Emergency plan for bed shortage asylum reception: 300 extra spots this weekend

Municipalities will temporarily arrange extra places to accommodate asylum seekers this weekend. This emergency aid is temporary and primarily intended to prevent asylum seekers from having to sleep outdoors.

Around 300 places have already been pledged, said Secretary of State Van der Burg of Asylum Affairs after the first consultation with the national crisis team. It is still unknown which municipalities will provide the emergency aid.

The COA informs that sleeping places have been found for 175 asylum seekers from Ter Apel for the coming night. The municipalities that will provide the shelter are Beuningen, Alphen aan den Rijn, Waterland and Haarlem. How long the asylum seekers can stay here is unclear.

On Monday, the cabinet wants to have a plan ready for a structural solution for the coming months. โ€œThe help of the municipalities is not for eternity,โ€ says Van der Burg. โ€œI have 48 hours to work out a plan to get 15,000 status holders out of asylum reception.โ€


Last night things went awry in the already crowded application center in Ter Apel for months. The Red Cross had set up 50 tents this week to offer just arrived asylum seekers a place to sleep. But the Central Agency for Asylum Seekers (COA) subsequently failed to give the group food and drink. Van der Burg called the issue unacceptable. โ€œYesterday, not a drop overturned, but a whole bucket.โ€ Prime Minister Rutte spoke of an โ€œunsustainableโ€ situation.

The national crisis team includes Van der Burg, Minister Yesilgรถz of Justice and Security, Minister Bruins Slot of the Interior and Minister De Jonge van Wonen. The National Counter-Terrorism and Security Coordinator (NCTV) coordinates the organization.


The problems in Ter Apel are not due to an increasing flow of asylum seekers. The biggest problem is that asylum seekers do not flow out to other AZCs, because there are no spaces available there. These centers are full of refugees, called status holders, who are waiting for a social rental home. โ€œThe blockage is the crisis,โ€ said Prime Minister Rutte at his weekly press conference this afternoon.

Van der Burg must therefore quickly figure out how to get the 15,000 status holders from the asylum seeker centers. โ€œWe have to move them to buildings that are not suitable right now.โ€ Van der Burg does not want to say what types of shelter he is thinking of. โ€œWe have to think taboosโ€. He does say that it will be โ€œvery basicโ€.


Months ago, Minister De Jonge van Wonen said he is working on a plan to arrange accommodation in buildings of the Central Government Real Estate Company. These are often old prisons, office buildings, vacant police stations and courts. It is unclear how far De Jonge is with his plan. He also has to present a proposal on Monday.

That same evening, a few members of the government again talk to the Safety Council, which consists of the chairmen of the 25 security regions in the Netherlands. After that, it must be more concrete how the cabinet now wants to proceed.