THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

22

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2010

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

ReQUESTING GOVERNMENT-FUNDED HOUSING AGENCIES TO AFFORD ELDERLY TENANTS IN PUBLIC AND SENIOR HOUSING WHO HAVE UNEXPECTEDLY BECOME THE PRIMARY CAREGIVERS OF THEIR GRANDCHILDREN-IN-CRISIS A REASONABLE TIME TO FIND APPROPRIATE HOUSING BEFORE THEY MAY BE EVICTED.

 

 


WHEREAS, in the process of life sometimes unforeseen circumstances or family crises beyond one's control result in a situation where grandparents become the caregivers or legal guardians of their grandchildren-in-crisis; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 220, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008, established a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force to focus on the needs and issues of grandparents raising grandchildren; and

 

WHEREAS, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force found that grandparents caring for grandchildren experience difficulties finding adequate housing; and

 

WHEREAS, in Hawaii, natural processes and cultural practices are accepted, respected, and practiced when a grandparent cares for a grandchild-in-crisis, as documented in The 2007 Needs Assessment of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (Assessment) prepared by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Family and Consumer Science; and

 

WHEREAS, the Assessment reports that over 14,000 grandparents are primary caregivers for over 33,000 grandchildren in the State of Hawaii, and that these grandparents are playing an important part in ensuring the well‑being of children in Hawaii and are also saving the State approximately $17,000,000 per month by caring for their grandchildren outside the foster care system; and

 

WHEREAS, seniors who have limited or fixed incomes and who live in government-funded public housing or senior housing could suddenly find themselves caring for grandchildren-in-crisis who are minors and in need of immediate care, shelter, and food; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii's housing market is one of the costliest in the nation, providing few options for seniors living on limited incomes; and

 

WHEREAS, a senior who lives in a public or senior housing on a limited income may not be able to immediately find housing to accommodate a grandchild, and may have to apply for a suitable public housing unit that entails being placed on a waitlist, a situation that forces the grandparent to continue to live in the same unit in possible violation of housing policies and rules; and

 

WHEREAS, current federal and state laws exempt certain senior housing complexes from housing discrimination laws intended to protect families with children, and accordingly, grandparents may be evicted for allowing a grandchild under the age of eighteen to live with them; and

 

WHEREAS, federal and state laws allow housing authorities and managers of public housing complexes to change policy and house rules to make exceptions for seniors who need to find new housing; and

 

WHEREAS, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Task Force strongly recommended to the Kupuna Caucus and the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging in Place and Family Caregiving that general awareness be raised about the plight of grandparents raising grandchildren-in-crisis in senior housing, particularly the need to allow grandparents more time to find new housing; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2010, that all public and private housing agencies that receive government funding are requested to make appropriate exemptions in their respective policies to allow tenants who are seniors to keep grandchildren-in-crisis with them in their units for a reasonable period of time until suitable housing is obtained to accommodate the grandchildren; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that housing officials are requested to waive house rules and avoid sending eviction notices to eligible seniors who unexpectedly become the primary caregivers to their grandchildren-in-crisis to allow affected grandparents a reasonable time period to find appropriate housing; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that housing officials are requested, as a proactive approach to affording relief, to identify affected grandparents; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor; the Hawaii Field Office Director of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Director of Human Services; the Director of the Executive Office on Aging; Executive Director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation; Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority; Executive Director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority; Housing Administrator of the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development; Executive on Housing of the County of Kauai Housing Agency; Director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns of the County of Maui; the President of Big Island Housing Foundation; the President of Seawind Realty Inc.; General Partners of Kekaha Plantation Housing Partnership; the Director of Lokelani Hale; the Director of Piilani Housing; the Oahu County Manager of Prudential Locations LLC, Property Management Division; the Director of Hawaiian Properties, Ltd.; the President of Bob Tanaka, Inc; the Director of St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii; the Director of the CBM Group, Inc.; the Director of Century 21 Realty Specialists Corporation; the Director of Cambridge Management, Inc.; the Director of Hawaiiana Management Company; General Partners of Kulana Hale; the Chairperson of Housing Solutions Incorporated; Members of Realty Laua LLC; the Director of Nanaikeola Senior Apartments, Inc.; the Chair and President of Retirement Housing Foundation; General Partners of Senior Residence at Iwilei; the Director of EAH, Inc.; the Director of Whitmore Circle

Apartments; the Executive Vice President of Apartment Investment and Management Company; and the Executive Director of AARP.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

 

 

Report Title:

Senior Housing; Grandchildren-in-Crisis