The asylum agreement at the end of August should solve the asylum crisis. But administrators and organizations are very concerned about the number of shelters. There is already a major shortage, and now that many of the States contracts with municipalities have ended as of 1 October, the shortage of childcare is only increasing.
According to Secretary of State Eric van der Burg, the problems are serious “Because a lot of crisis shelters are now canceled while we have agreed with the safety regions: lets keep those places and also see if we can double the number. But in net terms, we are now ending up with a drop of 1250 shelters.”
Arrangements have been made for around 11,000 shelters in the Netherlands. A declining number can never be the intention, says Van der Burg. According to him, municipalities are again delivering insufficient supplies “If I fulfill my part of the agreements, I can also ask the municipalities if they want to keep to their part of the agreements.”
The municipality of Rotterdam has renewed the contract with the State, but is sticking to its own agreements in the college agreement: do not receive more than 500 asylum seekers. That is little compared to the more than 3000 asylum seekers that Amsterdam receives.
Rotterdam alderman Faouzi Achbar (Denk) believes that his city is receiving sufficient refugees. For example, in addition to asylum seekers, more than 2000 Ukrainians and 1000 homes for status holders each year. “We offer shelter to 4,000 refugees in Rotterdam,” says Achbar. If each municipality houses relatively many status holders, the “prop” in the asylum shelter disappears and the shortages are resolved, says Rotterdam.
Slow motion accident
Amsterdam alderman Rutger Groot Wassink (GroenLinks), who speaks on behalf of the Association of Dutch Municipalities, sees the shortage of shelters as an “accident in slow motion”. He calls the unfair distribution between municipalities unsustainable. He wants to be able to shift between different forms of care. “Some municipalities need to do more about first care, others have more homes for status holders.”
The agreements that the VNG and the State have made must be able to be settled, says Groot Wassink. While Amsterdam offers a lot of emergency shelter, another municipality has more homes for status holders. “If we can do that with other municipalities, well be out quickly.”
The Secretary of State is still working on a law that regulates how all municipalities make a fair and proportionate contribution. With this law, municipalities can be forced to provide shelter in the future. Because a large number of municipalities are not cooperating to solve the asylum crisis.
The law was due to be ready before October 1, but has been delayed. Van der Burg previously said that the law should take effect on 1 January 2023.