Secretary General of the National Tenants Union of Ghana, Mr. Fredrick Opoku says the union was not consulted prior to the introduction of the National Rental Assistance Scheme by government.
According to him, the union represents the interest of tenants, so their opinion should have been sought.
He expressed his disappointment while speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
Mr. Opoku emphasized that, a major challenge tenants face is the unavailability of accommodation and affordable housing and urged the government to build more houses to support the scheme.
He also called for the development of a “rent-to-own” policy that will enable tenants to rent houses built by government and own later after an agreed payment scheme.
The Rental Assistance Scheme aims at providing safe, comfortable and affordable housing for lower income households and youth in the country. The Scheme will provide rent loans to eligible Ghanaians who are 18 years and above with a verifiable and regular income.
This loan is to be paid on monthly basis by the beneficiary (tenant), not exceeding 30% of his/her household income, to match the tenure of the rent.
Also speaking was the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, Mr. Samuel Amegayibor who indicated that the Scheme should address the rent law, which required tenants not to pay more than six-month advance rent.
“The intervention is not exactly in favour of the populace, it has implementation challenges with the rent advance timelines, which needed to be addressed”, he said.
He believes that government should rather prioritize the provision of affordable housing and not the introduction of such schemes.
However, some tenants and landlords have expressed their content and satisfaction with the scheme and called for it to be more sustainable.
Daniel Quarcoe, a landlord at Kaneshie, said the Scheme would relieve them of rent payment delays from tenants. He said it would address the challenges property owners had with tenants over the deadline of payment of rent.
Mr Eric Allotey, a Tenant at North Kaneshie, said the features of the Scheme on the internet should advertise houses available for rent. He said that would save them the stress of going to look for accommodation and challenges with middlemen.
Mr Yaw Manu, a Tenant at Osu, said the Scheme should not be limited to public servants or persons with well-structured income but all Ghanaians.
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