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Landlords, housing and loss of life – MyJoyOnline.com

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Anguish. It is probable 1 of the emotions that the Okyere relatives is suffering from. It is a tragedy that Mr. Benjamin Okyere has been robbed of his life. In accordance to media studies, the male who shot the deceased was his landlord, Mr. Victor Stephen Nana Kankam.   

Apparently, Mr. Okyere’s rental settlement expired two days before he was shot by his landlord, with whom he experienced long gone to discuss. What precisely transpired is nonetheless unclear. We know this: it is not only the 4 bullets that prompted the unfortunate death of Mr. Okyere. He was also the sufferer of a kind of structural violence –inadequate housing).

To fully grasp this we have to seem not at a one event, but the total. 

On 30th March when the Government introduced a two-week lockdown, reduced earnings dwellers, especially individuals not born in Accra and Kumasi sought to return to their house villages in droves.  They have been confronted with a brutal reality: the lockdown expected that individuals remain in their households.  Even so, they experienced incredibly insufficient “housing”.  In some circumstances, 8 people lived in a 12 by 15 toes sized kiosk.  In other conditions, they did not even snooze in the kiosk with lots of other individuals. Matters were even worse they slept on streets, sometimes in entrance of a store. And, so many persons sought to flee Accra and Kumasi prior to the lock down came into result. They have been not fleeing COVID-19, but relatively the effects of no housing.  They experienced long been locked out of housing, now they fled staying locked down.

On Tuesday 7 April a fireplace devastated part of an casual settlement in Previous Fadama, exactly where 800 wooden homes had been burnt.   It is estimated that countless numbers of people had been rendered homeless.   As dwellers of informal settlements, they had lengthy been locked out of housing.  Therefore, COVID-19 was especially threatening given their cramped dwelling problems and limited entry to h2o, sanitation, and cleanliness companies.

On the 28 April 2020, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Is effective and Housing reminded landlords that demanding rent payment past the lawfully permitted 6 months could land them in jail for two several years. 

It is significant to understand how these diverse activities are signs and symptoms of a bigger complete. What inbound links them is the structural violence of insufficient housing. I signify the day to day housing ailments that perpetuate inequality, which makes and maintains conditions of insecurity for lots of, specially all those residing with very low incomes. 

Look at a mother forced to minimize the meals of her children to scrape together dollars to spend for hire. When tenants are compelled to fork out two yrs hire in advance the tenant bankrolls the landlord. Contemplate, alternatively, that some tenants “prefer” spending lease yrs in progress. Such are the survival strategies in the facial area of the housing crisis.  Thus landlords accessibility fascination free financial loans. Importantly, structural violence makes problems of privilege, in varying degrees, for those who have accessibility/regulate about fiscal means.

Critically, the structural violence of insufficient housing enables the structural electricity of cash.  Permit me give a basic instance.  Nationally, the housing shortage is about two million.  Landlords as homeowners of capital are quickly in a place of benefit. They can demand from customers two a long time lease because the selections of tenants are constrained.  The failure of the point out to enforce the regulation is not only due to the fact there is no authentic political will or simply because the Hire Manage division, at all levels, are underneath resourced.  The state is minimal because there is not sufficient quality housing stock accessible to create solutions and the condition itself refuses to help, permit on your own champion housing justice. Housing, then, is at the mercy of traders trying to get profit.

Nonetheless, developing housing justice is possible.  Fellow tenants, we need to try to make positive transform take place.  These are some vital places for social justice arranging:

  • Seek to finish the 6 months in progress payment to landlords.  It is time for monthly payments. This necessitates a transform to present-day laws and most importantly, enforcement. 
  • Persuade the authorities to make the current stock of “affordable” housing instantly obtainable in a clear and equitable fashion.
  • Call on the governing administration to nationalize incomplete corporate housing tasks that have not paid property taxes/prices for the earlier two several years.  These kinds of houses should be transformed into social housing.
  • Convince the authorities to allow and finance housing cooperatives to lead the building of quality social housing, which will continue being the property of the housing cooperative
  • Desire the govt immediately make social housing.
  • Insist that authorities quickly end all tax vacations and exemptions for luxurious housing design.

Fellow tenants, we know that inadequate housing leads to social loss of life and also kills — virtually.  Everybody 1 of us warrants top quality housing. This is only attainable if we muster the determination and political will to produce housing justice.

About the creator: Chaka Uzondu (Ph.D.) is a Policy Analyst. His writings deal with matters ranging from h2o, sanitation, and hygiene (Wash), well being, housing, agroecology and political ecology.

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