Expatica news

20 homeless living in a hotel

16 February 2007

BRUSSELS – 20 homeless people who previously squatted in a building owned by the Scientology church on 103 Boulevard de Waterloo were presented on Thursday with their new “residence”. They now live in the back of a hotel on Rue Royal in Saint-Josse.

The squatters, supported by various housing associations, are still looking for a long-term solution to their lack of housing but are now squatting in their new “residence”. The owner of the hotel, Yavas Mesut, agreed to host the 20 homeless people until a gym operation permit is granted and the back room is transformed.

Father Jacques Van Der Biest who has supported the homeless in their struggle to find housing reminded the authorities that there are over 20,000 unoccupied appartments in Brussels.

“We are not against private property” said the priest, “but we think that rights to property can be limited in time and space”. The mayor of Saint-Josse, Jean Demannez, said that it wasn’t normal that a temporary solution was only found because a private hotel owner was facing delays in getting a permit, and said he would open a dossier to find these 20 people social housing.

[Copyright Expatica 2007]

Subject: Belgian news