The Ministry of Works and Housing is undertaking a review of the current Rent Act 1963 (Act 220) to among other things, sanitise the administration of rental housing and remove inherent constraints on housing supply in the country.
Opening a stakeholder meeting at Kumasi yesterday, Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, said the relevance of the existing law as amended and passed by Parliament 59 years ago had been outlived by the current population growth, urbanisation and demand and supply imbalance.
He said the situation had saddled the rental housing industry with huge challenges with landlords demanding years of advance rent.
The minister noted that reforming the existing legislation on rent in the face of rapid urbanisation would change rent administration in the country by promoting a delicate balance between the needs of landlords and tenants.
Acknowledging the importance of the provision of housing to government developmental goals, Mr Asenso-Boakye stated that the reforms would help increase access to housing by ordinary Ghanaians.
He said that the new Act would be able to “safeguard the rights of vulnerable tenants who have been outpriced by the uncontrollable hikes in the cost of rental accommodation.”
He explained that the establishment of the proposed Ghana Housing Authority would be key to the country’s ability to regulate, plan, develop and manage housing development to drive the sector.
“There must be concerted efforts to address the current precarious situation in the housing sector where home ownership has become a very complex and expensive venture for most Ghanaians” the minister noted.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Rita A. Dickson, described the colloquium as a national assignment that would open avenues to set up key priorities, develop concrete plans of actions based on detailed international comparative analysis.
He urged the stakeholders including policymakers, academicians and experts, landlords, tenants, rent control officers, experts in the built industry and other key interest groups to help develop a new law that meets the current challenges.
Prof. Dickson expressed the belief that the deliberations would produce stimulating and invigorating inputs needed for the needed reforms in the rent law as well as the Ghana Housing Authority Bill.