“La voix des sans-papiers” – Etterbeek’s mayor turns housing request down for health and safety reasons
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Etterbeek’s mayor, Vincent de Wolf (MR), has refused to allow around 80 unregistered people with children to continue to live an empty building. The request was refused for health and safety reasons, it was revealed late on Friday. When he had a meeting with members of the group, he offered them a safe building the occupants could be housed in from this evening. He said they could stay there for a few days.
A Communal services report told the mayor the building, which is due to be demolished, did not meet fire safety requirements. There are also no sanitation facilities to allow for basic hygiene.
Vincent De Wolf said he could not allow people to continue to live there based on this report. He said as mayor, he was responsible for public hygiene and health and safety everywhere. He said that, unless they left voluntarily, he would get a police warrant for an evacuation.
As he didn’t want to put the people involved in a worse situation, Vincent De Wolf told their representatives they could be rehoused in the Communal Sports Centre from this evening. They could stay there for a few days, as it has sufficient facilities. Buses have been found to transport them.
The occupants have decided to hold a general assembly to discuss the commune’s offer.