3500 additional shelters for asylum seekers need for new year

The Central Agency for Asylum Seekers (COA) is looking for thousands of additional shelters, demissionary Minister Ollongren and Secretary of State Broekers-Knol write to the House of Representatives. 3500 spots are required by the end of the year, 600 of which are before December 1.

In addition to the regular shelter, ten locations for fifty single minors and 100 sober shelters for asylum seekers from safe countries will be sought.

The pressure on asylum shelter has been high for months. More than 6500 extra shelters have been added since the end of August, but they are often temporary. The locations can only be used for a few weeks or months.

Casino not safe

The COA is struggling to find new locations. Today there was also a setback in Utrecht: a former casino proved not safe enough to accommodate 500 asylum seekers. The safety region therefore did not issue a permit. โ€œMissing 500 shelters is a serious leakage in the emergency,โ€ the COA said.

The Dutch asylum shelter is overcrowded by the high influx from Syria and Afghanistan, among others. During the night shelter in Ter Apel, the need was so high last month that people had to sleep on chairs or on the floor. This week, according to the council, there were dozens of asylum seekers too many every night.

Too few homes

In addition, the outflow of status holders is difficult, partly due to the tightness of the housing market. The COA shelters now have around 11,000 people with a residence permit. More than half of them wait for housing longer than the agreed fourteen weeks.

Broekers-Knol and Ollongren also come up with other solutions for the shortage of shelters in their letter. For example, asylum seekers could be temporarily staying with family or in a healthcare facility. There is also a sleepover scheme, which allows them to visit host families for a few months.

CCeit on 3 figured out why the shelter is so full in the Netherlands: