Update from Dominique Moerenhout

At the time of writing, all eyes are turned to Ukraine and ways we can help in what has now become the biggest humanitarian crisis on our continent. I salute EPRA members who step up with practical solutions and financial aid to support refugees. As millions of people flee their homes and temporary solutions are being put in place in neighbouring countries, a long-term housing plan will be desperately needed. The UN refugee agency has predicted that up to four million people could flee, while the European Commission says it could be as much as seven million.

The urgency for comprehensive, affordable rental housing solutions has been already heightened by the pandemic. Demand is continually growing, and the deficit between housing required and available supply is increasing in most markets. In this context, private investors, such as social housing REITs, will have to play a crucial role in meeting housing needs across Europe. In this edition, Paul Bridge, CEO of Social Housing at Civitas, and Marc Brisack, CEO of Inclusio, give their insights on how European listed real estate can be part of the solution.

The situation in Ukraine, as well as inflation and interest rates, will undoubtedly continue to have repercussions on the global economy and financial markets. We will therefore dedicate the afternoon sessions of the EPRA Annual Conference to a strategic take on various ‘what if’ scenarios and how we can plan for them. The event will take place in person in Paris on September 6-8, and I hope to see many of you there. Registrations are open via our website, and sponsorship packages are also available. For more information, contact our team at conference@epra.com.

Furthermore, I would like to remind you about the second edition of the EPRA Executive Programme for listed real estate professionals organised in partnership with INSEAD on their campuses in Fontainebleau in June. Enrolment is ongoing and our team at education@epra.com can provide you with more details.

I also want to take this opportunity to warmly thank Méka Brunel, former CEO of Gecina, for her tenure as EPRA Chairwoman. It was undoubtedly a difficult period, marked by the COVID-19 crisis, so I am therefore particularly thankful for her outstanding leadership, vision and commitment during these unprecedented times. In parallel, I am very pleased to welcome the nomination of Pere Viñolas Serra, CEO of Colonial, as Chairman for the years 2022-2024 as I have no doubt he will seek to further expand on the work that our association has been doing for the sector and our members.

Finally, as always, I would like to welcome our newest members: Aurora Eiendom, Equinox, K2A and Life Science REIT.