A retirement home in the Swedish capital of Stockholm that is currently awaiting renovations will be turned into apartments for newly-arrived migrants.
Initially, the residents of the building, which has 63 apartments in total, were moved out only temporarily due to expected renovations last winter, leaving it empty.
Delays have meant the work may not start until the Autumn of 2021 — and the owners of the property have decided to rent the apartments to the Stockholm housing authority, who will look to rent the apartments to newly-arrived migrants.
The migrants will rent the apartments on a temporary basis when they first come to Sweden and will supposedly be expected to procure their own accommodation once they are established.
Whether the original elderly residents will ever get to return to the property is not clear.
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Anna Mölgård, the co-ordinator for new arrivals, said: “The need for housing for designated new arrivals according to the Settlement Act really exists. We also have quite a few people already living in Stockholm who are completing their establishment program but have not finished it and have not found their own home yet. They may need to move on when their lease expires.”
While Sweden has seen a reduction in asylum seekers and illegal immigrants due to the travel disruption caused by the Chinese coronavirus, Stockholm still expects at least 800 new migrants — and Swedish authorities may be forced to release those set for deportation as well.
Other areas in Sweden have housed migrants in homes for the elderly in the past. In 2017, for example, the municipality of Ekerö said it would look to house migrants in a retirement home that was not at capacity.
Anders Anagrius, the regional integration manager, said at the time that the move would be a positive experience for both the migrants and the existing elderly residents.
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