A Dutch municipality covered a hotel bill totaling nearly $20,000 (18,000 euros) for a family of six seeking asylum from troubles they had encountered in England, according to reports.
The family, described as ‘Dutch-Somali’ by local media, had lived for a time in the Netherlands, but moved to Birmingham, England, where the father claims he inadvertently became entangled in gang conflict and was forced to flee back to the Netherlands.
After being denied housing assistance by multiple municipalities, the family returned to their previous home of Almere, where they were also turned down.
“The family filed a lawsuit against the municipality of Almere to get a home of their own,” Omroep Flevoland reported in August. “The municipality refused to offer this because there was no urgency. According to the municipality, the family left the UK unprepared and must be able to arrange a home themselves.”
“But the judge ruled [in August] that the situation is indeed urgent. The four very young and vulnerable children in the family need shelter. The municipality of Almere must give them that.”
The family was housed in a hotel for nearly four months at a cost of roughly 163 euros per night, until a judge ruled the family was capable of seeking housing on their own.
“When the family lived in the United Kingdom, they were self-reliant,” a Central Netherlands court ruled. “Both parents had a (paid) job and they did not use any assistance agencies in the United Kingdom.”
Upon an investigation by Dutch anti-mass migration party PVV, Almere officials revealed the nearly 18,000 euro bill, claiming there is no possibility of recovering any of the funds. The PVV has rejected the claim, and continues to probe the matter.
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