A homeless person resting in a building waiting to be demolished around Tongyuanju (铜元局). Photo taken during a field trip to Chongqing in November 2013. Although the low-income allowance (dibao - 低保) covers the whole territory of Chongqing now, the amount given very low. In 2013, the allowance for urban residents was 300 yuan per month (185 yuan/month in rural areas), but it can be lower depending on the family income. In order to get this subsidy, the applicant must meet some requirements such as an income lower than 1450 yuan per month. There is growing social discontent because of the lack of affordable housing. The importance of the real estate industry to the economy is such that the government still has not properly addressed the housing issues faced by the most desperate. The city of Chongqing announced an ambitious plan for social housing in 2010. However, this housing plan is mostly intended for workers with stable jobs and income.

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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