Government has the capacity to cover the rent of persons who may face eviction for not being able to meet their rent obligations, according to the Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea.
The Minister, who spoke during a press briefing on Tuesday evening, did not indicate how much money the state had for such an intervention.
“If someone should push that if people have no place to live as a direct result of the COVID-19 challenges should have their rent paid, we should be able to absorb it. We have the financial space,” Mr. Atta Akyea stated.
The Minister, however, said his office was yet “to hear of the wholesale eviction of tenants.”
If any reports, came to his attention, he said his outfit “will get the feedback and handle it.”
“Let’s see if there are numbers. We shouldn’t just wave our hands and say we should pay the rent of people who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 numbers but if we see the numbers, we will see what we can do.”
Call for sympathy
Mr. Atta-Akyea, during his presentation, also called for sympathy towards tenants who may be under financial strain because of the economic downturn caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The law, for example, allows for tenants to be evicted for not paying rent within one month after the rent is due.
But such a course of action will be un-Ghanaian, the Minister intimated.
“If where you are supposed to stay poses challenges because of the bad behaviour of a landlord or landlady, it will be extremely un-Ghanaian.”
“How is it going to work in this COVID-19 environment if landlords with commercial appetites start evicting tenants from these premises? That would be very un-Ghanaian,” Mr. Atta Akyea said.
He also cited what he called President Nana Akufo-Addo’s “utmost care and generosity” during the pandemic and said “landlords are entreated to extend similar treatment to tenants.”