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Asylum Seeker Shelter to be Set Up?

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Asylum Seeker Shelter to be Set Up?

Týr Icelandic Coast Guard ship arrives in Sicily with refugees

Refugees on an Icelandic Coast Guard vessel in Sicily. Photo: Icelandic Coast Guard.

Negotiations are underway between the Directorate of Immigration and the Town of Kópavogur, located in the capital area, to set up a shelter for asylum seekers, RÚV reports. Applications for asylum in Iceland are already more than 260, and housing is badly needed for asylum seekers.

At a town council meeting in Kópavogur today, the matter was discussed and the need to be prepared in case more refugees arrive than the public service system can handle.

Kristín Völundardóttir, head of the Directorate reports that an agreement with the City of Reykjavík, Hafnarfjörður and Reykjanesbær has guaranteed 175 beds for asylum seekers. The Directorate itself provides more than 100 beds and negotiations are in process for securing 60 additional ones.

She stresses that if the stream of asylum seekers continues to increase, the Directorate wants to look at other options, such as a center or emergency shelter. For that purpose, a building in Kópavogur is being looked at. The building could be used as is and has room for 90 people, if needed.

That location was chosen partly because the country’s largest police force is in the greater Reykjavík area, and if used, the shelter would require 24-hour police protection.

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