RENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME WILL BE KEY TO REDUCING THE HOUSING DEFICIT- Hon. ASENSO-BOAKYE

The Minister for Works and Housing, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye (MP) has expressed optimism that the implementation of the new National Rent Assistance Scheme (NRAS) intended to support deserving households, especially the youth to access decent rental accommodation and to effectively protect them from undue exploitation from home owners will go a long way to further reduce the housing deficit which currently stands at 1.8million housing units.

The Scheme, the sector Minister noted, was introduced in response to wide public outcry against years of rent advance payment, which has become a major challenge to majority of Ghanaians especially those living in urban areas. He urged the need for Ghanaians to join government in sensitizing the public about the Scheme, adding that eligible Ghanaians can apply by logging on to www.nras.gov.gh.

Delivering the keynote address at the commissioning of the phase 1 of the SUCASA O’GRANTSON residential community in Accra, Hon. Asenso-Boakye indicated that the current housing deficit requires people centred interventions and mechanisms to ensure that not only are rental accommodation accessible but also affordable to deserving households, adding that this will be pivotal in effectively protecting low-middle income earners from undue exploitation from home owners while delivering the needed housing infrastructure and services to the citizenry.

Explaining other mechanisms being adopted to provide the needed infrastructure to bridge the housing deficit, Hon. Asenso-Boakye stated that the Ministry’s adopted strategy is to leverage private sector resources, experiences and expertise while government provide the desired environment to attract private sector investments into the housing sector.

“The Ministry is in constant engagement with indigenous, as well as foreign partners and developers, on possible collaborations to reduce the housing deficit, create an opportunity to promote continuous growth and development in the construction and housing industry.” The Minister added.

Highlighting some of the initiatives being undertaken by the Government to transform the housing industry, Hon. Asenso-Boakye stated that one of the focus of the Ministry is to review and enact legislations that will be able to address institutional gaps and create the appropriate platform for best practices.

He cited the intention of the Ministry to establish the Ghana Housing Authority to regulate, plan and manage housing developments in collaboration with private sector developers.

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