The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said government is working on digitalizing the operations of Rent Control Department.
He disclosed this when he paid an unannounced visit to the offices of the Rent Control Department in Accra on 15th July, 2020.
According to him, government is currently undertaking a number of initiatives to address the challenges affecting the provision of affordable housing and resolving matters involving rent, Vice President Bawumia has revealed.
These measures include the design of a policy framework to address rental issues, and the submission to Cabinet and subsequently Parliament, for approval, a new Rent Control bill to replace the existing, moribund Rent Act of Ghana (Act 220), which was passed in 1963.
Accompanied by the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon Samuel Atta Akyea and his Deputy, Hon Barbara Asher Ayisi, the Vice President was taken round by the Chief Rent Control Officer, Mr Twum Ampofo, who explained the operations and challenges involved in ensuring a peaceful rental environment.
Vice President Bawumia expressed worry about the lack of housing for low income earners, and disclosed that among others, government is working to address the uncertainties in the housing market, which has led to landlords demanding two to three years rent advance, well beyond the means of many, especially the youth who have just completed schooling and looking to enter the job market.
“This morning, I visited the Rent Control Department to observe their operations and understand their challenges. I was accompanied by the Minister for Works and Housing Hon. Atta Akyea and his deputy Hon. Mrs. Barbara Ayisi.
I announced the decision of government to digitize the operations of the Rent Control Department.
With digitization, landlords and tenants will have an option to register as well as submit their tenancy agreements electronically. This will reduce the queues at the office and enhance efficiency. Each property will be uniquely identified by the digital property address. From next year all complaints by tenants or landlords can be filed online.
I also noted that on rent advance government will be introducing a new programme to bridge the information and financial gap between tenants and landlords. The programme will enhance the creditworthiness of tenants and therefore reduce the need for large rent advance requests by landlords. The government will also be focusing, going forward, on increasing the stock of low-income social housing for rent.
Cabinet has also received and is working on a new Rent Control Bill to replace the existing Rent Control Act (Act 220), passed in 1963. This will enhance the enforcement powers of the rent control board amongst others.”