Justice Min. asks municipalities to shelter 800 asylum seekers
Caretaker Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security asked mayors to set up 800 reception places for asylum seekers quickly. Another 1,500 places are expected to be needed in the coming weeks. He made this request because the need is high in the asylum chain, his Ministry said.
Grapperhaus appealed to the Security Council, which consists of the mayors that head the Netherlands' 25 security region. According to the Ministry, the problem is that many of the reception locations that now house Afghan evacuees are only available for a short period. There is a need for places where they can stay for longer. In particular, reception places for minors who come to the Netherlands without family are needed, said the Minister.
Eight hundred reception places are needed "in the short term," and another 1,500 "which can be operational in a few weeks," the Ministry said. The latter category must be available "for as long as possible." The Ministry would not say how the mayors responded to the request. The government is also still searching for 11,000 reception places for people currently in asylum shelters but who qualify for a home.
Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen and chairman of the Security Council, said that the mayors recognize the problems raised by Grapperhaus. "We, therefore, want to help think of a solution and have subsequently made agreements so that 1,500 asylum seekers can be sheltered within two or three weeks," said Bruls. "In this way, we can ensure together that asylum seekers are received humanely."
At the end of August, Minister Kasja Ollongren (Home Affairs) and State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol (Asylum) also appealed to municipalities and provinces to look for reception locations. The asylum chain cannot cope with the relatively large number of asylum seekers.
This is partly because more people are coming to the Netherlands than anticipated because of the situation in Afghanistan. And partly because of the shortage in the housing market. It is difficult to find a home for refugees entitled to one. As a result, they have to stay in shelters for longer.
Although the security regions do not formally play a role in the reception of asylum seekers, the government calls on them because of their solution-oriented approach and knowledge and experience of the municipalities within the security regions. Hubert Bruls, chairman of the Security Council: "The administrators of the Security Council recognize the necessity that the Minister indicated on behalf of the Cabinet regarding the reception of asylum seekers."