Millions spent as councils struggle to house refugees

The issue will be brought to the attention of the housing minister Carsten Hansen

June 25th, 2014 3:25 pm| by admin

The vast majority of Denmark’s councils are being forced to think outside the box when it comes to housing the rising number of refugees entering the country.

According to the local council organisation KL, 80 percent of councils have difficulty finding permanent housing for incoming refugees.

“It’s a challenge because more and more refugees are coming because of conflicts such as in Syria, and that is difficult for the councils,” Jacob Bundgaard, the head of KL’s labour market board and mayor of Aarhus, told DR Nyheder.

“It’s a task that we must undertake together so that the people who have fled can have decent conditions.”

READ MORE: Denmark avoiding Muslim refugees

Integration problem
One of the councils experiencing housing issues is Tårnby near Copenhagen, which has been forced to place 14 refugees in huts on camping grounds and in hotels until they can find a place for them to live.

Housing the 14 refugees in this manner costs the council 2.1 million kroner a year, an average of 150,000 kroner per refugee. It also stifles their integration into Denmark, experts maintain.

Roskilde Council experiences the same problems and has had to temporarily house refugees in a closed psychiatric nursing centre, which the council has refurbished and renovated.

Bundgaard said that he would bring the issue to the attention of the housing minister Carsten Hansen in the near future so that the government and the councils can find a solution to the problem.

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