This week the number of asylum applications passed the 30,000 mark, and reception centres are rapidly running out of space. Tents and containers are being pressed into use—and more might be needed.
The asylum reception centre in Keuruu, central Finland, only opened this autumn—but it’s already full with some 500 residents. New arrivals will have to stay in tents in the yard.
Rasul Azizan, the Finnish Red Cross official who runs the centre, says that the need for quick solutions is great, and a tent is better than being outside when the temperature dips to twenty degrees below zero.
The number of asylum applications has now hit thirty thousand this year, with Finland on course for a ten-fold increase on the figure for 2014.
That has meant containers and tents in reception centres across the country, and Jenni Korpikari, director of Oulu reception centre says that the 12 containers there are a calmer place to live than the main centre. They house 48 men and include bathrooms and a kitchen.
The Oulu container-village could even see another storey added if the need arises—and it’s quite likely that it will.
Meanwhile as the asylum process continues, there’ll be new housing needs along the way. Current estimates are that around a third of asylum applications will get a positive decision—and then those people need to be moved out and housed elsewhere in Finland within two months at most.