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The Planned location of government-sponsored housing projects:the case of Accr-Tema-Akosombo region; Ghana Damptey, Nathan Wilson

Abstract

Provision of adequate housing in the urban areas of Ghana constitutes a major problem. In the Accra-Tema-Akosorabo Region of Ghana, the housing shortage is becoming more acute as a result of continuing population growth, which is due to natural increase; and to massive drift of population to the region because of the implementation of the Volta River project, and the industrialization of the region. It is the policy of the Ghana Government to provide houses to meet the needs of the inhabitants of the Acera-Tema-Akosorabo Region. The problem here is the determination of appropriate locations for the housing projects scheduled for the region, to aid in solving the housing problem, and to promote the balanced social and economic development of the region. Location of housing projects is critical in solving the housing shortage because location of housing projects influences: the size of project; the cost and quality of utility services; the cost of community services generally; and the cost of transportation. The location factors must be considered in the light of all other factors, such as place of work, with which housing location is interrelated. The search for a rational approach to the selection of location for housing projects leads to the study hypothesis: That the planned location of government-sponsored housing projects, as a solution to the housing problem in the Accra-Tema-Akosombo Region of Ghana, should be based on a comprehensive regional planning approach. The investigation of the comprehensive regional planning approach to the location of housing projects in the Accra-Tema-Akosombo Region is based on the assumptions that: the Ghana Government will continue to sponsor the provision of housing for all the inhabitants of the region; there will be no drastic changes or complete abandonment of the region's development programme; and that the housing needs of the urban dwellers are not to be considered as more urgent than those of the rural dwellers in the region. The study reveals that all the assumptions are valid. The Ghana Government's national policy of industrialization and urbanization as stated in the Seven-Year Development Plan (I963-I97O) is reviewed together with the regional development programme and plan for the Accra-Tema-Akosombo Region. These reviews shed light on both the national and the regional socio-economic development policies and programmes, of which housing is a part. Since very little has been written about the comprehensive regional planning approach to the location of housing projects, the concept underlying location of housing projects in the Durgapur Region of India is reviewed in order to throw light on the value of this concept. The conclusions drawn from the case study indicate that the process of selection of locations for housing projects is based on a comprehensive regional planning approach. The "Durgapur approach" provides the basis for relating the comprehensive regional planning approach to the location of housing projects in the Accra-Tema-Akosombo Region of Ghana. Criteria based on this approach are formulated for location of housing projects in the A.T.A. Region. A review of the three levels of planning, namely local, regional, and national, reveal that the comprehensive regional planning approach to the location of housing projects, in the Accra-Tema-Akosombo Region, is the most suitable approach. Despite the stated limitations, it is concluded that the regional approach would contribute to the rational selection of locations for housing projects in the regions of developing countries.

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