Berlin districts are resisting to provide for even more refugees

by time news

Berlin’s districts are supposed to accommodate even more refugees, in apartments or homes. There is increasing resistance to this, also from the party of Integration Senator Elke Breitenbach (Die Linke). Only last week she had confirmed this intention in the House of Representatives that the districts should take in 100 refugees who have changed their status from the accommodations of the State Office for Refugee Affairs by the end of the year. These are people whose asylum procedure has been completed. Their asylum requests were therefore recognized or they were given a leave of absence. “A hundred people are not rocket science,” said Breitenbach and indicated that this was not the end of it. “In the New Year we will then look further and let more people accommodate.”

Resistance to this comes from Lichtenberg’s mayor Michael Grunst (Die Linke), among others, who is worried about the integration successes. The topic posed considerable problems for all districts, he wrote to the Senator for Integration. “They know that the districts cannot offer their own apartments,” said Grunst in the letter that the Berliner Zeitung has received. Accommodation can therefore only be in vacant Asog accommodations. So-called Asog shelters are emergency quarters according to the General Security and Order Act, which, for example, are assigned to the homeless by the district office.

In these areas, especially in the cold season, there is not only “considerable competition between employees”, according to Grunst. According to the mayor’s assessment, the facilities generally also fall behind in terms of accommodation standards compared to communal accommodation. In most cases there is no social care.

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Michael Grunst: Refugees should move to communal apartments

Even if it is possible to find accommodation in the vicinity of the shared accommodation, the change in each individual case means a break in terms of established social contacts and the familiar environment. “According to local convictions, we as a city are risking both the integration successes of recent years and the social capital of civil society with the relocation initiative that has been started,” writes Michael Grunst. “However, in view of the ongoing immigration processes, we will urgently need the latter in the future as well.”

Therefore, from his point of view, efforts should be directed towards the acquisition of additional accommodation capacities by the state level, for example by reopening former facilities. The mediation of communal living space is, however, “clearly the better alternative”. The Senate should therefore make appropriate contingents available through the supervisory boards of the municipal housing associations.

Falko Liecke: “Complete nonsense in terms of integration policy”

“I don’t think that’s realistic,” says Neukölln’s new social welfare councilor Falko Liecke (CDU). That would exacerbate the housing shortage that already exists, he fears. “We don’t have any apartments and there are great difficulties finding alternative accommodation,” he says. There is increased pressure on the facilities. In fact, according to the porters, the emergency shelters for the homeless are full. Liecke was out on the cold bus on Monday and saw homeless people from all over the world, as he says.

He too sees the capacities of the districts exhausted. This is why they have long been paying high prices to dubious landlords who have now discovered a lucrative business model. According to officials and police officers, this includes members of Arab clans. According to their own information, the districts are not in a position to check the accommodations.

In Liecke’s view, the plan to distribute the refugees across the districts contradicts the “Master Plan Integration and Security”. This was drawn up by Breitenbach’s administration five years ago. It states, among other things, that when a change of accommodation is made, it will be checked in individual cases “whether a change of accommodation is possible, sensible and beneficial to integration”.

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In terms of integration policy, the idea is “complete nonsense,” says Liecke of the relocation plans. At least on this question he agrees with Lichtenberg’s mayor Michael Grunst. “We have children in daycare centers and schools. You are involved in refugee management projects. Now we have to rip them out of there. The delicate plants of integration that we have grown will be kicked to death again. “

Franziska Giffey: “You mustn’t overload the structures.”

However, Liecke draws a different conclusion than the Left Party, to which Grunst belongs: “The only consequence can be that fewer refugees are brought to Berlin.” However, the red-green-red coalitionists agreed on the opposite last week.

A spokeswoman for the State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) points out that the districts are responsible for accommodating refugees who have changed their status. For years the LAF has only provided administrative assistance. Now the country is trying to distribute the responsibility on more shoulders, the spokeswoman said on Thursday. According to her, of the 20,000 or so people who live in LAF accommodations, about 10,000 have changed status. “Up to 100 people per district make up around ten percent,” says the spokeswoman. The LAF continues to provide administrative assistance for the other 90 percent.

Franziska Giffey (SPD), who would like to be elected mayor in December, apparently also has her concerns. On the sidelines of the coalition negotiations to accept particularly vulnerable people from crisis areas within the framework of UN programs, she said: “Berlin has always stood by to help, but also to help in a way that is justifiable for the city. But one must not overload the structures either. Therefore, it must be carefully considered to what extent Berlin can participate here. “

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