NPP government yet to fulfill ‘free rent promise’ seven months after taking office

Nearly a year after promising to pay the rent of Ghanaian youth in its second term, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is yet to fulfill their promise.

The NPP in the lead up to the 2020 General Elections made a number of promises which convinced many to retain them in office and hand President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a final four-year term.

Significant among the many promises documented in the party’s 2020 manifesto was to give loans to the youth to pay their rent through the National Rental Assistance Scheme.

Addressing invited members of the party at UCC’s New Examinations Centre (NEC) Hall on Saturday, August 22, 2020; Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia stated unequivocally that government has sighted the market failure between what tenants want and what landlords also want.

As a solution to the long-standing issue, Dr. Bawumia said the National Rental Assistance Scheme will be handed a seed money of GH¢100 million to set up to advance loans to applicants, but paid directly to landlords to cover rent advance payments.

“Under this scheme, if you have a job, and we can deduct regularly from your income, the National Rental Assistance Scheme will give you a loan to pay your rent allowance,” Dr. Bawumia stated

He added, “But we are paying this not to you but to the landlord and then we will deduct monthly as we normally do.”

A member of the NPP communication team, Nana Akomea who spoke severally on the benefits and how viable the scheme would be stated that rent advance would be a thing of the past in the NPP’s second term.

“Government will implement the necessary regulatory and operational bodies to anchor the policy,” he stated.

Nana Akomea added, “Indeed as we speak, a new Rent Control Act has been drafted for review by Cabinet in this direction. So basically, when this National Rental Assistance comes into being in the next NPP government, the big problem of two to three years advance rent would greatly reduce, if not ended.”

However, seven months after been sworn into office, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has yet to fulfill their promise to citizens.

Since December 2020, the cost of rent in Ghana has shot up with the ordinary Ghanaian having to pay more for rent.

Some workers who live in the capital of Accra have been compelled to rent apartments far away from their offices and often go through the stress of traffic each day, a situation that reduces productivity.

Checks by indicate that the ordinary Ghanaian pays between ¢200 to ¢300 cedis for a comfortable single room or studio self-contained apartment.

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