Temporarily unused shelter rooms have resulted in significant costs due to long-term contracts. As Stephanie Krisper, the Home Office’s response to NEOS’s order, shows, $2.5 million has had to be spent since the end of 2020. The cost of the facility in Schiefling alone is approximately 386,000 euros. In total, around $13.5 million has been spent on unused accommodation since the refugee crisis in 2015.
Krisper is disturbed that incredible amounts of money are still being wasted due to mismanagement of essential services. The Court of Auditors clearly explained what the government should do, namely work with the federal states to develop a comprehensive concept for an effective and economical approach to the housing and care of asylum seekers.
What makes reservations difficult is primarily rental costs. In the last three years this amount has reached approximately 2.3 million, plus operating costs of approximately 245,000 euros. Besides the maintenance facility in Schiefling, those on Lake Wörthersee were particularly expensive at around 345,000 euros and those in Korneuburg were also particularly expensive at around 334,000 euros.
It is also worth noting that the facilities have not been completely closed and some of their contracts have already been terminated. At the beginning of December, only those in Leoben and Frankenburg were closed, even if they were not used.
Therefore, the costs were not very high recently. Last year this figure was around 143,000 euros. In 2022, the last of the strong refugee movement to date, virtually no facilities were actually closed, only the facility in Schiefling, so this Carinthian care center incurred the highest costs throughout the period.
In its report published at the beginning of 2022, the Court of Accounts criticized the Ministry of Internal Affairs for signing very long-term contracts for accommodation for refugees. The Ministry of Internal Affairs touched upon the large refugee movement in 2015. To cope with the ongoing flow of immigration and prevent homelessness, the top priority was to create additional housing options in the federal care sector as quickly as possible.
However, the Court of Accounts noted that individual lease agreements are binding for up to 15 years. Long notice periods further limited the ability to react flexibly to changing circumstances. According to the report, the federal government incurred over $11 million in costs for closed care facilities as of the end of 2020. There are also 2.5 million people showing responses to the query since then.