Fedasil, the Belgian institution responsible for the reception of asylum seekers, has signed a €12.5 million lease for a building to be turned into a refugee reception centre, but a court ruling forbids the federal institution to move forward.
Fedasil is at risk of losing €12.5 million over a reception centre in Molenbeek, as the Sebrechts centre in Molenbeek can no longer function as a refugee reception centre, Bruzz reports. The reason is a court ruling following Molenbeek’s mayor Catherine Moureaux argument that there is no room for a new centre for hundreds of asylum seekers due to the socio-economic reality of Molenbeek.
The centre was originally intended as a temporary transit centre for refugees from Ukraine, but is currently used as a reception centre for refugees from all different kinds of backgrounds.
- Eight times as many asylum seekers from Burundi to Belgium
- Flow of Ukrainian refugees to Belgium reaches sustainable levels
- Fedasil receives six convictions a day for failing to shelter asylum seekers
The court ruled that the Fedasil centre in the Avenue François Sebrechts must be administratively changed within 40 days, which is deemed impossible. The centre, which is currently hosting around 400 refugees, will have to close its doors in roughly four weeks.
A hefty price tag
The closure of the centre comes at a price of €12.5 million, as a permanent 11-year-long lease was signed with the real estate fund Cofinimmo. The annual rent of the building amounts to €1,141,000.
According to the judge’s ruling, Fedasil will remain the owner of the building until 2032, but the institution cannot set up a refugee reception centre. The agency is currently investigating “what action we can give to the verdict”.