The Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye (MP) has disclosed of Government’s intention to digitize the operations of the Rent Control Department to ensure efficient service delivery to Ghanaians.
This, according to the Minister, is part of the Government’s commitment to the people of Ghana to transform the operations of Rent Control to serve the interests of stakeholders in the housing sector.
Speaking during a working visit to the Head Office of the Department in Accra, the Minister revealed that his Ministry has already engaged the Ministry of Communications, the National Information Telecommunications Agency (NITA), and other allied agencies to commence the process, adding that NITA has already undertaken an initial assessment of the operations of the Rent Control Department to analyze and determine the direction and scope of the digitization process.
With the Department still using the rudimentary mechanisms to collect data and serve its teeming clients, the Minister said the digital transformation will go a long way to address and streamline the operational deficits of the Department.
Currently, there is a housing deficit with demand for housing among the populace exceeding supply. With this situation giving landlords some unfair control over tenants, the Minister said Government in partnership with the private sector is also considering the implementation of a Rent Assistance Programme where payments of rents can be made flexible for people to afford rent without the usual financial difficulties.
The Minister also observed that the existing Rent Act which has been in existence for over 60 years has outlived its usefulness. This, he said, has necessitated the urgent need to review the law to meet the exigencies of times and more importantly to maintain the protection of tenants while giving equal protection to investors.
“Stakeholder consultations are currently ongoing to review the law because it has to do with the public and more so there is the need to strike a delicate balance between landlords and tenants to ensure their respective interests are rightly protected”, the Minister added.
The Chief Rent Manager, Mr. Twum Ampofo expressed his gratitude to the Minister and indicated that the planned digitization process will be a huge boost in the operations of the Department and address the numerous challenges they have had to deal with in their efforts to serve clients.
He also commended the government for initiating the review of the current Rent law, adding that future rent law will put the Department in better stead to serve clients.