They say beggars can’t be choosers.
But in the case of jobless Somali refugee Saeed Khaliif and his family, it seems they can.
The Mail yesterday revealed how the Khaliifs have been given a £2million home in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, with taxpayers funding their £8,000-a-month rent.
The family had rejected a previous six-bedroom home in Coventry - where the bill for the public would have been a more reasonable £1,000 a month - simply because they wanted to live ‘closer to their friends’.
Yesterday the Daily Mail tracked down their old address in Coventry and found a beautiful semi-detached house in one of the city’s most desirable districts.
The red-brick Victorian property is situated opposite a park known as Gosford Green which has survived since the 1300s, and there is also a parade of shops and restaurants nearby.
Their fellow refugees in the area said the ‘very lucky’ family should have counted their blessings to have been given such a property.
Abdi Ibrahim, chairman of the Coventry Somali Community Network, a charity which works to integrate Somalis into the wider community, said: ‘In all my time in Coventry I have not even seen a six-bedroom house advertised for rent.
From yesterday's Mail
'My family have been stuck in three or four-bedroom accommodation - a six-bedroom house is exceptional. This family should really have stayed in the area because it is much cheaper than in London.’
Mr Khaliif, 49, moved to the seven-bedroom property in West Hampstead, North-West London, with his wife Sayida and their children after deciding their previous accommodation was too far from their friends, even though Coventry is barely more than an hour away by train.
Leafy West Hampstead is one of the most sought-after areas in London, and well beyond the reach of many well-heeled house-hunters in the capital.
On top of their free accommodation, the family is also thought to be eligible for a raft of benefits including incapacity benefit, income support and child benefit, which could potentially add many thousands of pounds to their monthly haul from the taxpayer.
The Khaliifs and their brood of children - eight youngsters have been seen at the property - fled war-torn Somalia and arrived in Britain about three years ago as asylum-seekers.
Since then, they are believed to have been granted refugee status, allowing them to claim benefits. Speaking via his children, who act as translators, Mr Khaliif said he had not worked since arriving in the UK and admitted he was on benefits.
Their new home has a 90ft garden and has been recently refurbished, with a large living room, sprawling kitchen, six double bedrooms - two with walk-in dressing rooms - and five shower rooms, four of which are en-suite. Another living room has been converted into a seventh bedroom.
Councillor Jonny Bucknell, who is on Camden council’s housing committee, said: ‘There are big families living locally who need more space, and I’ve never managed to get anyone rehoused.
‘It is shocking that these people can just turn up from out of town and get such a magnificent property. The whole country is rightly outraged.'