Empty V&D stores may house asylum seekers

Empty buildings of bankrupt retailer V&D and other empty stores may be used to house asylum seekers should the need arise. The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA is seriously considering the possibility, Dutch newspaper AD reports.

This idea holds both advantages and disadvantages. Unlike old nursing homes, V&D buildings are not equipped to accommodate people. "This makes rebuilding relatively expensive", COA spokesperson Caroline van Dullemen said to the newspaper. On the other hand, they offer thousands of square meters of space and are often located in shopping areas where few people live. "That can be an advantage for finding suitable locations."

Housing asylum seekers in empty V&D stores could be a solution for both municipalities and the real estate sector. The dozens of V&D stores in smaller towns at least are likely to remain empty for some time. Many aldermen believe that alternatives for those buildings should be considered.

"The housing of asylum seekers could be a possibility", according to the COA. "If municipalities com to us, we'll investigate it seriously."


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