Housing Needs of the Ghanaian Population

The Zoning Guidelines and Planning Standards (2011) recommended maximum room occupancy for low income households of two people per room. On the basis of two people per room occupancy, the need for rooms was calculated from the household sizes data from the 2000 Population Census by the UN Habitat Ghana National Housing Profile. Accordingly Housing Profile survey showed that almost 60% of households occupy only one room, 25% at two rooms, 9 percent at three, and 4 percent at both four and five – plus rooms. In contrast there is much lower demand for single rooms; greater demand for two rooms per household (at 2.5 and 3 persons per room occupancy rates). Very few households needed more than four rooms at that crowding threshold.

Based on the household size data for 2000 from GLSS 5 the Housing Profile estimated that there are more than 30% of households occupying one room who should be in more rooms at crowding thresholds of 2 persons per room and 2.5 persons per room, and more than 20 percent at the 3 persons per room threshold. Thus out of the 1,733,000 households in urban Ghana in 2000, between 295,000 and 520,000 households occupied single rooms when they should be in two or more rooms just to clear the various overcrowding thresholds.

The Housing Profile has estimated roughly that just to clear the shortfall in the number of rooms available for occupation in urban Ghana, at 2 persons per room, 1.7million rooms must be built. The provision for new households is, however, much greater. Assuming an urban mean household size 4.75 person, the population growth is likely to add two million extra urban households by 2020.
At the preferred threshold of 2 persons per room, total stocks of 4 million new rooms are already required for the additional households between 2000 and 2010. This includes the existing shortfall of 1.7 million rooms as at 2000. Additionally, 3.2 million rooms will be needed to keep up with population growth by 2020. Thus, going by the preferred maximum occupancy of two persons per room, a total of 7.2 million extra rooms are required by 2020 to be able to address the deficit and accommodate the new households. However, if the housing sector profile assumes the 1.5 million estimated supply between 2000 and 2010, the numbers of the rooms required during the next decade reduce to5.7 million at the preferred occupancy threshold of 2 persons per room.

Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing 2015