Severe shortage of space for asylum seekers expected next year

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The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers in the Netherlands expects a sever shortage in space for asylum seekers and refugees in the country next year. The necessary 12,500 additional emergency shelter spaces failed to be realized before January 1st, which means that there will still be a need for crisis shelters next year, a spokesperson for the COA said to Trouw on Monday.

According to spokesperson Jan-Willem Anholts, the intention was that asylum seekers would not need to live in temporary shelters next year. For that an additional 12,500 beds were needed. Only 7,300 spaces were actually realized since the end of October.

The second deadline is somewhat further away - February 1st - but by then there need to be some 30 thousand extra long-term shelter places, divided equally among the municipalities. The COA thinks that this deadline may also be missed, given that there is very little progress in new plans for asylum centers. The number is the same as a few months ago.

The COA spokesperson does not blame the municipalities for not reaching the deadline. "I know that they worked very hard in the background. Just look at this past year. We went from 30 locations to 80. That's huge."