Owners of hotel sold to become new asylum seeker housing want to cancel sale
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) has filed summary proceedings against the owner of an Albergen hotel the Cabinet designated as a site for an asylum shelter. The owner is trying to back out of selling the hotel to the COA, claiming the sale was made on incorrect grounds.
The court in Almelo will handle preliminary proceedings in the case on Monday at 1 p.m. A ruling could be handed down later that day.
The purchase agreement stipulated that ownership of Hotel ‘t Elshuis would transfer to the COA on 29 August. Recently, however, the owners sent a letter saying they were canceling the sale because the COA did not clearly tell them in advance that 150 to 300 asylum seekers and refugees would be housed in the building. The COA says it was clear about this from the first contact in April.
"The selling party has indicated that it wants to get rid of the sale," the COA reported on Twitter. "The enormous pressure on COA's capacity means that every placement counts. COA has therefore initiated summary proceedings to proceed with the purchase."
The COA’s main facility for asylum seekers is located in Ter Apel, where 2,000 people can be housed temporarily while their applications are reviewed. However, for weeks the situation in Ter Apel has deteriorated, with hundreds of people forced to sleep either in chairs in waiting rooms, or outside. A tent camp that was set up there was broken down, while many of those sleeping outdoors have to rest on the hard ground without any form of mattress.
The report that COA had bought a hotel in the village of Albergen to accommodate asylum seekers there caused a great deal of unrest in the municipality of Tubbergen, of which Albergen is a part. The purchase was made without the knowledge of the municipality.
The hotel owner and her lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Reporting by ANP