Homelessness warning as reception centres fill up
Bruss’help, the organisation that coordinates emergency support and integration assistance for homeless people in Brussels, has warned of the risk of an increase in street homelessness in the capital. The organisation has written to Brussels prime minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) calling for action.
Because of a lack of reception places, the Brussels region has instructed Bruss’help to urgently relocate asylum seekers and direct them towards temporary shelters until the federal asylum agency, Fedasil, can accommodate them. However, despite the creation of more places in the past month, the system has again reached capacity, the organisation says. This threatens to have an impact on existing aid systems, and Bruss’help is concerned about “the regionalisation of a federal crisis”.
In its letter, Bruss’help asks the minister to open talks with the relevant government departments and three regional organisations: Bel Refugees, the Red Cross and Samusocial. It proposes that “in cooperation with regional actors, a phased response using the available resources should be established and priority given to the referral of asylum seekers to existing regional humanitarian services”.
Grants to house young people
Meanwhile, the federal government has launched a project call to offer homeless young adults decent housing. It was announced by minister for urban policy Caroline Gennez (Vooruit) and minister for fighting poverty Karine Lalieux (PS) on Wednesday.
The call is aimed at 25 public centres for social welfare in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. The government will provide a total of 10 million euros that the centres can use to buy or renovate up to 60 houses, or to buy land for sustainable modular housing.
© PHOTO REUTERS/Yves Herman