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Got a spare room to rent out for extra income? This is how SingleroomGH.com is providing a practical solution to lack of housing in Accra

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If you are finding difficulty in locating affordable accommodation in Accra, then be rest assured that you are not alone.

Current estimates of the housing deficit in Ghana range from 1.7million – 2million houses. To translate, we would need to build approximately 2million new homes today to meet the housing needs of Ghanaians. This situation is only going to get worse as our population continues to increase and more people seek a better life by moving from rural areas and villages to major cities like Accra and Kumasi, often in search of a better future for themselves and their families.

To compound the situation further, most landlords are still seeking one-year minimum advance payments for their properties, which is well above the legal requirement of 6months set by the Rent Act of 1963. Nevertheless, enforcing the 6months rental advance laws is difficult in a market where demand far outstrips supply for affordable units. Landlords will simply tell you to look elsewhere if you cannot pay.

From our interviews with real estate agents and developers, we found that there is a growing oversupply of high-end Luxury apartments in Accra, with most luxury buildings now only half occupied. The sad truth is that whilst these luxury apartments remain mostly empty due to a decline in demand, there are many people in Accra who are still desperately seeking a place to live.

with such a high demand for affordable housing, why are developers not building more affordable accommodation in Accra?

Firstly, building in Accra is very expensive. Land is scares and offered at high premiums and the cost of borrowing is very high. To add to the financial constraints, there are many hurdles of bureaucracy and legal problems that can arise from a building project in Accra. Litigation, planning permission, land guards and general fraud to mention just a few.

For a private developer to take on these risks and develop in Accra would ultimately mean charging high prices for the finished homes, Afterall the risk of failure is high. The higher sale prices of these homes then lead to the higher rental prices. Thus, most developers in Accra build with the knowledge that their properties will not be affordable for the average Ghanaian.

What is the solution:

The quick answer is to say build more affordable housing, but unless government intervenes to support developers to alleviate the challenges of building in Accra, “affordable Housing” will simply not be built, well at least in the numbers required.

One workable solution would be to embrace the concept of flat sharing that is commonplace in my developed countries. Flat sharing is defined as two or more people who come together for the sole purpose of renting an apartment. Usually each person will have their own bedroom and typically they will share certain communal areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or living rooms.

A group of friends may decide to rent a whole property together, or individuals who don’t know each other may rent single rooms within a larger house. Flat sharing helps young professionals find suitable accommodation in better locations than would otherwise be possible.

Landlords may advertise each room in their house separately and make it clear that certain areas are shared amongst all guests.

The flat sharing also works even if the landlord themselves lives at the property. Landlords may rent out a spare room in their homes to earn extra income that is otherwise wasted.

A fantastic platform for landlords to list their available rooms is WWW.SINGLEROOMGH.COM

This website was developed specifically for affordable housing in Ghana. The platform allows agents and landlords to easily post available rooms within their properties. Currently SINGLEROOMGH.COM does not charge listing fees to its users so it’s free to use.

This website has some fantastic features to make finding a property very easy and safe also. Some of these features are listed below:

  1. Verified Agents – these are agents who have completed the agent training program with singleroomgh.com. This program is designed to help them improve the professionalism and service delivery to their clients. Also, all verified agents provide a picture of themselves and an ID card which is kept on file for safety reasons. By using Singleroomgh.com “verified agents” users can feel safer when meeting agents for viewings. SingleroomGH aims to develop 5000 verified agents across all 16 regions of Ghana with the next two years.
  2. Flatshare Community – This feature helps to connect similar people who are looking for accommodation in the same area. By completing a simple form, the website will update you on people you may want to partner with to find a flatshare property. The Flatshare community increasing your chances of finding suitable properties within your chosen areas as you can join forces financially with your chosen partners to find a property that would otherwise not be available.You can send messages to those who interest you on the community through the simple platform and begin the process of finding your ideal property.

Through the help of such dedicated websites like singleroomgh.com we believe that more landlords can fill empty rooms within their property or fill whole properties by offering them as rooms to individual property seekers. Property seekers are also more likely to find rooms that match their requirements as more and more rooms become available through the flat share concept.

We truly believe that the more people accept the flatshare concept, the more the housing deficit will be reduced in Accra.

Visit www.singleroomgh.com now and enter the voucher code AMAYAW001 to get GHS20 to use towards your next featured add on the website.

References http://housingfinanceafrica.org/countries/ghana/

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