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Housing Europe invited to the first Housing Professional Forum in Hungary

Our Senior Policy Officer Edit Lakatos shared insights from the European level

7 March 2024

In a collaborative effort between MR Community Housing Fund Non-Profit Ltd. and the Metropolitan Research Institute, the inaugural Housing Professional Forum convened on February 27-28, 2024.

The forum attracted participation from local governments of Hungarian cities, municipalities from the capital's districts, and experts from Hungarian housing NGOs. The first day of the conference delved into Hungarian programs through three comprehensive sessions, while the second day focused on international experiences. Edit Lakatos, Senior Policy Officer at Housing Europe, shared insights from Housing Europe's members in Czechia, Finland, and the Netherlands on how municipalities can form alliances to advocate for social housing interests at national and EU levels. Success stories from EIB programs in Mannheim, Ireland, Szczecin, and Poznań, as well as discussions on Bratislava's plans and energy efficiency initiatives supported by Habitat for Humanity, were also featured.

The main aim of the event was to facilitate the exchange of professional experiences regarding various social and affordable housing programs in Hungary. Key objectives included showcasing the diverse financial support required for different target groups, such as the homeless, families in substandard housing, and public sector key-workers, as well as introducing funding schemes available through European Programs like the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Investment Bank.

Guest speakers included representatives from the European Investment Bank (Kamil Dörfler), Housing Europe (Edit Lakatos), and Habitat for Humanity International (György Sümeghy). Additionally, a housing expert team from Bratislava Municipality, led by Juraj Mach, participated to seek solutions for similar housing challenges. Separate meetings were held to facilitate exchanges between Hungarian counterparts and the visiting experts.

A key takeaway for Hungarian participants was the importance of developing a comprehensive public framework, both legal and financial, to effectively implement innovative small-scale housing schemes.



Over the past ten years, Hungary has seen a number of innovative experiments to provide social and affordable housing for families who could not find a solution in the open housing market or could only do so at great cost. These experiments, although they had common features, used unique solutions. Since affordable and sustainable housing is an issue that affects a wide range of society and is perhaps one of the most important challenges of recent decades, the organisers considered it important that these experiments should be disseminated more widely and that good practices and sustainable developments should take their place in the common professional thinking and planning on housing.

It is the Forum's intention that this kind of professional cooperation will continue in the future on a regular and continuous joint professional platform.


About the MR Housing Fund Ltd.

The MR Housing Fund Ltd., founded by the the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid, has inherited apartments that became state-owned due to the 2008 crisis, along with tenants who were previous owners. Additionally, it has acquired a significant number of vacant properties, supported by the state for development, necessary to establish a sustainable social and affordable housing model. According to another plan, the modernisation and renovation of 2,000 social rental dwellings in a total of 300 disadvantaged settlements are to be completed by mid-2026. The efficient management of this new stock is a task that needs to be addressed.

In cooperation with other professional partners, MR Housing Fund Ltd. is continuously working on the development and implementation of model community housing concepts. The Forum was also intended to support the implementation of these objectives.


About MRI

Founded in 1989, Metropolitan Research Institute is internationally recognised independent research, planning and consultancy organisation. Its multi-disciplinary team of experienced professionals (economists, sociologists, planners) is dedicated to different aspects of urban development, including social and affordable housing solutions.