Namur wants to become involved in the public effort by temporarily housing asylum seekers in the former fire station in rue des Bourgeois, for a brief period. The station has been unoccupied for three months, the communal college said on Friday. The station can hold 30 people is its current state, and up to 100 if the garage and gym were kitted out, according to Tanguy Auspert, the councillor in charge of the Regional fire department.
“The faces of these women, children and men, filled with fear and anxiety and asking for help, have moved us”, the college said. They unanimously decided to open up the former station, as the fire department has moved to new offices in Jambes. If Fedasil is willing to kit the building out, it could house around 100 people.
“It would be for a year at the most, as the building is for sale. There are currently three or four potential buyers”, says Tanguy Auspert. The Walloon capital thinks it is its duty to show solidarity during this critical time.
If Fedasil agrees, asylum seekers could start moving in in a few weeks. The practicalities and possible improvements needed are yet to be defined by Fedasil and the federal government.