By BI: …and forced to move into a £1.3 million ($1.8 million) luxury council house around the corner. All paid for by hardworking British taxpayers.
UK Daily Mail A family of Somali Muslim refugees who sparked a row over council housing when they were given a £2million taxpayer-funded mansion have been moved out – into a £1.3million semi around the corner.
Unemployed Saeed Khaliif, his wife Sayida and their brood provoked uproar in 2011 when they moved into one of the most expensive properties ever to be funded by housing benefit.
It emerged today that the family have now vacated the six-bedroom property in West Hampstead, north-west London, due to changes in the welfare system. But campaigners have been left further outraged after they were given a property worth £3,000-a-month in rent in an up-and-coming area of the capital.
It is understood that Mr Khaliif has not worked since he arrived in Britain in 2008. The family were initially housed in a £1,000-a-month property in Coventry, West Midlands.
But they caused anger when they decided they would rather live in London and were handed the keys to the huge house not far from the homes of popstar Boy George and movie director Ridley Scott. Their case was one of a number which exposed just how much was being paid out for housing benefit and prompted the government to cap benefits at £500 a week for couples with children.
After the limit was imposed, Camden council moved the couple and their reported eight children into the new property in up-and-coming Cricklewood. Neighbours say the house underwent significant renovation before the family were moved in.
Local resident Pedro Rodriguez said: ‘The council have given them a home of luxury and spent thousands renovating it before they moved in. ‘The house is huge and it has been decorated to a very high standard with an open-plan layout, high spec kitchen and slate patio.’
Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘The welfare system is meant to be a safety net for those who are struggling, not a comfort blanket. ‘Hard-pressed families struggling with their bills will be furious at such an extortionate amount being spent on housing a single family in one of the most expensive areas in London.’