Plans for 5,000 refugee centre beds in doubt: Trouw

Some refugees are living in tents. Photo:

Plans to provide beds for an additional 5,000 asylum seekers are likely to crumble thanks to the government’s collapse, Trouw said on Thursday.

It said 20% of the country’s 342 local authorities were working on providing more beds but that it is unclear if they will now be realised because legislation which would have ensured an even spread nationwide is likely to be put on ice.

VVD MPs said last week they were unlikely to support the legislation and it will then be deemed controversial, which means it will not be discussed until there is a new government.

Caretaker asylum minister Eric van der Burg, who represents the VVD, has said he hopes the legislation can proceed because it is “desperately needed”.

Last summer, hundreds of people were forced to sleep outdoors at the Ter Apel reception centre in Groningen because of the lack of beds and ministers are forecasting a rise in refugee numbers this year.

Some  31,000 people are currently living in formal refugee centres run by the settlement agency COA. In addition, 16,000 people, including young children, are living in emergency accommodation, such as dormitories set up in sports halls.

Research by RTL Nieuws last 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, the COA figures showed at the time.

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