50,000 shelter spots for Ukrainians needed by May: mayors
Municipalities will need 50,000 shelter spots by the beginning of May if the influx of Ukrainians continues at the current pace. They will be able to achieve this number so that everyone has a roof over their heads, said chairman Hubert Bruls of the Security Council on Monday evening after the meeting of the mayors that chair the 25 security regions.
According to him, many municipalities are still negotiating hundreds or even thousands of places. The big task, Bruls said, is to look for even more places afterward. "We have already arranged the easy reception places," said the mayor of Nijmegen. He did not include thousands of privately-arranged beds in the figures.
Each security region currently has the same assignment - to arrange at least 2,000 beds. Many regions are already well above this. The mayors will switch to customization in the next step, and "then the numbers can diverge." As an example, Bruls mentioned offering shelter on a cruise ship, which cannot be moored in every municipality.
The mayors would like to know from the Cabinet how much financing they will receive for this in the longer term. "Can we rent or even buy properties for one or two years? We can use those buildings again at a later time for house hunters. As long as municipalities don't have that certainty, they will not agree to rent or buy them," said Bruls.
Every municipality that now advances money will receive it back from the government, said Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, who also attended the meeting. According to her, it is difficult to estimate how many places will be needed. "We have to be prepared for any scenario."
Reporting by ANP.