Since the refugee influx (2015) in Europe, the Netherlands has been using emergency shelters to mitigate the reception crisis for asylum seekers. The majority of these shelters lack to provide adequate housing for asylum seekers. This research, therefore, aims to assess the adequacy of housing in emergency shelters and its effect on the psychological well-being of asylum seekers. It also examined the role of regulatory environments in shaping the acceptability of housing on the boat. Since this is an existing phenomenon, the research uses a case study strategy to obtain the aspired objective. The boat which has been used to accommodate female asylum seekers, in Rotterdam was used as a case study for this research. Data were collected through interviews with asylum seekers and NGO representatives using semi-structured questionnaires. The findings were analyzed based on the relationship traced from the codings in Atlas.ti, document analysis, and using the current knowledge from the literature. The findings of the research showed that asylum seekers were subjected to the house rules of the Central Agency for Reception (COA) and the boat itself. This resulted in the emergency shelter being a place with a more controlled environment than other reception centers. The research also encountered that asylum seekers were satisfied with the physical aspects of housing including their privacy, safety, the hygiene of common spaces, location, and with access to basic services and facilities. They were also satisfied with the social life on the boat. However, lack of satisfaction with the inaccessibility of the kitchen and cleaning materials, financial limitation to access transportation, and the weak relation with loved ones were encountered in this research. The house rules aimed to improve the quality of life on the boat were associated with satisfaction with the acceptability of housing. whereas those aimed to carry effective management of accommodation were associated with the lack of acceptability of housing. Regarding psychological well-being, asylum seekers feel more autonomous and competent compared to their previous experiences of living in different reception facilities. They were able to make choices and decisions in their daily life. Besides, they managed to develop skills and accomplish valuable goals from the activities they engaged in. Nonetheless, they faced different challenges that hindered their ability to exercise their autonomy and become competent. The acceptability of housing as shaped by the house rules were prominent in both supporting and abating their psychological well-being.

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Sakizlioglu Uitermark, B. (Bahar) (Ass.Professor)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Gebreegziabiher Gebremeskel, Y. (Yoseph). (2022, October 3). The Adequacy of Housing in emergency shelters and its effect of asylum seekers’ well-being. Retrieved from