The Berlin government on Friday, Jan. 27, unveiled the first of 10 planned modular refugee residences that will eventually offer shelter to as many as 4,000 refugees.
The building in Wittenberger Straße in Marzahn has room for up to 100 refugees and features linoleum floors, a gray facade and floor-to-ceiling windows, according to Berliner Zeitung. The units are known as Modulare Unterkunft für Flüchtlinge (Modular Residence for Refugees), or MUF. Social Senator Elke Breitenbach from the Linke party said the acronym should be pronounced like the English word “move”.
The MUFs were ordered by the previous Berlin government to free up other public spaces currently utilized to house refugees and offer the refugees more privacy. Refugees will share double rooms with bathrooms and kitchens shared by as many as 15 residents.
The Volkssolidarität charity will run the home and held a meeting for neighbors Friday night. About 40 percent of the planned residents will be families, including as many as 50 children. The building will employ 14 as well as security personnel and a teaching assistant for the children.
The eastern borough of Marzahn is currently home to 2,200 refugees, a figure that is expected to double in the coming year, according to Berliner Zeitung.
“If other people are moving here from other districts, then I expect that funds will be appropriately re-directed,” Breitenbach told the paper. She’d reportedly like to have 1 million from the government’s integration fund.
The modular construction will reportedly last a century and can be reconfigured for a number of uses should the refugees move out.
Photo thanks the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen and Hans Martin Fleischer.