Disabled evicted to give room for migrants

Disabled evicted to give room for migrants
SWEDEN -- 16 various disability associations are now forced to move from their premises in central Piteå. The premises will instead become homes to newly arrived migrants.

Elisabeth Eliasson shows one of the two floors where the different associations of the Disabled unions Cooperation Group (HSO) are gathered. In total HSO has nearly 3000 members in Piteå, and HSO has rented the premises for 22 years. But as it will now be converted to house newly arrived migrants, the disabled must move to a closed down school, a few kilometers away.

- To Strömgården many can walk or use electric wheelchairs or rollators. But to get to Djupviken (the school) means that many have to use public transportation, and it costs money that many may not have, says Elisabeth Eliasson of the Swedish Rheumatism Association.

And it's not just the distance that worries - but also other economic issues.

- We know no economic conditions for the move. If it becomes too expensive and the availability is no good, then our association will cease to continue, says Carina Lindegren of the Dementia Association.

In Piteå Municipality they say that the premises in Djupviken is the only thing they can offer at present. The venue will also be renovated to fit members. There is also good parking and local traffic is a street away, says Ylva Sundkvist, Municipal Director of Piteå, to SVT Norrbotten.

HSO thinks that two community groups are put against each other when their old premises will be given to newly arrived asylum seekers.

- Like they have done now in this municipality. This places weak groups against each other. It causes more problems than you might think. You do just like this when you want to create problems in a community. Obviously, we should receive them and help, but not at the expense of other groups, says Carina Lindegren.

Ylva Sundkvist says to SVT Norrbotten that there were never any thoughts of putting two groups against each other. Strömgården is just the most suited as homes as it has previously been a retirement home, she says.

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