The Telegraph reports. Abdi and Sayruq Nur, who fled war town Somalia, had been unhappy that their previous home – also paid for by housing benefit – was not convenient for shopping and meant their children had to get the bus to school.
Now in a move certain to anger taxpayers, the couple and their seven children have relocated to a five bedroom town house in Notting Hill, where they can count artist Lucian Freud and designer Stella McCartney among their neighbours.
The family’s new home is thought to be one of the most expensive ever paid for by housing benefit and the revelation comes just a month after Ministers pledged to rein in Britain’s £20 billion a year housing benefit bill.
Mr Nur, 42, an unemployed bus conductor, arrived in Britain with his wife, who is now 40, in 1999 from Somalia and they were granted asylum.
The family were housed in a five bedroom property in the Kensal Rise area of Brent, at a cost to the taxpayer of £900 a week.
However last month Mr Nur declared he was unhappy with the property because it was in a “very poor area” and was not convenient for schools and shops.
He approached officials at the council informing them he had found a new home in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Under housing benefit rules anyone who is eligible can claim for a private property if it is suitable for their needs.
The family’s new home, which is in one of the most sought after areas of London, has five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fully fitted kitchen and a garden.
It is close to the attractions of Portobello Market and local celebrities in the area include pop star Damon Albarn, artist Lucian Freud and Sir Paul McCartney’s fashion designer daughter Stella.
Mr Nur receives £2,000 per week from the council to cover the rent, which he then pays to the landlord, who is understood to be an associate of one of his friends.
According to local property sources before the Nur family moved in the house was being advertised for £1,050 a week.
The house is owned by a British Virgin Islands based company called Brophy Group Business Ltd, which bought it for £2.1 million in 2007.
Mr Nur said he felt the new home was more appropriate for his family’s needs.
He 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 Coalition Government has announced sweeping changes to the housing benefit system, which are due to come into effect next April.
Under new rules a cap of £400 a week will be introduced for families wanting to rent larger properties.
A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea council said they had a responsibility to meet the needs of those eligible for benefits and were powerless to stop people moving into private accommodation in the area.
The spokesman said: “We have been saying for some years now that the way in which the maximum level of housing benefit is calculated is flawed and we welcome the Government’s new changes which begin next year.”
Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “With so many working families struggling with their own rents in the recession it is outrageous that taxpayers are being asked to stump up so much for a property far beyond the means of most families.
“This shows yet again the urgent need for serious reform of the housing benefit system to stop these kind of outrageous and excessive payments.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that a single mother of six was being paid £7,000 a month to live in a five bedroom home in the upmarket Maida Vale area of London.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: