Just how bad is the “Refugee” problem? Well in at least one country, the government is being forced to convert hotels into refugee housing. That’s right, the same hotels that have provided temporary shelter to summer’s flood of college students, tourists and even business travelers wanting to get a taste of the old France are about to loose an estimated 1000 of their favorite hotels thanks to the refugee problems facing the country.
Things have gotten so bad that tens of thousands of Muslim refugees are sleeping in the streets again, setting up squalid squatters camps wherever they chose. The once spotless streets of Paris have in some areas become not much better than open sewers with trash, bedding, feces and garbage as added decorations.
Authorities have conducted raids on many of these camp and forced the inhabitants into government provided resettlement centers. But the first chance they get, the refugees flee the camps in favor of the streets of Paris and other surrounding cities. Now, officials have come up with a new plan to appease the intruders.
They are converting former low-cost hotels around the country into temporary housing for asylum seekers as the strain on infrastructure begins to show. With an estimated, no one is really sure how many there are, 86,000 applications for asylum recorded in France during 2016, and existing reception centers having only 40,000 places, the lack of available accommodation has become an urgent matter.
A case in point is the closure last October of the notorious ‘Calais Jungle’, the makeshift camp site in the port town of Calais where about 8,000 people from Africa and the Middle East gathered while attempting to get to the UK, has exacerbated the situation according to immigration officials. It is hoped that the lasted low-cost housing scheme are implementing will alleviate the strain on the system.
The plan has been named “Prahda” (Program for reception and accommodation of asylum seekers), and is being overseen by the housing ministry. The Ministry informed local authorities they needed to provide at least 5,351 emergency housing units prior to September 2016, a month before the Calais Jungle was closed. Now, no one is sure just how many units are needed, but the all agree it is much more.
According to L’Express newspaper, 62 low cost hotels were purchased by the French government earlier this year to provide housing for “vulnerable” people. The report says authorities believe it will cost 5,000 euros (about $5,600) to convert each room to fit the need. But not everyone is happy about the plan or the cost involved.
In fact, the overall idea has been met with skepticism by some. Stéphane Dupont-Ferrier, mayor of Fontanile, where some asylum seekers would be housed, told L’Express: “Ninety-six people is an enormous number for our town of 2,800 inhabitants. It risks bringing trafficking and prostitution”. In addition, the Socialist mayor of Arnage, Thierry Cozic, commented that he is not against the centers but said that “contrary to common sense” a center will be built near a tourist complex, something that is sure to hurt his cities tourist industry.
Currently it is believed that up to 600 immigrants are currently living on the Calais streets, while other larger cities have thousands living in makeshift camps. There are currently no estimates as to what the end cost to the citizens of France will be, other than the loss of their culture to the Muslim Refugees.