–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 will 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 a 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 they commence.
“We are sceptical about fairness of the scheme and the most-vulnerable’s access to the facility when it is rolled out. It is our fervent hope that this scheme will not be characterised by nepotistic, select-and-choose means of awarding the rent loans, but rather the use of an open process to enable both the rich and poor to benefit – unlike what we usually see on many occasions,” the NTU stated.
The Union further bemoaned that it seems the scheme targets formal sector workers without the informal. “We are doubtful of the extent to which those in this category of the low-income bracket stand to benefit from the scheme.
“We would 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 government in the 2021 budget emphasising its readiness to implement the much-touted new scheme that will provide eligible Ghanaians with low-interest loans to enable them pay rent advances.
The Union also brought to the attention of newly appointed Works and Housing Minister, Asenso Boakye, that there is an 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 the majority of Ghanaians who cannot afford to pay rent advances exceeding the mandated six-month ceiling period of rent have the opportunity to also live in safer and affordable housing.”