No more Ukrainian refugee housing in Rīga

All Ukrainian war refugees now arriving in Riga and seeking support are being offered accommodation in other municipalities outside the capital, Riga City Council Vice-President Linda Ozola (Conservatives) said in an interview with Latvian Radio on July 12.

Since the beginning of July, Riga municipality has stopped hosting new refugees from war-torn Ukraine. Instead, these people are registered by the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), which is responsible for redistributing refugees across municipalities. Accordingly, they are looking for accommodation outside Riga, Ozola said. She added that there were places available for refugee accommodation in Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Sigulda, Ventspils, and Gulbene.

“People are being offered places there. If they refuse this offer, they must seek their own place of residence,” Ozola said.

In thinking about future solutions for the capture of Ukrainian war refugees, Ozola said she hoped for  future amendments that would give municipalities choices: “Whether we are housing for 120 days with lower aid ceilings, as [higher] is impossible for us for market reasons, or we would be housing for 60 days, but with higher ceilings, which was in effect until July 1.”

In this case, the Riga municipality would accommodate the Ukrainian war refugees in the capital for a period of 60 days, as the City Council would be able to do so with the funding. It wouldn't apply to those people who have already been housed.

Asked about whether this is enough time, Ozola said: “The same can of course be asked for both three months and 120 days. When meeting with Ukrainian civilians, I also asked [..] that their potential residence should be sought from the outset."

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