The Dutch government is working to secure 'emergency' housing for thousands of migrants under plans which could include renting hotels and cruise ships, according to reports.
Asylum centers in the Netherlands are at 95 percent capacity with between 5,000 - 10,000 migrants awaiting placement in residences, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers says.
After municipalities and provinces were unable or unwilling to make more migrant housing available, officials vowed to implement 'escalation measures' if necessary.
“The asylum centers have been overcrowded for months, and corona outbreaks are difficult to deal with,” NOS reports. “State Secretary for Asylum Broekers-Knol and Minister Ollongren of the Interior warned the municipalities in November that there is a threat of 'escalation measures,’ such as the hiring of hotels and cruise ships.”
“In extreme cases, crisis emergency shelter is also needed, as was the case during the refugee crisis of 2015. Sports halls and exhibition halls were then furnished with beds to prevent people from sleeping in the street.”
There are approximately 500 'asylum seekers' arriving in the Netherlands every week, many of whom are added to a housing waiting list which is already two years behind, according to De Dagelijkse Standaard (DDS).
“Sooner or later this will be punished very hard by citizens,” DDS reports. “We simply cannot get rid of those people and most of the people who currently arrive here are not even really refugees anymore, but purely fortune seekers.”
“If we are going to put them away in expensive hotels and cruise ships, while the influx just continues, then there will be no support left — let alone when you also give them a brand new house while there is already such an enormous demand for housing.”
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