STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3004
RE: H.B. No. 1934
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2014
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Human Services and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOUSING,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to address homelessness by:
(1) Appropriating funds to the Department of Health for substance abuse treatment, mental health support services, and clean and sober housing services;
(2) Appropriating funds to the Department of Human Services for a rental assistance program, also known as a shallow subsidy program;
(3) Appropriating funds to the Department of Human Services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals and for the homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing program;
(4) Appropriating matching funds to the Department of Human Services for the federal continuum of care permanent supportive housing programs to provide rental assistance in connection with supportive services;
(5) Appropriating funds to the Department of Human Services for innovative temporary housing solutions related to the homeless assistance working group's findings and recommendations; and
(6) Transferring the homeless assistance working group from the Department of Human Services to the Legislature.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Aloha United Way, Catholic Charities Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawaii Primary Care Association, Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Living Life Source Foundation, Partners in Care, PHOCUSED, and five individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services and Department of Health.
Your Committees find that homelessness is a complex and growing challenge in Hawaii, and that addressing the issue requires a multi-faceted approach. Your Committees recognize that stable housing is a critical component in the continuum of substance abuse treatment and recovery. In addition, it is important to assist homeless families and those in transitional housing that seek permanent rental housing by providing rent subsidies that make permanent housing affordable.
Your Committees further find that housing first programs are essential to moving chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing with wrap-around services. Your Committees also find that providing matching funds for federally funded continuum of care permanent supportive housing programs would enable over six hundred homeless individuals with disabilities to be re-integrated into the community and maintain housing. Finally, your Committees note the value of innovative temporary housing solutions
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Designating the expending agency for the shallow subsidy program as the Hawaii Public Housing Authority instead of the Department of Human Services;
(2) Inserting provisions that exempt the purchase and construction of innovating housing solutions as they relate to the homeless assistance working group's findings and recommendations from the public procurement code and requiring that such housing be ready for use and fully occupied by December 1, 2014;
(3) Designating the expending agency for the purchase and construction of innovative housing solutions as they relate to the homeless assistance working group's findings and recommendations as the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation instead of the Department of Human Services; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Human Services and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Human Services and Health,
JOSH GREEN, Chair
SUZANNE CHUN OAKLAND, Chair