Hesse: Refugee accommodation: FDP demands more money

The situation in many communities in the facilities for accommodating refugees is tense.

Hesse: Refugee accommodation: FDP demands more money

The situation in many communities in the facilities for accommodating refugees is tense. The opposition in the state parliament sees the state as having a duty.

Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - According to demands from the opposition in the state parliament, Hesse's municipalities urgently need more financial support from the state to accommodate refugees. Many cities and communities are already at the breaking point, said the socio-political spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group Yanki Pürsün on Thursday in Wiesbaden. He called on the country to set up a refugee summit and to initiate help for the municipalities. "In view of the high number of people seeking protection who come to us, support for the cities and communities by the state is now required," said Pürsün.

The country should significantly expand the capacities of its reception facilities as quickly as possible and thus reduce allocations to the municipalities over the next few months, he demanded. As in Bavaria, Hesse must pre-finance the accommodation costs for the refugees and increase the lump sum for the municipalities. "Currently, the municipalities are bearing the main burden. But they need a lead time to prepare for admission and to ensure decent accommodation," Pürsün argued. It is unacceptable that tents have to be set up again in some communities.

Social Affairs Minister Kai Klose (Greens) replied that taking in refugees is a joint task at all levels of government, and that the state is facing up to this task. "Refugees should be housed safely and well with us. That's why we support the municipalities in terms of capacity, financially and organizationally," he explained.

The capacities of the state's initial reception facilities have been increased from around 5,300 places (as of November 1, 2021) to currently almost 8,600 places. Klose also emphasized: "The initial reception facilities are not designed for permanent residence." They created a time buffer before the actual accommodation in the municipalities.

The state supports the municipalities with lump sums that were mutually agreed two years ago, the minister explained. In addition, the federal government provided money. "The state government will discuss the distribution of these funds with the municipal umbrella organizations," explained Klose. He announced a coordination center for refugee accommodation in the state government. There, the municipalities would get advice, for example on questions about the short-term establishment of community facilities.

The socio-political spokeswoman for the left-wing faction, Petra Heimer, said that the districts and municipalities did not feel that they were being taken seriously and that they were being left alone by the state in their tasks. "As long as there is misery, war and persecution, people will come to us," she said. "It is therefore necessary to take precautions in order to accommodate them in a humane manner and to enable them to really participate in this society."

The SPD MP Nadine Gersberg warned that people become mentally or physically ill if they live together in too small a space for too long. There is also growing displeasure among the population when sports or cultural activities are canceled for too long because the rooms are needed to accommodate refugees. The responsibility for taking in refugees should not lie solely with the municipalities - the state must also take care of it. A plan is needed as to how people could move into their own apartment no later than a year after their arrival.

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