The family of eight has been relocated into a four-bedroom council house, worth £1.3m
The average price of a semi-detached house in Kilburn is £1.7m, but both the Daily Mail and the Sun are still outraged by a Somali refugee family being housed in a council-owned property in the area, valued at £1.3m.
London’s dwindling supply of council homes are allocated on a needs basis and the Khaliif family has eight children (a ‘brood’ according to the Sun), two of whom are believed to have physical disabilities.
This is the second time the family has been hounded by the right-wing press; five years ago they were targeted for moving into a £2m property nearby, supposedly incurring one of the largest housing benefit bills ever. They have been relocated because of the introduction of the housing benefit cap.
On this point, Tory MP Andrew Brigden is quoted by the Sun:
“The benefits cap was introduced to end abuse of the benefits system. On the face of it, it looks like the council are trying to undermine this sensible policy.”
It’s not clear why he objects to the council allocating its own properties in accordance with local policy and central government legislation. If the Tories would like to reduce the housing bill of local councils, they should focus on managing prices by building social homes, rather than vilifying individual families.
Perhaps most ironically of all, both the Sun and the Mail emphasise the house’s proximity to Emma Thompson’s home, on the same day that their front pages denounce her as an EU-loving, cake-eating luvvie. You’d think that sort of neighbour would bring prices down, but no such luck.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.