German nurse shocked after being forced out of flat to make way for refugees
Having lived in the same flat for 16 years, a German woman is being forced to move out to make way for refugees, because building a new shelter is too expensive. The 51 year-old nurse, who has helped asylum seekers in the past, was shocked by the news.
Bettina Halbey, who lives alone in the small town of Nieheim, received a letter from her landlord and the local municipality at the start of September, Die Welt newspaper reported on Thursday.
“I was completely shocked and I can’t even begin to find the words to describe how the city has treated me,”Halbey told the German publication. “I have had to go through a lot of difficulties recently, and then I get this notice. It was like a kick in the teeth.”
Halbey will have until May 2016 to find a new place to live, along with her dog and her cat. The three-story building, where she rented a 90 sq/m flat will now be turned into accommodation for refugees, who are seeking to make Germany their new home.
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The mayor of Nieheim, Rainer Vidal, which has a population of just over 6,000, defended the decision to send the nurse packing, saying converting the building would be “the cheapest option.”
“A new residential unit for 30 refugees in Nieheim would cost €30,000 ($33,600). This solution will cost me nothing,”he told Die Welt.
Over half the population of Germany lives in rented accommodation and the country has laws to defend the rights of tenants.