A hotel in the French commune of Forbach that was used to house asylum seekers has become so damaged that it is no longer usable as a hotel.
The former Ibis Hotel was initially requisitioned by the French government to house asylum seekers and their families in 2017. Only in the last week has the government ended the requisition and made the asylum seekers leave.
The damage to the hotel has been extensive, according to André Heintz, head of the Heintz Real Estate and Hotels Group that owns the property. Mr Heintz said it could cost as much as €1.7 million (£1.54m/$2.01m) to renovate the building, Le Républicain Lorrain reports.
“It is a project that would last 18 to 24 months. In all this, we have been through nothing but suffering. The state commandeered our property when the hotel industry was doing well and returned it to us in the midst of the Covid crisis in a dismal state,” Heintz said.
Farage Investigates: Brexit Leader Uncovers Hotel Refusing Brits While Housing 147 Migrants https://t.co/ZOW9PPA60x
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The residents of the neighbourhood are also reportedly relieved that the asylum seekers are leaving the area. Many reported excessive noise coming from the building and sanitary issues. The building was also infested with cockroaches which affected neighbouring buildings.
“For the past two weeks, we’ve been living in our neighbourhood again,” one local said.
Hotels have often been commissioned by various countries to house asylum seekers in the wake of the 2016 migrant crisis. They are being used today in the UK as the number of migrants arriving across the English Channel has surged in recent weeks.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage investigated once such hotel in Bromsgrove in the West Midlands last month. Farage found that not only was the hotel housing 147 migrants but it was refusing to take bookings from UK residents looking to take a holiday in the area.