Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Building and Road Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
The orientation of Government policy and programmes concerning housing over the last decade have been focused more on new housing delivery (the house stock increased by 77.5% in 2000 over the 1984 stock) with little attention paid to the maintenance component of the existing stock. The high cost of construction and maintenance perhaps prevents both public and private individual developers from playing their desired roles towards such a vital social facility. It is in response to this problem that this study set out to conduct an investigation into the social dimensions of building maintenance in Ghana. This paper first reviews briefly the state of building elements in the three major ecological zones of Ghana: Accra representing the coastal savanna zone, Kumasi representing the mid forest zone and Tamale representing the northern savanna zone respectively. The industrial survey work on the building elements was undertaken in 1999. Finally, the paper highlights on household size, non-willingness of tenants to vacate rooms, prestige consciousness, inheritance and litigation, domestic habits of Ghanaians, socio-cultural effects, and poverty as social variables affecting the building maintenance equation in Ghana.