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Swedish offices marketed as 'asylum accommodation'

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Swedish offices marketed as 'asylum accommodation'
File photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT
14:41 CEST+02:00
Office and housing modules have recently sprung up for sale on the internet being marketed as ‘potential asylum accommodation'. The trend has been condemned as ‘outrageous' and ‘frivolous'.

The real estate is being offered for up to 100,000 kronor ($12,000) on sites like blocket.se, using phrasing such as “facilitates the process of starting asylum accommodation if desired” as a selling point, according to a report in Svenska Dagbladet.

The marketing of this kind of accommodation by aiming it at refugees is a sign of refugees being seen as a business opportunity - when they should be treated seriously and with foresight, says Christina Höj Larsen, immigration policy spokesperson with the Left Party.

“This is both outrageous and frivolous. People forced to flee their homes should not become a market for opportunists. They should be received with seriousness and long-term aims,” Larsen told Svenska Dagbladet.

“The state should be responsible for for the procurement of things like modular homes and municipalities should be hiring facilities to the Migration Agency [Migrationsverket],” Larsen continued.

“A state-driven solution such as this would be fantastic. At the moment, anyone can wheel and deal, which is going to be expensive and affect quality in the long term.”

But Liberal MP Emma Carlsson Löfdahl says that all resources that can help ease the accommodation problem must be used.

“When you own certain kinds of properties it is not wrong to talk about what they can be used for,” Carlsson told Svenska Dagbladet.

“Maybe some people do want to profit from the refugee crisis, but there are also those that want to help. We should help the serious ones in order to solve the current housing crisis. At the same time, it is the Migration Agency's responsibility to control contracts and authorization,” said Carlsson.

The Inspectorate for Health and Care (Inspektionen för vård och omsorg, Ivo), points out that asylum accommodation can not be run without permission.

“You can certainly sell a property saying that it can be used as asylum accommodation, but this does not mean that the buyer can open it without authorization,” Cecilie Holm of Ivo told Svenska Dagbladet.

Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi says that the government has previously given authorization for procurement of accommodation to contracting agencies.

“It is clear to everyone that we need to have proper regulatory framework that creates stability and transparency,” said Shekarabi in a written statement to Svenska Dagbladet . “A commission is currently working on this and we await its conclusions.

“The focus of the government and myself is that there should be order and control in the welfare sector. Tax money should be spent on what it is intended for, nothing else. That is the Swedish model.”
 

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