde, O.O., (2014). Housing delivery system, need and demand. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 16(1), 49–69
Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing. (2015). National Housing Policy. Accra: Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Mukhtar, M .H. (2005). Conceptual issues in assessing housing needs in urban areas of developing countries. Journal of the Association of Architectural Educators in Nigeria, 4(1), 49-50
Nenova, T., (2010). Expanding housing finance to the underserved in South Asia: Market review and forward agenda. Washington: The World Bank.
Nicole, Beattie; Campbell, M. A. B. Y. (2010). Incremental Housing : Solutions to Meet the Global Urban Housing Challenge. Network Session - Global University Consortium – SIGUS-MIT UN World Urban Forum, Brazil, March 2010, (March), 1–23.
Sinai, T. and Souleles, N., (2005). Owner-occupied housing as a hedge against rent risk. Quarterly Journal of Economics 12 (1), 763–89.
Sodeinde, A. H. (2011). A Stimulus Plan For Affordable Housing Solutions In Emerging Nations.
Teasdale, S., Jones, P. A., & Mullins, D. (2009). Connecting the dots : the potential for self-help housing to address homelessness. Management of the Housing Crisis.
Todd S., (2007). Urban Housing Demand. New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. University of Pennsylvania. Wharton
Ubink, J. M., & Quan, J. F. (2008). How to combine tradition and modernity? Regulating customary land management in Ghana. Land Use Policy, 25(2), 198–213.
Ukwayi, J. K., Eja, E. E., Ojong, F. E., & Otu, J. E. (2012). An Assessment of Housing Delivery in Nigeria: Federal Mortgage Bank Scenario. Canadian Social Science, 8(6), 68–74.
UN-Habitat., (2011). Ghana Housing Profile. United Nations Human Settlement Programme, Nairobi. Accessed at
Vuyisani, M. (2003). Preview of housing finance systems in four different African countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania
Wakely, P., & Riley, E. (2011). CITIES WITHOUT SLUMS:The Case for Incremental Housing. Cities Alliance Policy Research and Working Papers.
Wapwera, S.D., Parsa, A. and Egbu, C., (2014). Financing low income housing in Nigeria. Charles Report Information from Pro Quest Westport.
Yeboah, E., & Obeng-Odoom, F. (2010). “ We are not the only ones to blame ”: District Assemblies ’ perspectives on the state of planning in Ghana. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, November 1(7), 78–98. Retrieved from
Yeboah, I. E. A. (2005). Housing the Urban Poor in Twenty-First Century Sub-Saharan Africa: Policy Mismatch and a Way Forward for Ghana. GeoJournal, 62(1–2), 147–161.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Yorgri, E., Hong, L., Wen, C., & Jamani, P. (2016). Research on Urban Low Income Housing Policy Delivery in Tamale , Ghana. In International Conference on Civil, architecture and Sustainable Development (CASD-2016) Dec.1-2, 2016 (pp. 1–5). London (UK).