Challenges of Renting in Ghana
Renting a property in Ghana has become an arduous task, particularly for the country’s youth. While numerous countries offer affordable housing options with monthly payment arrangements, Ghana faces significant obstacles. Despite the law stating that landlords cannot demand more than a six-month rent advance, many property owners persistently request advance payments spanning two to three years. This predicament hinders individuals from finding suitable accommodations and progressing in their lives.
Political Initiatives to Address the Housing Crisis
Acknowledging the severity of the housing crisis, political parties have proposed measures to tackle the issue. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) suggests a housing scheme that gradually enables tenants to become homeowners over time. Conversely, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) proposes a support system where the government covers the initial rent payment, and tenants reimburse the government on a monthly basis. Amidst these proposals, an encouraging solution has emerged.
Government Intervention: National Rental Assistance Scheme
To alleviate the burden on tenants, the Ghanaian government has introduced the National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS). Through this initiative, the state directly pays the rent advance to landlords on behalf of qualified tenants. The NRAS extends its assistance to individuals who are in the process of renewing their rental agreements or seeking accommodation, be it a room, apartment, or a complete house. This innovative scheme enables renters to make affordable monthly payments, including the convenience of using mobile money platforms.
Required Documents and Application Process
To qualify for the NRAS, applicants must submit specific documents during the application process. The following documents are required:
- Proof of Employment: Three months’ payslips.
- Proof of Income: Three months’ official bank statements or mobile money statements. Business owners should provide audited financial statements.
- Application Form: Complete an online or paper application form.
- National Identification: Submit two forms of national identification.
- Application Processing Fee: Pay a fee of 100 cedis.
Approval and Tenancy Arrangements
Upon approval of the application, the National Rental Assistance Scheme will coordinate with the selected landlord and directly pay the rent advance. Additionally, the scheme facilitates the signing of all necessary tenancy documentation, ensuring a seamless process for both tenants and landlords.
How to Apply and Contact Information
Individuals in need of immediate accommodation can apply for the NRAS by clicking the provided link or contacting the scheme via the provided phone numbers. The National Rental Assistance Scheme Portal, along with Rent Master, serves as comprehensive platforms for accessing NRAS services.
Regions Covered by the National Rental Assistance Scheme
Initially, the NRAS services are available in specific regions, including:
- Ashanti Region – Kumasi
- Greater Accra Region – Accra-Tema
- Western Region – Takoradi
- Eastern Region – Koforidua
- Northern Region – Tamale
- Bono East Region – Techiman
As the scheme expands, its goal is to encompass other regions across the country, ensuring more individuals benefit from this much-needed support.