Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Somali asylum seeker family given £2m house... after complaining 5-bed London home was 'in poor area'



A family of former asylum-seekers from Somalia are living in a £2.1million luxury townhouse in one of Britain's most exclusive addresses at a cost to taxpayers of £8,000 a month.
Abdi and Sayruq Nur and their seven children moved into their three-storey property in a fashionable area of London last month because they didn't like the 'poorer' part of the city they were living in.

Mr Nur, 42, an unemployed bus conductor, and his 40-year-old wife, who has never worked, are now living in Kensington despite the fact that they are totally dependent on state benefits.

They live close to celebrities, including artist Lucian Freud, singer Damon Albarn and designer Stella McCartney, and their home is just minutes from the fashionable Kensington Place restaurant which was a favourite haunt of the late Princess Diana.

The family's new home is believed to be one of the most expensive houses ever paid for by housing benefit, which is administered by local councils but funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The disclosure that a single family has been paid so much will embarrass Ministers, who last month pledged to rein in Britain's £20billion-a-year housing benefit bill.

Mr Nur said his former five-bedroom home in the Kensal Rise area of Brent, which cost £900 a week in housing benefit, was suitable for the family's needs but he said they had felt compelled to move because they did not like living 'in a very poor area' and were unhappy with the quality of local shops and schools.

He said he found the new house through a friend who knew the landlord, arranged to rent it through an estate agent, then approached officials at Kensington and Chelsea council who said 'it would be no problem' to move.
Rules allow anyone who is eligible for housing benefit to claim for a private property in any part of the country they wish.

The £2,000 per week is paid directly to Mr Nur and his family, who then pay their landlord.





Property sources say the house was being advertised locally at a cost of £1,050 per week.

The house is owned by Brophy Group Business Ltd, a British Virgin Islands company whose registered address is a post office box in Liechtenstein.

No one from the firm, which bought the house for £2.1 million in 2007, was available for comment.

Mr Nur said: 'The new house is good enough and it is near the school and the shops. We need a house this big because we have so many children.

'The old house was good but the area was not so good. It was a very poor area and there were no buses, no shops and the schools were too far.

'The old house was four or five bus stops away from the primary school attended by two of my children.

'Soon, all three of our younger children are going to be at primary school and we can't take them all on the bus. Now they are going to a school which is just down the road.'
From September, his children will attend a school located just 20 yards from their new front door - which has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.
They previously attended a school in Kensal Rise which was rated as satisfactory


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1293730/Somali-asylum-seeker-family-given-2m-house--complaining-5-bed-London-home-poor-area.html#ixzz0wsP2PVEk