On September 23, 2021, the municipality received a request from COA to use the vacant prison, owned by the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (RVB), for the emergency accommodation of status holders and asylum seekers. Before the Zoetermeer Municipal Executive entered into discussions about the reception location with COA, the wishes and concerns of the city council were inventoried. Residents and business owners were also asked to submit their questions and concerns to the college during a meeting on October 7, 2021. These starting points were included in the discussions with COA.

How was the meeting on emergency shelter on Oct. 7, 2021?

Over 160 (future) residents and business owners from the area around the vacant prison in Zoetermeer came to Dekker on Thursday, October 7, 2021, for the meeting about the emergency shelter. The purpose of the meeting was to offer a listening ear and to collect as many reactions, questions and possible concerns as possible. The atmosphere was convivial and the room was set up with seating so that everyone could easily participate. The mayor, aldermen and council members joined in to hear the concerns of local residents. COA employees walked from table to table answering questions. On the table were pens and a questionnaire with questions that have already been answered. Responses, questions and comments could be written on the paper tablecloth. This was well used.

What do local residents/entrepreneurs think?

The residents and business owners present reacted quite positively, as long as there is clarity from the municipality and there are answers to the questions and concerns. Local residents are also willing to help think about initiatives they themselves can take to help. Many similar questions were asked at the tables about safety in the area (the tunnel came up a lot) and people's daytime activities. What do residents do during the day? And how do we prevent young people from gathering around places where it is not desirable? Local residents generally think 750 people is way too many. And the composition of the group matters, preferably mixed and not just single men. There was little confidence that a year is really going to be a year.

Report of meeting Oct. 7, 2021

At the bottom of the documents you will find the report of the meeting with the reactions and questions that were on the tablecloths. The municipality will take all responses into account in the follow-up discussions with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the State Property Administration (RVB).

Meeting and viewing

On December 22, 2021, about 50 people participated in the online meeting about the emergency shelter in the vacant prison in Zoetermeer. In addition to interested residents and entrepreneurs, a number of council members and people from the press were present to listen in. The purpose of the meeting was to explain and discuss the agreements the municipality has made with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) about the emergency shelter. The report of this meeting was shared via email with the participants of this meeting.

Administrative Agreement

The municipality of Zoetermeer agreed to the request of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) to make a temporary reception location for status holders and asylum seekers in the vacant prison at Rokkeveenseweg 50. The arrangements for this temporary emergency reception are laid down in a management agreement.

Extension of temporary shelter

The temporary shelter was initially for 1 year. Before the end of the first year, COA asked the municipality of Zoetermeer for an extension of the location. This was approved by the municipality for a period of 2 years, until February 2025. The number of reception places was also increased, from 500 to 630 places.