STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3301
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 Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOUSING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to address homelessness in the State.
Specifically, the measure:
(1) Appropriates funds to the Department of Health for substance abuse treatment, mental health support services, and clean and sober housing services;
(2) Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority for a rental assistance program, also known as a shallow subsidy program;
(3) Appropriates 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) Appropriates 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) Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation for innovative housing solutions related to the homeless assistance working group's findings and recommendations; and
(6) Transfers the homeless assistance working group from the Department of Human Services to the Legislature.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Catholic Charities Hawaii, United States Veterans Initiative, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Aloha United Way, Partners in Care, Hawaii Primary Care Association, Community Alliance for Mental Health, Catholic Diocese Office for Social Ministry, and two individuals. The Department of Health and the Department of Human Services submitted written comments on the measure.
Your Committee finds that addressing the complex and growing challenge of homelessness in Hawaii requires a multi-faceted approach that recognizes stable housing as a critical component of substance abuse treatment and recovery. Your Committee also finds that providing rent subsidies will help make permanent housing affordable for homeless families and those in transitional housing.
Your Committee further finds that innovative temporary housing solutions have value and that Housing First programs are essential to moving some of the most chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing linked with appropriate services. Your Committee believes that providing matching funds for federally funded continuum of care permanent supportive housing programs would provide housing opportunities for more than six hundred homeless individuals with disabilities.
Your Committee has amended this measure by changing the appropriation in section 4 as follows:
(1) Deleting the appropriation for a rental assistance program, known as a shallow subsidy program, and replacing it with an unspecified appropriation for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority's rent supplement program;
(2) Establishing a 0.75 full time equivalent (0.75 FTE) position within the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to administer the rent supplement program; and
(3) Deleting the maximum rent subsidy limit of $300 per month and the requirement that a household must pay a minimum of forty per cent of its adjusted gross income for rent to qualify for the subsidy.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1934, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair