The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Tuesday cut sod for the commencement of work on 100 affordable housing units, for journalists.
The project, being undertaken by real estate company, Koans Estate, comprise a two and three bedroom outhouse units, going for Ghc60,000 and GHc 80,000 respectively.
Christened, "GJA Media Village", the project sited at Pampaso, a community near Nsawam in the Eastern Region, is expected to be completed within a year.
At the ground breaking ceremony, President of the GJA, Roland Affail Money, indicated that the initiative was a step to resolving accommodation challenges faced by journalists, particularly after retirement.
He said that the housing scheme would be replicated in all regions of the country, urging journalists that "though most of us are poorly paid and working under poor conditions let us squeeze water out of stone to acquire such property."
Mr Money said the association was in talks with some financial institutions, to assist journalists to patronise the project, by giving out mortgages at low interest rates.
"We will strictly monitor every stage of the project, to ensure the final outcome meets the standard we expect," the GJA President assured.
Dr. Doris Dartey, Chairperson of the Media Village Project Committee, explaining the concept of the initiative, recounted how many senior journalists after several years of practice ended up as paupers and in challenging circumstances.
"We, therefore, developed a terms of reference to guide our work to put in place a welfare housing project for journalists to encourage and nurture them to own their own houses to emphasise the one journalist, one house mantra," she pointed out.
According to Dr. Dartey, 38 members of the association had so far registered for the project, since the idea was launched in April this year, with nine other members paying varied amounts as deposits towards the cost of the project.
"This gives a total of 48 members, who are on the path of purchasing their homes, leaving 52 spots out of the 100 units, KOANS is offering us,." She said. and urged journalists to come on board and own a house.
The Chief Executive Officer of KOANS Estate, Professor Kofi Anokye, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed the company's resolve to assist government to bridge the current 1.7 housing deficit, and provide affordable housing for Ghanaians.
"Today's function is the fruit of one of those innovative ways by the company to provide corporate villages to institutions as means of creating opportunity for low income earners to own a decent accommodation to lay their heads," he said.
Congratulating the GJA for accepting the idea of the Media Village, Mr. Anokye encouraged corporate bodies "with the capability of mobilising themselves into a group of at least 25 members to take advantage of this affordable housing project to own a village at Koans."Read Full Story