National Tenants Union Endorse New Rent Scheme
A group calling itself, the National Tenants’ Union of Ghana (NATUG) has welcomed a decision by the government to implement the much-touted new scheme that will provide eligible Ghanaians with low-interest loans to pay for rent advance.
The group in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Frederick Opoku, mentioned that as an association representing more than 11 million tenants, they saw this scheme as a laudable and significant relief to the general Ghanaian populace.
Figures from the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that Ghana’s housing deficit had hit 1.7 million housing units, and was projected to hit about 2 million even by 2020.
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at its manifesto launch in August 2020 promised to establish a National Rental Assistance Scheme to assist Ghanaians to rent decent homes.
The scheme, which would start off with a GH¢100 million seed capital, would primarily provide loans to young Ghanaians who might not have the financial power to rent an apartment.
“In August 2020, the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia during the launch of the 2020 NPP manifesto in Cape Coast said the scheme will help young graduates with their accommodation problems which we fully and sincerely agree with him. But it looks as if the scheme targets the formal sector workers without the informal”, the statement added.
The NTUG however remains skeptical about the fairness of the scheme and the possibility of the most vulnerable to access the facility when it is rolled out.
“We are doubtful to the extent as to how those in this category of the low-income bracket stand to benefit from the scheme. We will appreciate it immensely if the government can come out clear to outline specifically those who are eligible to apply and access the facility when it is rolled out in the future; because of the faith of many people regarding this scheme and how they stand to benefit from it is in limbo.”
“It is our fervent hope that this scheme will not be characterized by the nepotistic, select and choose means of awarding the rent loans when it commences, but rather use an opened process to enable both the rich and the poor to benefit unlike we usually see in many occasions.”
The Union meanwhile seized the opportunity to congratulate the new Works and Housing Minister, Hon. Asenso Boakye into office.
“We also call and bring to his attention that the pledge he made to the people of Ghana during his vetting to facilitate and see to it that the National Housing Authority is established inspires confidence, and we will collaborate with him to churn out policies that see to it that majority of Ghanaian who cannot afford to pay rent advances exceeding the mandated 6 months ceiling period of rent have the opportunity to also live in safer and affordable housing.”
“We also urge the new minister to proffer policies that will inure to the benefit of the masses not the few elitists in our society. We are very optimistic that, Hon. Asenso Boakye will listen to the grassroots and the concerns of the masses to turn around the fortunes of the housing sector which is begging on its knees”, NATUG hinted.