Here, Ukrainians have to pay for their shelter and they are fine with that

Ukrainian refugees in the municipality of Cranendonck will from now on pay for their shelter. According to the municipality, it is only fair that refugees who have a job come across in this way. And the Ukrainians? Well, they think so too. “I have a job, right?”

Natalia Samoilichenko currently works as a chef in restaurant De Brasser in Budel. She fled a year and a half ago after the Russian invasion of her country. “I lived in a place between Cherson and Odessa,” says Natalia as she chops down some carrots. “When I was there during the war it was intense. I decided to leave as quickly as possible.”

Natalia was already a chef in Ukraine, so cooking, baking and chopping is second nature to her. She was therefore quickly in her place at De Brasser, owner Jurjen van Riet explains. “She knows something now bitterballs and freakingdells are. We had to explain that with all our hands and feet, but we are really very happy with her.”

Natalia has been living in a new shelter in Budel for a week now. She therefore has to pay for this care herself. And that applies to all Ukrainians who have a job in the municipality. Cranendonck is the first municipality in the Netherlands to ask Ukrainians for such a contribution.

Mayor Roland van Kessel thinks this is only normal. “If you are part of society, you have to contribute.” By the way, that contribution is ‘only’ 190 euros. That’s not a lot of money for a place to live, especially including gas, water and electricity.

“That is correct, but it is a symbolic amount,” the mayor explains. “It’s not about the amount, it’s about the fact that there is something in return for the shelter.”