Sunday, 29 November 2009

ANGER AT £1.8M FLAT FOR ASYLUM FAMILY ON £83K A YEAR BENEFITS

The housing of the family has caused anger

Monday November 30,2009
By Kevin O'Sullivan

HOUSING a family of former asylum seekers in a £1.8million apartment at a cost of £1,600 a week was branded “an outrage” last night.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said it was “disgraceful” that the Somalian mother and seven children had been moved into the new central London flat, which has leather sofas and a flat-screen TV.

Nasra Warsame, 40, and the children moved in after Tory-run Westminster Council bosses decided their five-bed home in Maida Vale, costing £800 a week, was “too small”.

Mrs Warsame, who quit Somalia in 1991 because of unrest, is living on housing ­benefits worth £83,000 a year.

TaxPayers’ Alliance spokeswoman Susie Squire said: “This will ­outrage taxpayers. It is disgraceful that more cost-effective accommodation cannot be found for them.

“This shows local and central ­government have not reformed the housing benefits system, even though cases like these always seem to be springing up. It is staggering that there seems to be no political appetite to overhaul a system which is clearly not value for money.”

The council moved the ­family into the five-storey block, a short walk from the West End, in early October. The apartment has three lounges, four bathrooms and six ­bedrooms, some with balconies. Mrs Warsame said: “It is nice and in a nice area. It is quiet and convenient. We do not want to leave.

“The house we were living in Maida Vale was quite small. We were getting complaints from neighbours that we were being too noisy.”

Her husband Bashir Aden, 50, is unemployed and living with the couple’s eighth child in a two-bedroom council flat in nearby Camden.

Yesterday he visited his wife and ­children but refused to comment on the move. They are living apart because the council “cannot find a house big enough for the entire family”.

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