3,500 new spots for asylum seekers needed before 2022
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) said they need 3,500 extra reception places for asylum seekers before the start of next year. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs Kajsa Ollongren and State Secretary of Justice Ankie Brokers-Knol in a letter to parliament., the first 600 spots have to be arranged by December 1.
In addition, 500 places are needed for unaccompanied minors and 100 for asylum seekers from a "safe" country.
The ministers wrote that the pressure on asylum reception is still too high and that a shortage of reception spots must be prevented. Last month, people at the reception location in Ter Apelhad to sleep on chairs or the floor due to the lack of beds. At the time, the Cabinet asked municipalities to provide 1,000 extra reception places. Municipalities set up temporary emergency shelters in various locations.
Over the past few nights, the nights at Ter Apel have been overcrowded again over the Westerwolde municipality. The shelter has space for around 275 asylum seekers. Since Saturday, there were between 70 to 140 people too many every night. It was not known whether asylum seekers had to sleep on campy bds or chairs again.
A significant issue is the acute housing shortage in the Netherlands. Half of the 11,000 permit status holders in the Netherlands have been waiting for housing longer than the intended 14 weeks.
Ollongren and Broekers-Knol pointed to "creative solutions," such as lodging arrangements with host families.
Reporting by ANP.