Emergency accommodation for asylum seekers on terrain Radboud University

Starting in the final weeks of October until at least the end of 2022 the municipality of Nijmegen will accommodate 200 to 250 asylum seekers in a former riding school in Brakkenstein on the terrain of Radboud University. The Dutch government has urged safety regions (veiligheidsregio’s) to provide additional emergency crisis accomodation places. There is not enough space at the registration center in Ter Apel to accommodate people applying for asylum in the Netherlands. Nijmegen is responding to that call and setting up accomodation as soon as possible.

The location where the municipality of Nijmegen is preparing the accomodation is a former riding school building on the d'Almarasweg, adjacent to the railroad, near the Hortus. Because the need in Ter Apel is high, the stables building will be furnished as soon as possible with a number of heated sleeping quarters each providing room for four people. There will also be a heated pavilion with a number of sleeping quarters, accommodating four people per space. These will be supplemented with sanitary facilities and a meeting area. In total, this will create accommodations for about 200 to 250 people. Currently, the municipality is working hard to get the staffing in place. The start-up of daycare activities by Bindkracht10 and the municipal sports company will follow. 
The municipality has the daily management at the shelter and provides 24-hour supervision. The shelter will be open at least until the end of this year. If necessary, the location may stay open longer.

The shelter is expected to be ready for occupancy in the final weeks of October. Before the shelter is put into operation, the municipality will hold an information meeting and a tour for local residents on October 23.

Emergency shelter

Emergency shelters are temporary, spartan shelters, such as recently in the Jan Massinkhal where both people from Ukraine, and people of other origins applying for asylum from Ter Apel, stayed briefly. 

Who are staying here?

Currently, Ter Apel is mostly fielding asylum requests for men traveling by themselves. They are arriving from various countries. People for whom it is clear in advance that they have no chance of asylum, for example because of a safe country of origin, will not stay here. 

Mayor Bruls: "The government has asked us to provide emergency crisis shelter as a matter of urgency. Nijmegen does not want to leave these people out in the cold in Ter Apel, especially now that autumn has begun. It does mean that we barely have time to organize this shelter and have to get to work quickly. In the past, residents of Brakkenstein and all of Nijmegen have shown that when shelters are acutely needed, people in need are welcome here and that they want to help them. Once again, I’m hoping for that understanding and support. The municipality and its partners will do everything in their power to make sure that this time too, for both the people who are going to stay here and for the neighborhood around them, this goes well and peacefully."

Other reception locations in Nijmegen and region

The number of places in the existing AZC on Dommer van Poldersveldtweg is also currently being expanded. There will be an additional temporary AZC on Stieltjesstraat. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers, or COA for short) provides the reception there. There are also several municipal emergency reception locations for people from Ukraine. 

Not just Nijmegen will be providing extra reception places for asylum seekers from Ter Apel. Other municipalities in the Gelderland-Zuid safety region, such as Culemborg and Zaltbommel, are doing the same. Nijmegen has indicated within the safety region that it wants to make extra efforts for, among other things, crisis emergency shelter, but sees the reception of refugees and asylum seekers and the housing of status holders as a joint regional task. Nijmegen therefore expects the other municipalities to take on another part of the joint task, such as additional housing for status holders. 

This is a  translation of a press release from the city of Nijmegen.