MR Community

Housing Fund


About us

MR Community Housing Fund is a non-profit limited liability company founded by the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and the Hungarian Reformed Church Aid. The two founders are among the most long-established and broadest-spectrum charitable organisations in Hungary. Their various assistance activities in favour of the most needy, among the most diverse target groups, are known and recognised both at home and abroad. The Hungarian State counts on these two organisations and the Housing Fund as key partners in solving housing problems in Hungary, as expressed in legislation and cooperation in recent years.

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the Hungarian National Asset Management bought the homes of debtors threatened by eviction. After 2012, tens of thousands of people escaped eviction and were able to stay in their properties as tenants. After eight years, the government decided to close the programme, and tenants were offered a buy-back option at a reduced rate or in instalments, which nearly 23,000 tenants were able to take up, while more than 4,000 remained in rented accommodation. The clients and the housing stock were taken over by MR Community Housing Fund in 2022. In order to fulfil its tasks, the Housing Fund took over an additional 2,000 vacant properties.

The two big charities have been helping families in debt since 2009, and for nearly ten years they have also been working with clients of the National Asset Management who have rent arrears of over six months. More than 3,000 tenants have been personally identified and in around 90% of cases the negative trend has been successfully reversed. Most of the people who have been referred to the start-up housing fund have been met before, and the fact that they are still living in their former homes shows that the personal mentoring has been effective.

The focus of attention and activities of the two charitable organisations is always on the people. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has several housing assistance programmes, which have accumulated a wealth of experience and have succeeded in bringing debtors back from many seemingly hopeless situations. In the so-called “developing settlements” programme, rental housing is being set up in 300 of the poorest settlements in Hungary, and the Veszprém apartment building once known as the “Hell Tower” has been transformed from a segregated area into a community of residents operating according to accepted standards thanks to the Service’s “Presence” programme. The municipality of Veszprém then entrusted its social housing stock to a housing agency set up in partnership with the Malteser organisation, which in three years cleared the rent arrears and also initiated a kind of mobility by placing tenants in housing that met their needs, such as offering smaller apartments at lower cost to elderly people living alone, and allowing families with several children to move to larger apartments.

In line with its mission, MR Community Housing Fund pays special attention to the fate of families in housing crisis. It seeks to find individual solutions to personal situations by making use of the properties owned by the Fund. An integral part of the Housing Fund’s sustainable model is the specific client care, mentoring and support for tenants from vulnerable groups. The stated and committed aim of the organisation is to strengthen the long-term security of families’ economic and sustainable housing. The MR Community Housing Fund has a housing stock that can support acute or longer-term solutions to the situation of citizens in housing crisis. The Fund currently provides housing for thousands of clients nationwide.

In addition to managing its existing real estate portfolio, MR Community Housing Fund considers it a priority to play an active role in the development of the Hungarian rental housing system. The Fund, in cooperation with other professional partners, is continuously working on the development and implementation of community housing concepts, which could serve as models for future projects.

Experience so far shows that a well-functioning housing fund is not only able to function as a social instrument, but also provides an important social service. For example, it provides transit opportunities, supports people who are able to move on, and cares for those who remain in rented accommodation for life. The programme is not just about property management, but also about how to restore and maintain families’ ability to pay in the long term.

As it is a national network, there is also the possibility to support mobility within the country, for example, a family can move to a more ideal location where the parent(s) can take up a job with a higher income. The Housing Fund also aims to reach out to groups in society that may have been marginalised in terms of housing solutions, such as young people leaving public care and starting independent lives, people leaving prison and undergoing reintegration, those most in need of social inclusion, people facing labour market challenges, refugees and other people in social or other types of crisis situations. The Housing Fund is also engaged in advanced project design and modelling towards the development and implementation of housing support for single-parent families, foster care networks, hospitalised children and their parents, and a range of other vulnerable groups. The Fund works on the continuous renovation and provision of its nationally available housing stock, working closely with local communities, municipalities and their housing agencies where appropriate.

The Housing Fund’s presence, programmes and work have an overall social and socio-political significance that goes beyond its charitable mission and specific interventions. In order to fulfil this mission, to help groups and individuals facing housing problems in Hungary, the Housing Fund is ready to enter into professional partnerships with all well-meaning and cooperative professional organisations, domestic and foreign alike, with which it can jointly take concrete steps and interventions in their fields of expertise for a more humane and better world.