–calls on gov’t to outline eligibility
The National Tenants Union (NTU)of Ghana has expressed concern about government’s new ‘loan for rent’ scheme, indicating that it fears those who would be in need of critical assistance could be left out.
According to the Union, representing over 11 million tenants in the country, the scheme is a laudable one and significant relief to members and largely to the general Ghanaian populace, but pragmatic measures must be put in place to avoid nepotistic, select-and-choose means of awarding the rent loans when it commences.
“We are skeptical about the fairness of the scheme and the possibility of the most vulnerable to access the facility when it is rolled out. It is our fervent hope that this scheme will not be characterized by nepotistic, select-and-choose means of awarding the rent loans, but rather use an open process to enable both the rich and the poor to benefit unlike we usually see in many occasions,” NTU stated.
The union further bemoaned that it seems the scheme targets the formal sector workers without the informal. “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 government can come out with an outline, specifically those who are eligible to apply and access the facility when it is rolled out in the future because the faith of many people regarding this scheme and how they stand to benefit from it is in limbo,” they said.
Their call comes on the back of an announcement by the government in the 2021 budget emphasizing government’s readiness to implement the much-touted new scheme that will provide eligible Ghanaians with low-interest loans to enable them pay for rent advance.
The Union, also brought to the attention of the newly appointed Works and Housing Minister, Asenso Boakye, that there is the urgent need fulfil a pledge he made to the people of Ghana during his vetting that he will facilitate and see to the establishment of a National Housing Authority (NHA) as the sector minister.
“We will collaborate with him to churn out policies that see to it that majority of Ghanaians who cannot afford to pay rent advances exceeding the mandated six months ceiling period of rent have the opportunity to also live in safer and affordable housing.”