Refugee villages for Ukrainians? It’s an option, says Dutch government

The Dutch government is contemplating building special villages for Ukrainian refugees.

Nearly four million Ukrainians have already fled their country following the Russian invasion. The Netherlands has so far welcomed over 12,000 of them — and more will come.

The lowlands could see tens, potentially hundreds, of thousands of refugees from Ukraine in the coming weeks, reports RTL Nieuws. If the war doesn’t end, they might stay here for years to come.

However, we all know that the Netherlands is struggling with an ongoing housing shortage. Constructing entirely new villages could therefore be a possible solution to manage the influx of Ukrainian refugees.

Not in favour

The Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk) doesn’t see this as a good solution. Separating Ukrainians from everyone else will lower their chances of learning the language, finding work, and fully integrating into Dutch society.

“We see more potential in a mixed solution, where you accommodate different groups together. That you build places where also other refugees groups and Dutch people can live together,” says the Council.

15,000 spots for refugees in old government buildings

In the meantime, the cabinet is making 15,000 spots available for Ukrainian and other refugees in empty government buildings, reports the NOS. These are mainly offices but also, for example, an empty prison.

The government is also discussing other ways to make space for refugees. At the moment, Dutch municipalities can accommodate 28,000 of them. This number is supposed to go up to 50,000.

What do you think of building villages for Ukrainian refugees? Let us know in the comments!

Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.

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