On Thursday I spent the afternoon visiting one of the communities on the outskirts of Accra to present food items to some households. From my interactions with the people, one that struck me most was the concern of a young woman that her landlord is demanding the rent for February and March or she faces ejection. She’s been home for a while due to the lockdown and cannot raise the funds to pay. Rent, as we have learnt from other countries is one of the key areas government intervention is required in mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
In Ghana, properties are privately owned and rents are paid for several years in advance. Government and property owners would have to devise a scheme to come to the aid of tenants who are unable to pay their rents. A moratorium on ejections as a first step will be helpful to many who have lost their daily income as a result of the lockdown. In return, I believe Government can compensate landlords and landladies for any income lost through tax reliefs, exemptions among others.