‘Killer’ Rent Advance Impoverishing Ghanaians – Sly Mensah

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A flagbearer-aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sylvester Mensah, has promised to scrap the payment of more than a year’s rent advance to reduce the burden on Ghanaian families.

According to him, rent advance is plunging families into poverty, and if given the nod to lead the NDC and subsequently becomes president after the 2020 polls, he will ensure landlords, do not charge rent for more than a year or two, as is the status quo in Ghana.

His comment comes just days after actress, Moesha Boduong told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that, she sleeps with married men to pay her rent and also take care of her needs.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM yesterday, Mr. Mensah, said instead of criticising Ms. Boduong’s statement, policymakers, must work to review the current practice of paying more than a year for rent.

He told show host Moro Awudu that: “At the core of my policy initiative if Ghanaians give me the opportunity, is rent. We need to review our rent control laws, we need to review our rent regulations, when you travel to countries like the U.S., like the U.K., no one pays one-year rent advance, no one pays two, three, four years rent advance.

“In the U.K., you pay one month deposit; all other payments are on monthly basis. when you go to the U.S., the situation is not different; in Ghana rent payment is moving families and individuals into poverty and if the whole idea is to ensure some level of a safety net, social protection to support the underprivileged and reduce barriers that push people into poverty, I think rent is a key issue and that is my takeaway from her [Moesha] statement.”

The former boss of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) noted that Ms. Bodoung made a “brilliant statement that I think policymakers must delve into rather than to criticise, we need to review, and given the opportunity to lead my party as flagbearer, given the opportunity to lead this country, I would review the rent laws, we would abolish this prohibitive rent advances, we would make it a disincentive for any landlord to, as it were, demand a year or two years’ rent advance”.

Mr. Mensah, has described as “unfair”, the backlash against actress Moesha Boduong for disclosing in an interview that she sleeps with married men to pay her rent.

Ms Boduong told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that: “[In] Ghana, our economy is in such a way that you just need someone to take care of you.

“You can’t make enough money as a woman here because even if you want to get an apartment, in Ghana you pay two years in advance and I just started working, where will I get money to pay for an apartment for two years”.

Critics condemned Moesha’s comment, which, according to them, suggested that Ghanaian women’s survival hinged on sexual favours they did for men.

The voluptuous hour-glass shaped actress subsequently apologised for her comment.

However, Mr. Mensah said instead of criticizing Ms Boduong’s statement, policymakers must work to review the current practice of paying more than a year’s rent.

He told show host Moro Awudu that: “Recently we heard from a lady called Moesha Boduong who made a few comments about where she stands about the matrix of her life and her realities and rationalities and made a few comments which appear to have attracted a lot of comments from other people, which I consider a little unfair and a little misplaced because at the heart of her message, she tried to share her personal experience.

“Of course, there are a number of people who may share in her experiences but who may not have the courage to, as it were, put it out in the public domain. But at the core of her message, she had to talk about rent, which is a difficulty in her life. I guess all politics must be local and in developing policies, we need to look at individuals, we need to look at the family and then we look at the community and the country at large.

“She raised a serious policy issue that has been at the core of my policy initiative if Ghanaians give me the opportunity; and that is rent. We need to review our current rent control laws, we need to review our rent regulations, when you travel to countries like the U.S., like the U.K., no one pays one-year rent advance, no one pays two-, three-, four-year rent advance.

 

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