Throughout the inquiry, the committee consistently heard that the current rates of income support payments for working-age jobseekers are too low and resulting in people living in poverty and very precarious conditions.
The vast majority of submitters, including local governments, the community sector, academics, economists and private individuals, expressed grave concerns about the fact that the levels of payments have not increased in real terms since 1994 and recommended an immediate raise of payment rates to enable people to live above the poverty line.
Firstly, this chapter examines the definitions and measures of poverty used by submitters to assess the adequacy of income support payments, in particular Newstart (replaced since 20 March 2020 by the JobSeeker Payment) and Youth Allowance.
The second part of the chapter discusses the financial hardship faced by recipients of income support payments. It describes their daily challenges to secure and afford the basic essentials, including housing, food, clothing, medication and transport.
The chapter ends with a summary of the recommendations made by submitters in relation to immediately raising the rates of income support payments to lift people out of poverty.
Measures of poverty
The Australian Government agencies joint submission stated:
The primary purpose of the income support system is to ensure a minimum standard of living for those unable to support themselves through work, savings or other means.
It appears that the Australian Government does not have a definition of what constitutes ‘a minimum standard of living’.
In the absence of a definition and a measure for a minimum standard of living, submitters talked about the importance of using poverty measures to discuss the adequacy of the current rates of income support payments.
For example, The Australia Institute pointed out that poverty measures are important when discussing Newstart and other payments for working-age job seekers.
Similarly, the Independent Research Fund, which in October 2019 published the report Newstart Allowance: is it time to raise it?, submitted that the current adequacy of Newstart should be considered in the context of what can be considered as poverty in Australian society.
However, Australia currently does not have an agreed national definition of poverty.
In the absence of a national definition of poverty, most submitters have used the Henderson Poverty Line or the OECD’s relative measure of poverty to assess the rates of income support payments.
Mr David Stanton, appearing in a private capacity at a public hearing in Canberra, explained to the committee that other measures are now used, including budget standards and an index of deprivation. These were also used by some inquiry participants to assess the adequacy of income support payments.
All poverty measures used by submitters showed that the levels of income support payments and supplements available to working-age jobseekers result in people living in poverty.
Henderson Poverty Line
In 1972 the McMahon Government commissioned Professor Ronald Henderson to report on poverty. An enduring legacy of the report released in August 1975 was the Henderson Poverty Line, which was set at a benchmark income of $62.70 for the September quarter of 1973, being the equivalent to the value of the basic wage plus child endowment for a reference family of two adults and two children. Adjustments were then made for other types of household.
Each quarter, the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research publishes the latest values of the Henderson Poverty Line and compares the income of those reliant on various allowances and pensions against the Henderson Poverty Line adjusted for household size and composition.
At June 2019, the Henderson Poverty Line for a single person with no children was set at $529.81 per week. This means that for a single person on Newstart Allowance at June 2019, the maximum weekly benefit income of $350.85 (including Commonwealth Rent Assistance and the Energy Supplement) was $178.96 a week below the Henderson Poverty Line.
The majority of submitters referred to the Henderson Poverty Line to demonstrate the inadequacy of income support payments, especially Newstart and Youth Allowance.
Beyond the Henderson Poverty Line
In its submission to the inquiry, The Australia Institute expressed the view that it is time to review the figure as the conceptual basis of the estimate dates back to 1973 and that the relative prices of components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) have changed dramatically.
Similarly, the Independent Research Fund raised the broader question, with the 1973 Henderson Commission now done over 45 years ago, of the need for a detailed investigation of what would now be considered as absolute and relative poverty levels in the context of current Australian societal and economic conditions.
The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research, which regularly updates the Henderson Poverty Lines states on its website:
Following the release of the Commission's reports, the Henderson Poverty Line became the standard used by researchers to gauge progress in the community. However, issues such as the move away from the traditional male breadwinner model, the end of full employment and problems updating the poverty line have led to the increased use of alternative income- and consumption-based poverty lines.
OECD relative measure of poverty
The OECD defines the poverty line as half the median household income of the total population. This benchmark is widely used in national and international poverty studies.
To calculate the median household income, the household incomes of all people are adjusted for family size using an ‘equivalence scale’, then ranked in order of adjusted income and the income of the middle-ranked person is chosen. This approach means that the poverty lines rise or fall in accordance with changes in median income.
Inquiry participants frequently referred to the OECD measure of poverty to demonstrate that current levels of income support payments are inadequate and too low.
Submitters often used as a reference the report Poverty in Australia 2018 to demonstrate that people living on income support payments were at elevated risk of living in poverty or living below the poverty line. The report uses the OECD measure to discuss poverty rates in Australia.
According to the report Poverty in Australia 2018, 13.2 percent of Australians live below the poverty line. 54.6 per cent of recipients of Newstart Allowance and 63.7 per cent of recipients of Youth Allowance live below the poverty line.
In 2018, using the OECD measure, the poverty line for a single adult with no children was around $433 per week. This means that for a single person on Newstart Allowance at June 2019, the maximum weekly benefit income of $350.85 (including Commonwealth Rent Assistance and the Energy Supplement) was about $83 below the poverty line.
Budget standards – Minimum Income for Healthy Living
A number of submitters made references to budget standards for the low-paid and unemployed to assess the rates of Newstart and other income support payments. A budget standard indicates how much money a family needs to achieve a particular standard of living in a particular place at a particular time.
Inquiry participants mostly used the Minimum Income for Healthy Living (MIHL) standard developed by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at UNSW.
The MIHL was first developed by public health researchers in the UK. In 2016, the SPRC developed budget standards and updated them in 2019 for Australia.
The MIHL is designed to be consistent with existing community standards and government policy goals in relation to meeting basic consumption needs, achieving healthy living and providing for an adequate level of social participation and inclusion.
The updated MIHL standard for a single unemployed adult in June 2019 is $459.90 a week. This means that for a single person on Newstart Allowance in June 2019, the maximum weekly benefit income of $350.85 (including Commonwealth Rent Assistance and the Energy Supplement) is $109 a week (or 23.8 per cent) below what the budget standard indicates is needed to achieve the MIHL standard.
Index of deprivation
Another measure of financial hardship is deprivation of essentials; that is lacking items considered by a majority of people as essential due to a lack of financial resources.
In its submission, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) discussed a study, which found that unemployed people, along with single parent families and people who rent their housing, face an elevated risk of deprivation, with more than one third experiencing deprivation.
Using this measure, findings from the 100 Families WA project clearly showed that families on Newstart and related payments experience high levels of material deprivation.
Need for an Australian definition of poverty
To date, as noted earlier, no Australian Government has ever adopted an official national poverty line or poverty target.
ACOSS and other organisations have called for the development of a national definition of poverty.
The Australia Institute argued that ‘an official poverty line and measures of those in poverty should be the basis of policy making especially in relation to programs such as Newstart that specifically aim to relieve the hardship experienced by different population groups’.
ACOSS is of the view that the Australian government is under an obligation to adopt a national definition of poverty as part of its global commitment under the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2017, ACOSS wrote to the Minister for Social Services asking the Australian Government to lead the process of reaching agreement about the Australian national definition of poverty.
In its response to ACOSS, the Minister for Social Services at the time, the Hon Christian Porter, explained why the Australian Government was not prepared to work on setting a National Definition of Poverty:
This is precisely because poverty in developed countries is innately multidimensional with complex causes and remedies. Directing policy towards meeting a target under a relative income poverty line – would mean aiming at things that are easy to measure (and manipulate) rather than at things that matter more but are harder to measure, such as opportunity, capability and participation.
During the inquiry, the Department of Social Services (DSS) advised the committee at a hearing in Canberra that ‘there is no active work under consideration for a definition of poverty’.
As stated by DSS, the primary purpose of an income support system is to ensure a minimum standard of living. The issue is that there is no official government definition or position on what constitutes a minimum standard of living. Importantly, there is no measure to benchmark rates of income support payments against an acceptable minimum standard of living.
In the absence of official benchmarks, the committee notes that submitters have referred to several poverty measures to assess the adequacy of the income support payments available to working-age jobseekers. The evidence received by the committee clearly shows that the current rates of income support payments significantly contribute to the rising number of people living in poverty.
Poverty is a deep problem in Australia. According to the report, Poverty in Australia 2018, using the OECD relative measure of poverty, over 3 million people in Australia live in poverty. This equates to 1 in 8 people and 1 in 6 children living below the poverty line.
The committee is of the view that having a national definition of poverty is necessary to be able to clearly measure poverty and put in place policies to address poverty across the nation. The committee believes that having a national definition of poverty is also fundamental to enable the development and adoption of appropriate social security policies and for setting up adequate rates of income support payments.
The committee recommends the Australian Government set a national definition of poverty. The Government should immediately commence work in collaboration with academic experts and the community sector to determine this definition.
The poverty trap
Submitters argued that the current rates of Newstart and related payments are now so low that they trap people in poverty.
The committee received compelling evidence that people receiving these types of income support payments live in poverty, struggling to afford daily basic essentials, including housing, food, clothing, utility bills and transport.
The current rates of payments are considered by some submitters as a cause of poverty in Australia. For example, St Vincent de Paul Society submitted that ‘there is no doubt that the current Newstart allowance is a root cause of poverty for many Australians’.
Karen, a recipient of Newstart Allowance, explained to the committee:
The current low rate of welfare allowance is not a trampoline for people to bounce back up. It is a poverty trap.
As described by over 300 private individuals who sent submissions to the committee, people are faced with daily dilemmas over how to cover the cost of basic essentials despite rigorous budgeting.
For example, they are forced to choose between eating and paying rent, or paying the electricity bill and affording medication.
Inquiry participants cited the inability of people receiving Newstart and related payments to be able to access affordable, appropriate and safe housing as a clear example of the inadequacy of current levels of payments.
The committee heard that if not in public housing, people are struggling to pay their rent or to secure a tenancy.
At a public hearing in Sydney, Ms Kasy Chambers, Executive Director at Anglicare Australia, stated:
It is absolutely impossible, unless you are living pretty much rent free or you have got access to public housing, to have a healthy standard of living on Newstart.
Housing affordability stress (HAS)
Housing stress is the most widely used measure of housing affordability in Australia. Also called the 30/40 indicator, it measures the number of households in the lowest 40 per cent that have housing costs exceeding 30 per cent of their income.
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) research shows that even with housing assistance (Commonwealth Rent Assistance or CRA) over 40 per cent of all recipients of income support payments were in HAS.
Throughout the inquiry, the committee received compelling evidence that people on Newstart or Youth Allowance who are private renters are experiencing HAS and some, have barely any money left after paying their rents. For example Mark told the committee:
I live in a one-bedroom pretty shabby flat in Sydney's inner west, where the rent is $680 a fortnight—cheap by current real estate standards. I repeat: I was gifted $695 a fortnight, with rent assistance included in my Newstart. That brought me to $680 a fortnight, meaning I had $15 a fortnight to live on—$15 a fortnight to buy food, pay bills, get public transport, function and seek work.
Private rental market
For ten years, the annual Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot has shown that renting in the private rental market in Australia is totally unaffordable for people on income support payments.
In the 2019 Snapshot, for a single adult on Newstart, there were only two properties of more than 69 000 surveyed nationwide that were affordable and appropriate.
Similarly, the Samaritans Rental Affordability Snapshot presents a bleak outlook for people on low incomes trying to secure a tenancy or maintain rental payments.
The vast majority of public housing tenants Australia-wide rely on income support payments as their main source of income. This includes people on the Age Pension (25 per cent) and Disability Support Pension (28 per cent). People on Newstart and Youth Allowance represent 15 per cent of tenants.
Public housing is a very strong protective factor reducing risks of homelessness as it is affordable and had traditionally offered a long-term, secure housing option for low income households.
However, waiting lists to access public housing are now so long that it has become extremely difficult, even when classed in a Priority Access Category, to secure a tenancy.
Recent research undertaken by AHURI estimated that the current shortfall in social housing is around 440 000 homes nationally, including a current shortfall of about 140 000 homes in NSW.
Increased investment in public housing
A number of submitters called for governments to invest in the development of additional public housing.
For example, Anglicare Australia stated that ‘government investment to create an additional 500 000 homes through social housing is essential to address Australia’s housing crisis’.
Risk of homelessness
The difficulties of finding affordable and stable accommodation put income support recipients at an elevated risk of homelessness. For example, Wendy shared her experience with the committee:
The most difficult problem that I've had while trying to survive on the Newstart payment has been keeping a roof over my head. […] I spent six months sleeping in my car in 2013 and have been faced with the possibility of it happening again on multiple occasions since that time.
Another submitter to the inquiry told the committee that he had resorted to living in his van:
I've moved out of the share house and lived in my van as this allows me to travel further in pursuit of work while saving the weekly cost of my room. […] I use public toilets in shopping centres, libraries and pubs. Sometimes if I find a casual or part time job, there will be a place at work that I can shower, and a fridge that I can leave a few things in. […] Van dwelling is often a stressful existence. […] If Newstart was higher it would definitely have helped me avoid living in my van.
In order to keep a roof over their heads, some people have to live in unsafe conditions in shared accommodation or boarding houses. For example, Karen described her experience in shared accommodation:
To avoid sleeping on the streets, I attempted to live with friends and relatives and then back to a boarding house but these arrangements never worked out and one resulted in violence. […] The living conditions exposed me to bedbugs on three separate occasions, lack of sleep and confrontation with people I live with that were not of my choice in boarding houses, primarily men.
The Victorian Government noted that there has been a significant rise in Newstart recipients experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Victoria.
The Centre for Social Impact reported that in 2017-18, of the 288 000 clients that sought assistance from a specialist homelessness services in Australia, over 53 per cent were receiving income support payments.
Community Housing Industry Association NSW submitted that nationally the number of people seeking support from specialist homelessness services that are receiving Newstart increased by 75 per cent between 2011 and 2018.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)
As described in Chapter 1, CRA assists in reducing the cost of rental housing and the incidence of rental stress. Over 1.3 million individuals and families receive CRA.
According to DSS, the number of recipients in HAS is reduced by 40 per cent as a result of CRA.
According to AHURI research, CRA has been inadequate in overcoming affordability difficulties for individuals and households on the lowest incomes, including those in receipt of Newstart.
Similarly, in its 2017 report on Human Services, the Productivity Commission found that the ‘maximum rate of CRA no longer provided an adequate contribution toward rental costs for many households’.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that 40 per cent of all CRA recipients are currently in rental stress, with a third of these paying more than 50 per cent of their income on rent.
According to ACOSS, the rates of CRA have become inadequate because:
like Newstart, CRA is only indexed to the CPI and has not kept pace with the much faster rate of rent increases; and
CRA is paid at flat maximum rates regardless of rent levels in different parts of Australia.
Increase of CRA
Most submitters to the inquiry recommended an immediate increase of the CRA. ACOSS along with many other submitters recommended an increase of at least 30 per cent of the CRA.
COTA recommended an increase of 40 per cent of CRA, based on the modelling undertaken by the Grattan Institute.
According to the Grattan Institute, a 40 per cent increase in the maximum rate of CRA would provide the same level of assistance to low-income earners as it did 15 years ago.
ACOSS also recommended ‘A broader review of the adequacy of the supplement should be undertaken, including payment rates and indexation arrangements, to ensure it significantly improves rental affordability for those on low incomes, keeps pace with movements in rents and is responsive to local housing market conditions’.
Would an increase of CRA affect rental prices?
A concern with raising the CRA is the extent to which the increase may be captured by landlords in the form of higher rents.
The issue of rent assistance was considered by the Henry review which concluded that increases in rent assistance might place some upwards pressure on rents, but this should not be a reason to not increase rent assistance caps.
A recent study in New Zealand, which has a similar system of rent assistance as Australia, found that just over one third of an increase in accommodation assistance and related payments was absorbed by rent increases, implying that almost two third of the increase in housing subsidies benefited recipients.
In its 2017 report on Human Services, the Productivity Commission did not find any compelling evidence that increasing CRA would have a material impact on rents.
It appears that the Australian Government has not undertaken any work in relation to the impacts of an increase to the CRA. In February 2020, officials from The Treasury advised the committee that it had 'not undertaken any work on modelling the economic impact of increasing the rate of rent assistance'.
During the course of the inquiry, the committee was told on many occasions that people on Newstart and Youth Allowance were regularly skipping meals or eating poor quality food.
In 2019, ACOSS surveyed 500 people on Newstart and Youth Allowance and found that 84 per cent of respondents skipped at least one meal a week, 32 per cent skipped three to four meals a week and 47 per cent skipped five or more meals a week.
For example, Mr Colin Leonard, a recipient of Newstart told the committee:
I don’t even think in terms of what luxuries I can give up. I have to think in terms of what meals I can skip or how I can cheat my stomach into thinking that I have eaten something already.
Eating nutritious and healthy food is virtually impossible with many submitters reporting that toast, two minute noodles and baked beans are all they can afford.
As a result, there is an increasing number of people relying on charity to access emergency food relief.
Ms Kirsten Ritchie, who works for Strike It Out, a food relief service operating in Launceston, commented that she regularly sees people living on Newstart coming to access their services:
We've got a single parent with a daughter who comes down quite regularly. He hasn't even got food for his daughter's lunches. So we are making sure that this child has got lunch to take to school the next day.
The demand for food relief is so great that Foodbank estimated that only 36 per cent of charities are meeting the full needs of the people they assist and are having to turn people away due to lack of food and resources.
Other basic essentials
Inquiry participants reported that people cannot afford other basic essentials such as clothing, electricity and water, medication and transport. For example, the committee heard that people struggle to maintain decent hygiene and clothing.
Low income renters in the private rental sector are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty because low cost housing has generally high running costs. Ms Kate Davis from Tenancy WA described the situation to the committee:
As a general rule, the lowest cost housing is the lowest quality […]. It's the least likely to have insulation, any curtains or window treatments, the most likely to have draughts, the most likely to have mould, the most likely to have cheap and inefficient utilities, and those utilities are the most expensive to run.
Energy prices have also dramatically increased in recent years, which contribute to people not being able to afford gas and electricity. For example, recipients of Newstart reported not heating or not cooling their house because of high energy costs.
Energy Supplement is paid fortnightly to people receiving Newstart and Youth Allowance to assist with household expenses, including energy costs. As at September 2019, the rate of Energy Supplement for a Newstart Allowance recipient was $8.80 per fortnight for a single person.
The Salvation Army and other inquiry participants submitted that additional payments such as the Energy Supplement provide some critical relief but are not sufficient.
Due to costs, people have to forego essential medications and postpone medical appointments.
Whilst recipients of income support payments are eligible for subsidised prescriptions, these still represent a substantial expense, especially if several medications are required.
For example, at a public hearing in Elizabeth, Rita who is on Newstart, explained to the committee that she cannot afford to take all her medications, and that she rations her insulin.
The Pharmaceutical Allowance is paid fortnightly to assist with the cost of pharmaceutical prescriptions. As at January 2019, the rate was $6.20 per fortnight for a single person.
Cohealth and the Cancer Council reported that it is common for people on a low income to delay seeking medical care due to cost.
ACT Disability Aged Carer Advocacy Service explained that people are delaying or missing medical appointments due to the gap fees or the cost of travel to the location of the appointment.
Most people cannot afford to run and maintain vehicles or regularly use public transport. As a result, people mostly stay at home and are unable to engage economically and socially.
For example, Nigel explained to the committee:
If you see someone on Newstart sitting at home and not going out and think that they are just sponging of government, I would like to suggest another way of looking at their situation: they are sitting at home because they cannot afford to go anywhere. […] Even money for public transport can be tricky to find if you need to get to an appointment. So it is my reality that I don't go out unless I have to.
The inability to afford transport also means that people cannot travel to job interviews or actively search for jobs.
Access to telecommunications is vital to engage socially and economically. However, the costs of hardware and data are prohibitive for people on income support payments.
For example, the findings from the 100 Families WA project showed that 39.6 per cent of families did not have access to the internet.
In her submission, a single parent on Newstart explained how she could not afford mobile data and added:
Although Centrelink services have moved online, and welfare recipients are expected to use MyGov online regularly, there has been no increase in welfare to account for the need to pay for mobile data.
Ms Helen Connolly, the Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia, is of the view that emergency relief funding should be expanded to telecommunications, including internet access.
Dr Simone Casey, Policy Adviser at the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, suggested the introduction of a digital supplement:
[…] we think a digital supplement would be a useful thing for unemployed people to have, so that they could do their job search and maintain their mutual obligation requirement.
Calls for an immediate raise
Overwhelmingly, submitters called for an immediate raise to Newstart and other income support payments for economic and social reasons.
Inquiry participants mentioned on many occasions a study conducted by Deloitte Access Economics in 2018, which argued that increasing Newstart by at least $75 per week and increasing CRA by $20 per week would have strong positive economic impacts and provide a minimum income to afford the cost of daily essentials.
However, other submitters suggested higher rates of increase to ensure people live above the poverty line.
Addressing poverty and restoring fairness
Submitters stressed that the Government has a responsibility for ensuring that the social security system does not force people into poverty and, instead, must help people out of a cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, expressed the view that increasing income support payments would have a significant impact on addressing poverty:
[…] in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the single-most effective thing that the government could do to reduce poverty in Australia right now would be to increase the rate of Newstart, youth allowance and related payments.
Other submitters also talked about the need to increase payments to restore fairness and equity. For example, Mr Stephen Byron, Chief Executive Officer of Canberra Airport, stated:
I believe Newstart is not meeting the test of fairness and isn’t helping Australians break the cycle of poverty.
Living instead of surviving
Many inquiry participants who are on income support payments talked about the many benefits that even a small increase of Newstart would have on their lives and on the economy. For example, Mason who is on Newstart said:
If Newstart was increased by just the modest amount that is being proposed, I might be able to focus on being healthy and contributing to my community again. I would not have to spend all my time wondering how I will live through the next fortnight.
In her submission, Aeryn explained how a small increase to Newstart would enable her to afford many basic essentials and concluded:
But most importantly, I’d no longer be just surviving or even barely existing. I could afford to live.
Increase of payments
In a wealthy country like Australia, no one should be forced to forego meals in order to pay for medications or housing. The committee heard throughout the inquiry distressing accounts of deprivation, highlighting the daily struggles of those living below the poverty line discussed earlier in the Chapter.
Alarmingly, these lived experiences of poverty and extreme deprivation are those of people who do receive income support payments. They have not fallen through the cracks of the welfare system. Rather, the current system is failing them. The Australian income support system is clearly not meeting its objective of ensuring a minimum standard of living for all.
As highlighted by all submitters, except Australian Government departments, the current levels of jobseeker allowances are inadequate and impede peoples’ ability to engage socially and economically within their community. The additional supplements and payments available to assist with the costs of housing, energy bills or pharmaceutical expenses are clearly insufficient to mitigate the inadequacy of the JobSeeker Payment (known as Newstart Allowance until 20 March 2020) and Youth Allowance.
The committee notes the general agreement on the need to review and raise the payments and supplements available to jobseekers, including from the business sector, local governments, community services sector, academics and the wider community. Only the Australian Government seems to stand outside this consensus.
The committee recommends the Australian Government immediately undertake a review of the income support system to ensure that all eligible income support recipients do not live in poverty.
Commonwealth Rental Assistance
Housing affordability is an issue that affects many Australians, whether they’re renting or buying a home. For people on the JobSeeker Payment, it has become almost impossible to secure a tenancy in the private rental market. Securing a tenancy in public housing is now also unlikely due to the chronic shortage of social housing across the country.
This is forcing people to live in accommodations that can be unsafe and substandard. The committee heard that on many occasions people are forced to live in shared accommodations, whether they like this option or not.
The committee acknowledges that the current rate of CRA is reducing incidence of Housing Affordability Stress. However, it no longer provides an adequate contribution toward rental costs.
The committee recommends the Australian Government undertake a review of the adequacy of the Commonwealth Rent Assistance program, to ensure it significantly improves rental affordability and reflects fluctuations in rents and local rental market circumstances.
Risk of homelessness
The committee heard throughout the inquiry that the difficulties of finding affordable and stable accommodation are resulting in people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The committee notes that there has been a significant increase in people seeking assistance from homelessness services. These services are struggling and lack resources to support the rising number of people seeking support.
The committee recommends the Australian Government work with state and territory governments to ensure immediate increases in funding for emergency relief housing and social housing.