Ukip housing spokesman making a fortune from immigrants on housing benefit
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
The UK Independence Party's housing spokesman has admitted making money from immigrants on housing benefit.
Millionaire Andrew Charalambous made £745,351 in HB pay-outs during 2013, the Mirror reported.
The money Mr Charalambous has made will be embarrassing to Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who has called for immigrants to be banned from claiming benefits.
And Mr Charalambous has himself alluded to immigrants as a “massive factor in the overcrowding of social housing”.
When asked if he was being hypocritical by making money from immigration whilst apparently holding an anti-immigration position, the landlord said: “Not at all. We don’t want to get into any business of questioning where people come from. That would be totally unfair.
“We operate in an area that is largely a migrant population. From a commercial point of view and a human point of view, we are not concerned about what the ethnic origin of the tenants is.”
An investigation by the Mirror and the GMB union discovered that Mr Charalambous' company, Woodlands Estates Limited, made £745,315 in welfare pay-outs from Haringey Council last year, the largest amount earned by a private landlord.
Leader Farage has demanded that new immigrants be banned from benefits for five years after coming into the UK.
“We must be completely mad, as a country, to be giving people from Eastern Europe in-work benefits," the leader said.
Meanwhile, the rich landlord has said he will continue to let his properties to foreigners as long as they are "legally entitled to claim benefits”.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny slammed the landlord. He said: “Housing hypocrite Charalambous blames foreigners for Britain’s housing crisis while he receives millions of taxpayers’ money in rent subsidies.
“Public money raised from hard-pressed families going to landlords such as Charalambous has to be stopped, with a building programme of new council housing for rent.”
On Mr Charalambous’ Ukip website he outlines a number of housing policy commitments, including:
- Scrapping the bedroom tax
- Reforming leaseholds
- Giving council housing priority to applicants whose parents are born locally