With asylum applications in Germany double the 2014 figure in just the first six months of 2015, the race to find shelter for all the immigrant flood is driving a boom in demand for temporary homes.
Germany is now the single greatest importer of human beings in Europe, and has been scrabbling over the past year to accommodate the great quantities of people travelling to the generous nation to make new lives for themselves. Almost all of the free pre-existing buildings have already been used, with university students being turfed out of their accomodation to make way for migrants, sports facilities filled with beds, former police stations and barracks being turned over, and even barracks rooms at former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald.
Tent cities followed, with city parks being unexpectedly turned into asylum camps overnight. Even that has its limit, for as Breitbart London reported in July, the country is even running out of tents for the new immigrant population.
In the local communities where these tent cities were pitched, the promise was made they would only be temporary measures before the migrants within were moved on, yet the time has come to make them more permanent. Much more comfortable, hygienic, and expensive than tents are converted shipping containers – and the European industry centred around their construction is experiencing unprecedented growth.
Euronews reports the comments of the manager of a French-owned container house factory in the Czech republic, one of the largest in Europe, which gives some context to the scale of housing needed for the hundreds of thousands of new arrivals in 2015. He remarked: “Our annual production capability is 75-thousand square metres of space. The city of Hamburg alone needs or had planned until the end of the year to open refugee housing and living quarters with a space of 60-thousand square metres”.
Austria-based Containex, Europe’s largest manufacturer of container houses reported this week that as well as Germany, demand had also spiked in France and Switzerland.
Although container parks erected for the sole use of immigrants could theoretically be placed anywhere, in practice they are being sited upon former tent camps, which tend to be inside towns and cities, where they can take advantage of local infrastructure. The sudden imposition of large communities of outsiders who may be unfamiliar with western social norms, laws, and languages has caused friction across Europe in recent months. This has been especially pronounced in communities where migrants receive free accommodation and food while natives have to pay for themselves.
Breitbart London has reported at length on situations recently where tensions over the essentially undemocratic process of locating migrant communities, and the generous benefits doled out to them has boiled over. Residents in Germany have been proactive in burning down buildings being fitted out to receive immigrants, in the hope they will be housed elsewhere instead. In Italy, owner-occupiers furious to find neighbouring flats in their block had been taken over the the government and fitted out with new furniture and flat-screen televisions for immigrants stripped them bare and had a bonfire, complaining they had taken out mortgages to have what the state was giving away to foreigners.