§346-378  Housing first programs.  (a)  The department of human services, in consultation with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, as necessary, shall implement housing first programs and services, as the department deems appropriate for clientele who would most likely benefit from and succeed with the implementation of housing first programs and services, and subject to the availability of existing funds.

     (b)  The principles of housing first include:

     (1)  Moving chronically homeless individuals into housing directly from streets and shelters, without a precondition of accepting or complying with treatment; provided that the department may condition continued tenancy through a housing first program on participation in treatment services;

     (2)  Providing robust support services for program participants, predicated on assertive engagement instead of coercion;

     (3)  Granting chronically homeless individuals priority as program participants in housing first programs;

     (4)  Embracing a harm-reduction approach to addictions, rather than mandating abstinence, while supporting program-participant commitments to recovery; and

     (5)  Providing program-participants with leases and tenant protections as provided by law.

     The department of human services may contract with housing first consultants to effectuate the purposes of this section.

     (c)  Housing first programs shall incorporate the following:

     (1)  Identification of target populations, specifically chronically homeless individuals;

     (2)  Developing assessments for the chronically homeless population;

     (3)  Developing service components, including:

          (A)  Financial assistance;

          (B)  In-home case management services;

          (C)  Affordable housing requirements;

          (D)  Landlord cultivation;

          (E)  Housing-placement requirements; and

          (F)  Support services to move program-participants toward self-sufficiency.

     (d)  The department of human services shall submit an annual report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session, beginning with the regular session of 2011.  The annual report shall include:

     (1)  The total number of participants in housing first programs;

     (2)  The annual costs of the programs;

     (3)  The types of support services offered; and

     (4)  Information regarding the duration of services required for each participant.

     (e)  As used in this section, "chronically homeless individual" means:

     (1)  A homeless individual having a mental illness, addiction, or physical disability who:

          (A)  Lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or an emergency shelter; and

          (B)  Has been homeless and living as described in subparagraph (A) continuously for at least twelve months or on at least four separate occasions in the last three years; provided that the combined occasions equal at least twelve months and each break in homelessness separating the occasions included at least seven consecutive nights of not living in places as described in subparagraph (A); provided further that stays in institutional care facilities for fewer than ninety days shall not constitute a break in homelessness, but shall be included in the twelve-month total if the individual was living in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or an emergency shelter immediately before entering the institutional care facility;

     (2)  An individual who has been residing in an institutional care facility, including a jail, substance abuse or mental health treatment facility, hospital, or other similar facility, for fewer than ninety days and met all of the criteria in paragraph (1) before entering that facility; or

     (3)  A family with an adult head of household, or a minor head of household if there is no adult in the family, who meets all of the criteria in paragraph (1) or (2), including a family whose composition has fluctuated while the head of household has been homeless. [L 2010, c 212, pt of §2, §5; am L 2016, c 42, §6; am L 2020, c 65, §2]


Revision Note


  In subsections (a), (b), and (d), "the department of human services" was substituted for "the Hawaii public housing authority, in collaboration with the department of human services" pursuant to §23G-15.



Previous Vol07_Ch0346-0398 Next