The Ukrainian refugees staying in the emergency village on the Left Bank must look for another home on the private rental market by January 1, 2025. The European Council decided last month that temporary protection for Ukrainian war refugees will end on March 4, 2025. The city of Antwerp then decided to stop collective reception in the emergency village on the Left Bank. There is no concrete closing date yet. The residents are guided in their search by the city, the CAW and Digidak.
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On March 4, 2022, ten days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European member states unanimously decided to activate the directive on temporary protection. As a result, Ukrainians did not have to go through the traditional asylum procedure and were immediately given the right of residence and access to housing, social assistance, health care, the labor market and education. The statute was previously automatically extended by one year until March 4, 2024.
The European Council recently decided to extend that period until March 4, 2025. As a result of that decision, the city will stop collective shelter in the emergency village on the Left Bank.
The 675 residents of the emergency village, predominantly women with children, have now received a notice of termination, with the message that they must find a new home by January 1, 2025. They are guided in this by the Center for General Welfare (CAW) and Digidak, an organization that helps refugees with their digital questions.
“January 1, 2025 is a target date,” explains Johan Vermant, spokesperson for Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA). “The emergency village has always been a temporary shelter. But due to the decision of the European Council, we have decided to send that notice of termination now, so that people have more than a year to find a new home on the private rental market.”
There is no definitive closing date for the emergency village yet, because the war in Ukraine is still raging. “A lot can still happen between now and 2025,” says Vermant.