A special twist for the asylum seekers center in Overloon. The municipality of Land van Cuijk wants to receive 150 status holders on the site at an accelerated pace. Remarkable: The asylum seekers’ center was due to close its doors on Thursday because residents were done with the nuisance of some asylum seekers.
Due to the continuous flow of refugees and the overcrowded reception places, the municipality of Land van Cuijk wants to receive 150 refugees with a status now instead of in a year’s time as had been agreed. It concerns people who are allowed to stay here and who would actually come to live in the municipality next year.
‘One third of asylum seekers’ centers are occupied by people with a residence permit’
With this, the municipality wants to take the pressure off the overflowing asylum seekers’ centres. About thirty percent of the places in regular asylum reception are occupied by people who already have a permit and are allowed to stay in the Netherlands.
Last year, the municipal council of the former Boxmeer decided that the asylum seekers’ center had to close because of the nuisance caused by asylum seekers from safe countries. The contract with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) will end on Thursday and the asylum seekers’ center will close in its current form. As a result, COA recently had to look for a new place to sleep for five hundred asylum seekers.
Shifting with refugees
So now the reception center will remain open, but in a different form: not under the wing of COA, but under that of the municipality. Land van Cuijk was already planning to receive 250 war refugees from Ukraine in the complex. This means that there will now be a temporary addition of 150 foreign nationals with a residence permit. Theoretically, they could already live at the asylum seekers’ center in Overloon.
According to the municipality, 150 status holders come from reception centers all over the country. The intention is that the status holders will move on to a house within the municipality within a year and a half.
COA busy moving
COA spokesperson Timo Waarsenburg says he is satisfied with the action taken by the municipality. “We are happy with any bed that we manage to save in this time.” On balance, the announced closure of the asylum seekers’ center and the reception of status holders now cost the reception organization 350 beds. Last year, five hundred asylum seekers still lived at the asylum seekers’ center, now the municipality is taking back 150 status holders.
In the meantime, the COA is still busy housing the asylum seekers who are not allowed to stay at the asylum seekers’ center. Last week there were still about 300 residents. According to the COA, there are now ‘considerably fewer’, but the spokesperson cannot give exact numbers. This group is split up and spread over the various reception locations in Brabant. The question is whether that will be possible before Thursday evening.