The Observer has translated a news story from today’s TA.no about a woman who has been evicted from her apartment to make room for immigrant asylum-seekers who are being imported en masse into Norway:
Cried when she lost her flat
Painter and decorator Master Asbjørn Sletholt is currently evicting tenants to make room for newly arrived asylum-seekers heading for Skien [a small town in southern Norway]. Mona Hellelid is one of those affected. She cried for ten hours when she was handed the eviction notice.
“We are without rights in our own country,” says Hellelid.
Friday afternoon she got a visit from Sletholt who handed her a notification of termination of the tenant lease. Hellelid and the other 45 tenants in P. A. Munchs Street 45 have to move out. The property in the northern suburb of Skien is one of several properties in Sletholt’s portfolio.
Asbjørn Sletholt has been given the task of finding temporary accommodation for 150 newly arrived asylum-seekers by the private company Hero Norway, who are acting on behalf of the UDI [The Norwegian immigration Department].
The painter and decorator master has been a major player in the private housing rental market in Skien for the last 20 years.
“I heard some rumors a month ago that our building was about to be converted into temporary accommodation for asylum seekers. I knew straight away what was happening when he showed up on my doorstep.”
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Hellelid has rented the apartment for $5,200 Nkr [approx US $1,000] since May last year.
“How did you react?”
“I can’t describe it. It really knocked me off my feet. I cried for ten hours straight after I was given the eviction notice.”
In the dark
“Did Sletholt offer you a new accommodation?”
“Where do you go from here?”
“I don’t know. But I can guarantee you that I’m not going to make it easy for him. I’ll have to await the situation. I’m not the only one affected by this eviction notice.”
Mona Hellelid is on a disability pension and she’s not optimistic about her future prospects. The demand for new apartments is huge, and the prices are high.
The new wave of asylum seekers coming to Norway has forced the UDI to find thousands of new temporary apartments to house these asylum seekers. Hellelid thinks its frightening that ordinary tenants have to be sacrificed by profit-hungry landlords trying to please the UDI.