Emergency Relief Clients Struggling To Pay Housing And Utilities

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1st June 2010, 08:00am - Views: 1074

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Further enquiries contact: 

Andrew Yule on 0448 380 455 or 9412 6137 or Andrew.yule@anglicarevic.org.au

Media Release

Under embargo until 6AM 1 June 2010

01 June 2010

Emergency relief clients deprived of essential items and

struggling to pay for housing and utilities

People accessing emergency relief services in Victoria are being deprived of

essentials such as a secure home and medical treatment and in many cases are

falling behind in payments for housing, gas, electricity and water according to a new

report from Anglicare Victoria.

Anglicare CEO Dr Ray Cleary said all emergency relief clients rely on income support

from Centrelink and the findings of the report indicate the social security safety net is

failing them.

“Almost nine in every ten people who took part in our Hardship Survey were forced to

borrow money from family or friends in the past 12 months,” Dr Cleary said.

“Around a quarter of the people we spoke to had been forced to pawn or sell some

of their property just to pay their day-to-day expenses.”

The Anglicare Victoria Hardship Survey 2010 used a well regarded deprivation index

developed by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW that

contains 26 items ‘no-one in Australia should have to go without today’.

The results showed that more than half of the people questioned could not afford

dental treatment when they needed it, more than one third could not afford

medicine prescribed by a doctor and almost 30 per cent could not afford to eat a

good meal once a day.

“Perhaps the most shocking finding was that more than three quarters of the people

surveyed were missing out on 3 or more of the items deemed as essential in modern

Australia and some people were missing out on up to twelve,” said Dr Cleary.

The report also showed people were using emergency relief as a regular support

service rather than a crisis measure.

“People are accessing so called emergency relief an average of seven times a year

with some people approaching various agencies a total of 13 times a year,” Dr

Cleary said.

“The stark picture this report paints is one of families and individuals forced to go

without essentials, borrowing money from friends or family and accessing food

parcels and other material aid just to survive.”

The Anglicare Victoria Hardship Survey 2010 was conducted in April and May 2010 in

St Albans, Wangaratta, Fitzroy, Clayton and Lilydale. One hundred and fourteen

emergency relief clients participated in the report.  


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