100 beds found for young refugees, but 1,700 are needed

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands’ 344 local authorities have come up with just 100 beds for young asylum seekers who arrived in the country without parents, following an appeal in October for 1,700.

Without more beds, there is a ‘real risk’ that some youngsters may end up sleeping on the streets, junior justice minister Eric van der Burg warned at the time. He made the appeal for more beds following a court ruling which said the problems with housing young refugees should be solved immediately.

Refugee settlement agency COA told news website Nu.nl that around 100 beds had now been found and 200 would be added in the coming weeks. ‘But we need more, and we hope more councils will cooperate,’ the spokesman said.

Research published by RTL Nieuws in September showed that more than half of Dutch local councils have not provided any housing for refugees in the past 10 years. Richer council areas and Bible belt towns and villages are far less likely to have housed a refugee centre.

Meanwhile the cabinet is meeting on Friday in an effort to solve the stalemate over Van der Berg’s plans to force local authorities to provide at least temporary accommodation for refugees because of the shortage of beds.

The COA is currently providing accommodation for nearly 49,000 refugees, of whom 17,500 have official residency permits but cannot move into regular housing because of the nationwide shortage of homes.

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