Tuesday, 20 October 2015 - 11:03
Nieuwegein approves asylum center for 140 people
Nieuwegein approved the opening of an asylum center in the former nursing home Zuilenstein on Monday night. This asylum center will provide a temporary home to up to 140 asylum refugees who have been given a residency permit. Some concerns regarding the safety of residents and integration of refugees were raised during the council meeting on Monday night, according to AD. But the majority of the parties felt that Nieuwegein should do its part in sheltering refugees. The major concern seemed to be what the arrival of the refugees will mean for the waiting lists for social housing. The waiting time in Nieuwegein is currently about eight years. A number of parties in the council demanded guarantees from the mayor and aldermen that these waiting times will not increase even further. Alderman Hans Adriani stated that temporarily accommodating people with a residency permit now will not have an impact on the waiting lists for rented social housing. Despite these reassurances, some parties feel that measures should be taken now to prevent an increase in waiting time for social housing. The D66 wants to speed up housing construction. All parties in the college agreed that agreements should be made with housing corporations and further transformation of offices into homes should be encouraged. Zuilenstein will accommodate refugees with a residency permit for about one year. The building will be demolished in October 2016. This temporary shelter should help relieve the congestion in the COA's asylum centers, where thousands of residency permit holders are waiting for a rental home to become available.