Mr Frederick Opoku, Secretary General, National Tenants Union of Ghana, has urged Government to enhance its engagement and collaboration with tenants in the rollout of the National Rental Assistance Scheme.
He said it must also engage the Tenants’ Union to fine-tune any challenges or deficiencies with the Scheme.
Mr Opoku said this when he spoke with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the newly introduced scheme aimed at providing safe, secure and affordable rental housing for lower income households and youth in the country.
The Scheme will provide rent advance loans to eligible Ghanaians, 18 years and above, with verifiable and regular income.
The loans will be repaid on a monthly basis by the beneficiary, not exceeding 30 per cent of his/her household income, to match the tenure of the rent.
He alleged that the Tenants Union was not engaged in the development of the Scheme and that their input was not taken, stressing that they needed to be involved to represent the interests of tenants.
Mr Opoku asked the Government to build more houses to complement the Scheme, saying, a major challenge tenants faced was the unavailability of accommodation.
He also called for the development of a “rent-to-own” scheme where tenants could rent houses built by the State and owned later after an agreed payment scheme.
Mr Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary, Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, said the new 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.
Mr Amegayibor said Government’s main priority should be the provision of affordable housing units and accommodation for the public and not such schemes.
Meanwhile, some tenants and landlords who spoke to the GNA were pleased with the Scheme and called for it to be made 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.