NEW YORK & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Village House Management Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Tatsuhiko Iwamoto; hereinafter referred to as “Village House”) today announced that its rental housing management company, "Village House," has achieved a "2-star" rating in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment conducted in 2023. The annual benchmark assessment, which in 2023 saw the participation of 2,084 listed and unlisted real estate firms worldwide, measures the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations of real estate companies and funds (for further information, visit the official GRESB website: www.gresb.com).
The 2-star GRESB rating recognizes Village House’s significant ESG achievements across a portfolio of more than 1,050 affordable multifamily properties, with over 103,000 individual rental units, located throughout Japan’s 47 prefectures. Since the properties were acquired by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC (“Fortress”) from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2017, more than $1 billion in capital investments have been made focused on upgrading properties and infrastructure, improving amenities for residents, and providing greater access to affordable housing, especially for the elderly, single parents and foreign workers.
“We saw in these properties an exceptional opportunity to generate strong investment returns while also helping Japan address an urgent societal issue—the lack of quality, sustainable affordable housing,” said Thomas Pulley, CEO of Fortress Global Real Estate. “The Village House team has done a remarkable job in turning our vision for these properties into a reality for more than 81,000 residents.”
Under the management of Village House, which was formed by Fortress in 2018, the properties have benefited from a sustained focus on ESG considerations, and an overarching objective to dramatically improve residents’ living experience and to transform outdated government-owned housing into highly desirable affordable units for a large cohort of Japan’s population. The 2-star rating is a strong validation of the ability for managers to improve the sustainability of older vintage properties without the intensive carbon production inherent in new construction.
Specific ESG achievements at the Village House properties include:
- Renovation and refurbishment of more than 64,000 rental units to date, averaging more than 870 completed renovations monthly since acquisition, while maintaining very affordable average rent of ¥36,000 / $275 per month.
- Lowering affordability barriers for residents, using sophisticated tenant screening to waive deposit requirements for nearly 90% of applicants while maintaining 99%+ payment rates. Upfront costs average between 3.5 and 5.5 months’ rent across other major property owners in Japan.
- Reducing the properties’ combined carbon footprint through increased maintenance expenditures and by installing more than 1,000 solar arrays across 378 properties (a project previously awarded a GRESB “Green Star” distinction).
- Integrating multilingual call centers and signage to assist non-Japanese speaking residents, who are essential for regional employment growth. Village House provides translated leases in six different languages and training for local disaster preparedness.
- Creating over 1,000 Village House jobs spanning all prefectures of Japan with nearly 60% of full-time employees over the age of 55.
"We could not be prouder of the 2-star rating achieved by Village House, which reflects an extraordinary turnaround and promising future for these properties," said Akio Yamashita, Managing Director and Representative in Japan of Fortress Investment Group (Japan) GK. "We will continue to prioritize ESG considerations across the Village House properties and are confident that this commitment will add significantly to the value and returns of our investment."
“We are thankful for this recognition, which reflects our belief that incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) elements into our entire business is essential for maximizing long-term shareholder and investor value,” said Village House President and CEO Tatsuhiko Iwamoto. “Village House will continue to work towards sustainable growth and the enhancement of long-term corporate value in the future.”
About Village House
Village House Management Co., Ltd. is a leading rental housing service company that operates and manages over 103,000 rental units located in 1,050 properties and 2,900 buildings across all 47 prefectures in Japan as of September 1, 2023. Village House currently employs 1,057 individuals and has established a comprehensive, nationwide support system with its Tokyo headquarters, seven regional branches, a housing consultation center, and a contract office. Village House achieves affordable rental rates by renovating and effectively utilizing existing buildings to promote long-term use, rather than constructing new housing. As the only private company in Japan to provide large-scale affordable housing, Village House aims to enhance the housing environment in Japan by providing quality rental properties to all individuals, including those with low incomes, through simplified procedures and low rental fees.
Fortress Investment Group LLC is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager. Founded in 1998, Fortress manages $44.7 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2023, on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.