As demand for more long-term housing continues to rise in Tallinn, the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (ECDI) is updating real estate it owns in the capital city to prepare for housing hundreds of war refugees from Ukraine.
In the first stage, a total of 44 apartments in a building previously meant to house active service members of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) will be given to war refugees, the first of whom are expected to move in as soon as this week, according to an ECDI press release.
A total of 116 beds have been prepared in cooperation with the Social Insurance Board (SKA).
"We have supported Ukraine with military equipment, and now we are supporting refugees from Ukraine in Estonia as well, providing 110 apartments for housing for them," Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) said. "These people have been forced to leave their homeland because of the war, and we're trying to provide them with as good of conditions as possible so that these refugees have shelter for so long as they should need."
According to Siim Pilv, administrative director of the Northern Portfolio at the ECDI's Infrastructure Department, the apartments ready to be handed over, which had previously stood empty, have been furnished with all new mattresses, blankets, pillows and sheets.
"We also supplied them with a large amount of basic necessities, from toilet paper to toothpaste," Pilv said, adding that major appliances are scheduled to arrive by the end of this week as well. "All of the apartments will have refrigerators, washing machines and of course electric stoves installed."
In the second stage, an additional 66 apartments with a total of 160 beds will be provided to refugees from Ukraine; work on these apartments is currently still ongoing.
Pilv noted that the ECDI has spent tens of thousands of euros on initial work on updating these apartments, and intends to use items donated by Estonian residents to furnish the apartments as well.
In all, the ECDI will be providing 110 apartments with a combined 276 beds to refugees.
As of Monday, March 28, Estonia has accepted 24,610 war refugees from Ukraine, according to Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) figures (link in Estonian). This figure does not reflect those in transit through Estonia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla