Strain in Luxembourg's Refugee Acceptance System and Housing Shortages

Luxembourg, March 27, 2024 - Luxembourg's system for accepting asylum seekers faces challenges amid housing shortages.
Luxembourg has recently witnessed strains in its asylum acceptance system due to a surge in demand coupled with a shortage of housing. The country, which previously accommodated new asylum seekers within a structured reception system, has faced difficulties in maintaining this approach.
Since October 2023, Luxembourg has adopted a more stringent asylum policy, prioritizing vulnerable individuals such as minors and families. However, single men with previous fingerprint records or visas from other European Union countries, known as "Dubliners," no longer have a guaranteed acceptance in Luxembourg.
The Minister for Immigrant Reception has emphasized the necessity for newcomers to engage with the Emergency Reception Office (ONA) and participate in interviews, facilitated by interpreters, to articulate their specific needs. These needs are crucial in determining their place of residence within Luxembourg.
However, the system is facing significant strains, particularly due to housing shortages. Individuals with special needs are given priority, while others must wait longer for accommodation. Even with prioritization measures, the growing demand has led to delays in allocating housing to asylum seekers.
Moreover, the vulnerability assessment process remains internal, with details withheld from the applicants. Instead, individuals are informed through the Emergency Reception Office (ONA) when housing becomes available.
The government's decision to create a waiting list reflects the pressing need to address the saturation of reception facilities for refugees in Luxembourg. However, the challenges persist, highlighting the need for comprehensive solutions to ensure effective asylum processing and adequate housing for those in need.