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75 prefab homes planned for Ukrainian refugees around Brussels

09:32 08/12/2022

Construction of 75 prefabricated homes around Brussels to house Ukrainian refugees is under way, with the first 12 houses already complete.

These modular emergency shelters are being built by the Brussels-Capital Region Housing Authority (SRLB), which announced the completion of the first batch this week.

“We are proud to do our bit for these people affected by the war,” said Yves Lemmens, managing director of the SLRB.

“I would also like to point out that the SLRB also shows its solidarity with other refugees through the actions it carries out on various sites it owns.”

These sites are located in various Brussels municipalities, and include the Tritomas site in Watermael-Boitsfort, owned by the Logis-Floréal social housing organisation.

“The primary mission of the social housing authority is to enable people who are experiencing difficulties to find decent housing but also to be able to take part in the life of the neighbourhood,” said Daphné Godfirnon, managing director of Logis-Floréal.

“We hope that the families who will be accommodated on the two Logis-Floréal sites will find a living environment that will allow them to get through this ordeal with greater serenity. Our desire is to work with the various partners to provide them with the best possible support.”

With 12 homes already finished, the remaining 63 are scheduled for completion by the end of March 2023 and will be built on other sites in Molenbeek, Schaerbeek and Watermael-Boitsfort.

The homes are single-family dwellings with one to three bedrooms.

The region says it opted for a multi-site solution in order to avoid generating too much density in one place, and to facilitate the process of integrating families into existing neighbourhoods.

“These new modular accommodations are only a small part of the solutions put in place by the region, but will contribute to achieving the dignified reception targets set by the government,” reads the press release.

“Most of the 9,500 Ukrainians currently staying in the Brussels region are accommodated in private homes or in existing buildings, such as empty offices or hotels, which have been fitted out to provide temporary but dignified accommodation.”

Personalised support will be available at each site, thanks to the coordination of multiple non-profits operating in Brussels that include Bruss'Help, Communa, New Samu and BXL Refugees (Plateforme Citoyenne).

The accommodations are intended to be temporary, with the families who reside there eventually integrating into the traditional housing market should they choose to.

When no longer needed by Ukrainian refugees, the modules can be easily converted into temporary accommodations for social housing tenants in the event of major renovation work being carried out in their building.

Photo: A Stand with Ukraine rally in Brussels in March 2022

Written by Helen Lyons