Prospects and challenges of rental housing in Greater Accra Region

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Rental accommodation has usually been associated with low income households but it has also become the main form of housing for middle-income households and new urban residents of all income levels (Salmen, 1987). Research has shown that renting and sharing clearly is a feature of the earlier stages of the life cycle. Tenants tend to be younger than owners and are often single: students, recent migrants, simple wage-workers, factory workers or single professionals (UNCHS, 2003:2). With an urban population of 43.8 per cent in Ghana according to the 2000 Population Housing Census and still rising, the challenge of providing accommodation-a basic necessity for the urban population cannot be ignored or left to nature particularly that of rental housing. Data (1996) said ‘to ignore rental housing given that half of the population are living in these dwellings is simply being irresponsible’. Despite attempts made by governments of Africa immediately after independence in the early 1960s to provide affordable housing to the citizenry to increase the level of homeownership, renting is on the ascendency in several countries. The study therefore sought to find out the state of rental housing in Greater Accra Region (GAR), who the landlords and renters are and the prospects and challenges of rental housing in the region. Geographically, the study covered Greater Accra. This is because from the 2000 Population Housing Census (GSS, 2005), the most urbanized region is GAR and since rental housing is more prevalent in the urban area, the choice of the region will be useful for generalization of findings. Explanatory research design was used for the study. The choice of explanatory research approach for this study was influenced by the goal of the study; to seek a better understanding of the current state of rental housing in Ghana as well as what influences rent charges and rental choices. The study employed both probability and non-probability sampling techniques. Although rental housing is a neglected feature, it has the potential of boosting the revenue base of the nation. It must therefore be tapped. The study concluded that, the major challenge confronting rental housing in Ghana is the neglect of the sector by government. This neglect has affected the effective and efficient functioning of the sector which has the potential of helping to address the housing need of the nation while providing income to the individual and the nation.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DEVELOPMENT POLICY AND PLANNING.