Amui Djor Housing Project, Ghana


Amui Djor Housing Project, Ghana

Mismatches Financing Functional adequacy Services Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies Governance Public-private initiatives
Financing Savings systems Indirect opportunities Public-private collaboration
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Equity Public-private initiative
Promotion and production Self-promotion Cooperatives Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

Since 2017, the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) has been at the forefront of community organization efforts, establishing numerous groups across cities and towns. One notable success is the Amui Dzor Housing Project in Ashaiman, Greater Accra, where GHAFUP collaborated with partners to construct affordable housing for 36 families. This project, managed by a community cooperative, not only provides housing but also integrates commercial facilities and public spaces, illustrating a grassroots approach to addressing housing needs.


  • 2017: Construction



Continent: Africa
Country/Region: Accra, Ghana


Ghana faces a significant affordable housing challenge, particularly in urban areas, due to inefficient land markets, lack of affordable credit, and poor planning. The country needs to build at least 500,000 homes annually to address the deficit, which doesn't even account for population growth. However, past housing schemes, both government-led and market-driven, have often failed to meet the needs of the urban poor. For example, projects like the Ayigya scheme have resulted in abandoned properties occupied by squatters. Government provision is expensive and lacks scalability, while market-led strategies are unaffordable for the urban poor due to high interest rates and low wages. This institutional dysfunction leaves the majority of Ghanaians without access to affordable housing.

Since 2017, the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor (GHAFUP) has been actively involved in community organization, having established 338 groups across 25 cities and towns. Notably, in Ashaiman, Greater Accra, GHAFUP collaborated with partners to construct the Amui Dzor Housing Project, catering to 36 families. Managed by a community cooperative, this project integrates low-cost housing with commercial facilities and public spaces.

GHAFUP's approach revolves around mobilizing communities into savings groups, fostering collective capacity and financial resources through daily savings and weekly meetings. In Ashaiman, members formed the Amui Dzor Housing Cooperative, initiating plans for a housing development for 32 families. Leveraging their collective efficacy, GHAFUP forged a partnership with UN-Habitat Slum Upgrading Facility, securing a long-term mortgage from a commercial bank and loans from Slum Dwelling International (SDI). This financial support enabled construction to commence.

Throughout the project, GHAFUP played a pivotal role, negotiating land acquisition with the traditional council and formulating a relocation strategy for displaced individuals. Collaborating with Tekton Consultants, they designed the structure, sourced materials, and engaged in construction activities. Moreover, GHAFUP facilitated community involvement in beneficiary selection and liaised with local authorities for support, fostering goodwill with the Ashaiman Municipal Authority.

Named the Amui Dzor Housing Project, this social housing endeavor features a three-story structure with commercial units, one and two-bedroom apartments, and a public toilet managed by the cooperative. The cooperative subsidizes housing costs through visitor fees to the public bathrooms, ensuring well-maintained sanitation facilities. Architectural design incorporates a traditional spatial idiom, promoting communal living and efficient resource utilization. Thus, it incorporates the traditional way of living in Ghana for a low-income population.

Post-construction, the community explored opportunities for renewable energy integration, capitalizing on the Energy Commission of Ghana's subsidy program for rooftop solar PV. The project not only reduces energy tariffs but enhances resilience to tariff increases and outages, setting a precedent for future low-income housing developments.

The Amui Dzor Housing Project has gained recognition as a pioneering model for affordable housing provision. In 2010, it received the prestigious "Best Social Innovative Housing Project" award for its targeted approach to serving the urban poor and low-income individuals. Similarly, Tekton Consultants received acclaim for their role in designing the project, earning the "Best Designed Architectural Concept for a Mixed Use Development in Social Housing for the Urban Poor" award.

The enthusiasm for scaling up the project is palpable among stakeholders such as the Ashaiman Municipal Authority and the Traditional Council. Their support is crucial, given that over 80% of land in Ghana is under the ownership of traditional chiefs. Collaborating closely with them is imperative for any affordable housing strategy seeking to expand significantly.

However, achieving this milestone was far from straightforward. The project encountered numerous challenges, including lengthy consultations spanning over 8 years. These consultations involved various parties such as the local government, UN-Habitat, landowners, the traditional council of chiefs, GHAFUP, and the Peoples Dialogue. Additionally, the project's timeline spanned different political regimes, highlighting the complexity of housing initiatives amidst political transitions in Ghana. Despite these hurdles, the project persevered, ultimately achieving its goal of providing sustainable and affordable housing solutions to the community.