General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Ata Akyea, Wednesday, pleaded with Members of Parliament (MPs) to give their maximum attention to a new Rent Bill and ensure its passage when it is introduced to the legislature for consideration.
The new Rent Bill when passed into an Act, he noted, will ensure that sanity prevails in the housing industry where landlords have resorted to charging exorbitant fees, much to the detriment of low-income earners.
“It is our determination to ensure that a new Rent Bill will be validated and all the anomalies of the existing Rent Act removed to promote a balance between the needs of tenants and landlords. When pass into law, the new Rent Act will ensure that the rights of vulnerable tenants are safeguarded, and also, real estate developers are not discouraged from investing in rental housing,” he noted.
He added “addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially, women, youth and those who live in slums must be a priority in the developmental agenda of our dear nation.” Mr. Ata Akyea made this appeal when he appeared on the floor of the House and delivered a statement on the occasion of the World Habitat Day which fell on October 2, 2017.
World Habitat Day is a day instituted to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all.
It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
The observance of this Day has been an international event since 1985. Ghana’s celebration of the Day was under the theme “Housing Policies: Affordable Homes”.
The Works and Housing Minister commenting further told the House that his Ministry is implementing the Affordable Housing Program aimed at providing adequate, decent affordable housing, particularly to the low and middle-income groups, with the private sector playing a key role in this regard.
“Recognizing low-income levels as a challenge on the demand side of housing in Ghana, our focus, therefore, is how to make housing affordable. To achieve this goal, we are adopting cost-saving technologies and new techniques of construction as well as innovative mortgage financing.
“The generally accepted view prevailing is that since the majority of the population is within the lower income group of society who cannot mobilize the savings or credit to build their own homes or even meet the high rentals demanded in our towns and cities, it is our expectation that the private sector will partner Government to deliver this basic necessity of live – Housing,” he posited.
He said the government is adopting a two-pronged approach to mobilizing funds both domestically and internationally, to support the Housing sector since funding has been one of the major challenges facing housing delivery in Ghana.
Further to that, Mr. Ata Akyea said the government is committed to putting in place some regulatory framework and adopt a number of policies whose overall objectives will be to create an enabling and thriving environment for the private sector to play a leading role in the delivery of housing.