Half of Poles lack adequate and decent housing

Warsaw/Bratislava (October 2015) – The housing situation in Poland is lagging far behind the majority of European countries with a recent report commissioned by Habitat for Humanity Poland estimating that the deficit of housing is between 600,000 and 1.5 million. More than half the population does not have a decent place to live, with 44,8 % Poles living in overcrowded houses and 14 % in substandard conditions.

At the same time census data reveals that Poland has about one million vacant flats which for various reasons, ranging from poor living standards to legal ownership issues, cannot be inhabited.

October 5th, 2015, marked World Habitat Day around the world. On this day, Habitat for Humanity Poland hosted a press conference to raise awareness on the housing situation in Poland, engage key leaders in a discussion on the housing situation in Poland and call for increased government action in this area.

Participating in the conference were key housing experts, the Minister of the ministry responsible for housing and a representative of a political party.

The report entitled ‘Housing in Poland. Analysis of key aspects of housing policy’ has revealed that housing problems are one of the three most important issues for Polish citizens and greatly influence key life decisions, such as starting a family, job mobility or the decision to emigrate.

Despite the fact that more than half the population in Poland is unable to fulfill their needs when it comes to adequate housing, there is no social movement and little social discourse on the issue. And despite promises of successive governments since 1989 and the fact that adequate housing is a basic human need, the issue very rarely appears in political debate.

“Decent, affordable housing is not a budgetary expenditure, but an investment in society, family and future generations. Having a secure roof over your head is a prerequisite for family stability. Families who receive Habitat homes are experiencing an increase in aspirations, motivation to learn, to improve their living situation by finding better jobs, and investing in themselves and the community that they’re a part of, “- said Małgorzata Salamon, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Poland.

Poland ranks in the bottom three among European countries when it comes to satisfying the housing needs of its citizens. This is primarily due to:

  • A lack of long-term housing development strategy from the government.
  • The treatment of housing as a commodity-only market.
  • The lack of government aid for the development and promotion of social housing.
  • Weak legislation.

Solving the housing problem in Poland requires the active cooperation of key actors from the public, private sector and NGOs. The government’s role is to introduce legislative changes in tax and institutional areas so that such cooperation is possible, and social housing is made more attractive to investors.

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit .