COVID-19: Government is Capable to Absorb Rent of Persons Facing Eviction – Housing Minister

COVID-19: Government is Capable to Absorb Rent of Persons Facing Eviction – Housing Minister

                                            Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea

The Government has said that it has the capacity to absorb the rent of persons who may face eviction for not being able to meet their rent obligations, that’s according to the Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea.

The Minister said this during a press briefing on Tuesday evening but did not mention the amount of money available for the state to make such intervention.

“If someone should push that if people who have no place to live as a direct result of the COVID-19 challenges should have their rent paid, we should be able to absorb it. We have the financial space,” Mr. Atta Akyea stated.

Mr. Atta Akyea however, said his outfit is yet “to hear of the wholesale eviction of tenants” and “will get the feedback and handle it” if any report is to be drawn to his attention.

“Let’s see if there are numbers. We shouldn’t just wave our hands and say we should pay the rent of people who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 numbers but if we see the numbers, we will see what we can do.”

COVID-19 cases in Ghana have increased to 1,671 while the number of recovered persons currently stands at 188 with the death toll risen to 16.

Call for sympathy

The Minister also called on landlords to have sympathy for tenants who may be under financial constraint and fail to pay their rents because of the economic hardship induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, even though the law allows tenants to be evicted for not paying rent within one month after the rent is due such action will be un-Ghanaian during this pandemic.

“If where you are supposed to stay poses challenges because of the bad behaviour of a landlord or landlady, it will be extremely un-Ghanaian.”

“How is it going to work in this COVID-19 environment if landlords with commercial appetites start evicting tenants from these premises? That would be very un-Ghanaian,” Mr. Atta Akyea said.

Considering some measures taken by the president to address COVID-19 impact on Ghanaians, he described President Nana Akufo-Addo’s actions as “utmost care and generosity” during the pandemic and said, “landlords are entreated to extend similar treatment to tenants.”