EBRD supports R4R Poland to address acute housing need
- EBRD lends €50 million for new residential housing in Poland
- Focus on cities with highest influx of displaced Ukrainians
- 1,110 new Resi4Rent units in Warsaw and Wroclaw in 2023
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending up to €50 million to R4R Poland, also known as Resi4Rent, an operator of residential rental accommodation in Poland. The loan will be used to build and operate a portfolio of rental apartments across the country, amid a chronic housing shortage exacerbated by inflation and an influx of refugees from Ukraine.
The project falls under the EBRD’s Resilience and Livelihoods Framework, which aims to support Ukraine and other affected countries by Russia’s invasion.
The portfolio of rental apartments will focus on cities that have seen the highest number of Ukrainian refugees, such as Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Lodz and Poznan.
Resi4Rent currently operates about 3,000 apartments in 11 locations, some of which have already been let to Ukrainian families. In 2023, the company plans to deliver 1,110 units in Warsaw and Wroclaw and, by 2025, to have a total portfolio of 10,000 operating units.
The demand for medium- and long-term housing in Poland was already high prior to the influx of refugees from Ukraine. The national shortfall of residential units was estimated at 2-2.5 million amid rising prices due to the supply squeeze and inflation. Since the start of the war on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the available supply of accommodation has more than halved.
Of the 4 million or so displaced Ukrainians that have registered for temporary protection in the European Union (EU), about 1.4 million are in Poland – far more than any other EU country. More than half have already found employment. Many Ukrainians in Poland are staying in rented apartments or in temporary accommodation provided by the government and private individuals. While millions of Ukrainians from the initial wave of refugees have returned home, a second wave is possible over winter, due to the damage to the heating and energy infrastructure in Ukraine.
Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Director for Property and Tourism, said: “Poland needed an innovative solution to alleviate pressure on the housing market and we are thrilled to have created one. Residential for-rent developers such as R4R deliver a fast supply of new housing in the short term. In the medium term, the Bank will also work with national and local authorities to increase the supply of affordable state and private housing, including by unlocking suitable unused land. This approach aims to relieve not only the current acute housing need, but the longer-term chronic shortage of accommodation for Polish citizens and residents.”
Rafal Ryba, CFO of Resi4Rent, said: “Resi4Rent’s financial support is the EBRD’s first transaction in the Polish private rented sector. It is the result of trust and faith in the prospects and opportunities for the development of this sector and the leading position of Resi4Rent in this market. This is a very good sign for the entire private rented sector, the development of which is currently very important to alleviating the difficult housing situation in Poland and which is facing limited access to financing.”
Resi4Rent, established in 2018, is the largest entity operating in the Polish private rented sector. It is a joint venture between Echo Investment, a Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE)-listed Polish property developer, which holds a 30 per cent stake, and leading international fund management company Griffin Capital Partners, which controls 70 per cent. The EBRD is also considering similar projects with other residential property companies in Poland.
Since the start of its operations in Poland more than 30 years ago, the EBRD has invested more than €12 billion in the country.
-By Svitlana Pyrkalo EBRD also photo