The Government of Ghana has duly launched the National Rental Assistance Scheme as part of measures to provide decent accommodation for Ghanaians.
Ghanaians above the age of 18 with a valid national ID card and verifiable employment with an income, qualify for a rent loan in five to ten working days under the scheme.
Total rent is paid to the prospective landlord of the applicant and the applicant in turn makes a monthly payment to the National Rental Assistance Scheme.
Applicants are expected to be evicted from the house or room if they default on the monthly payment arrangement.
The Scheme is expected to be rolled out across the country but will be piloted in five regions namely; Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern, and Bono East Regions.
Speaking at the launch in Accra on Tuesday, January 31, vice president Mahamudu Bawumia said the five regions were “selected for the pilot because they are where there is pressure on rent in the country.”
Dr. Bawumia said, unlike previous policies which are often marred by defaulters, the National Rental Assistance Scheme is in collaboration with private investors who wouldn’t want their investments to go down the drain and will use any means possible to retrieve their funds which will also eliminate any form of political interference.
He also disclosed that the government through the Ministry of Works and Housing has submitted a bill to Parliament seeking to replace the current rent law which was passed over five decades ago and has lost its relevance.
“I am happy to inform you that the government has made significant strives as far as the housing sector and renting management are concerned. Government acting through the Ministry of Works and Housing has submitted to Parliament for consideration and passage, a rent bill to replace the existing Rent Act of 1963 Act 220. The current Act was passed by Parliament 59 years ago and therefore its relevance has been outlived by the current population growth, urbanization, housing availability, and general trends.”
The vice president further stressed that the passage of the rent bill will enhance the rental market in Ghana and give access to decent accommodation in the country.
“Additionally, the passage of this Act will enhance the rental market in Ghana and we have the bill in Parliament and when passed, it will enhance the service delivery of the Rent Control Office.”
Ghanaians have been burdened with payment of Rent Advances for far too long. Landlords and property owners have demanded advance payments of rent in excess of 3 years from potential renters.
This undue burden has been partly due to shortage of affordable housing as both government and private developers have been unable to construct enough of these type of housing to accommodate the growth and demand for these types of housing needs.
It is currently estimated that there exists a deficit of about 5 million rooms in Ghana as of December 2022; assuming each room is shared by 2 occupants. And this deficit is expected to get worse as the population grows and rural-urban migration continues.
Based on these factors, National Rental Assistance Scheme was formed to offer rent relief to the ordinary Ghanaian renter; making it possible for rent payments to be made on a monthly basis as rent is mostly paid throughout the world.