Somali family on benefits handed keys to
Luxury: The plush £2million townhouse in London that has been given to a Somalian family of 10 who are living on benefits
By Jill Reilly
June 7, 2012
A Somali family living on benefits has moved into a luxury £2million townhouse just a stone's throw from where ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair used to live, it was revealed today.
The council-owned property Georgian townhouse, underwent £100,000 worth of renovations in 2011, including creating two new bedrooms.
The occupants of the house, a Somali family, on housing benefit and income support told The Sun: 'We are from Somalia. I don’t know how we got the house. We were lucky.'
They are understood to pay the council £1,000 a month in rent - but if the property was available on the private rental market, it could command nearly eight times that amount every month.
The four-storey home has retained its period features and even has ornate chandeliers.
Neighbours told the newspaper that the 10-strong family had been there about a year after a pensioner who was in the property moved out.
Islington council is converting this £1.8m property into one house after it had been split into two flats. An Indian couple on benefits will move in and pay less than £1,000 in rent. It could have brought in £2,000 in the private sector
Yesterday a man living in the house, Mohamed, 55, told the newspaper that the family had been fortunate in renting the grand home.
'We were on the council waiting list. All adults in the home are on housing benefit and income support,' he said.
He explained how he had been in temporary housing for years and that their new home had a nice garden, complete with wooden flooring.
A spokesman for Islington council said: 'This home has been owned by the council for many years and is currently let to a family who were in great housing need.'
Earlier this week, it was revealed that a family living on benefits is being moved to a £1.8 million townhouse - which is being renovated for them at the taxpayers' expense - provoking outrage.
Islington council is converting the four-storey Grade II-listed property into one house after it had been split into two flats.
If rented privately the council-owned property could earn around £2,000 a week but when the family move in after the renovation - which itself will cost thousands - they will be paying less than £1,000 a month.
The Indian couple, believed to be in their 30s, with four children and another on the way, are said to be amazed by their luck.
Source: Mail Online