STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2717
RE: S.B. No. 2535
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 S.B. No. 2535, 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.
More specifically, this measure:
(1) Appropriates funds to the Department of Health for substance abuse treatment, mental health support services, and clean and sober housing support services;
(2) Appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services for a rental assistance program, also known as a shallow subsidy program;
(3) Appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services to continue administering 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 Department of Human Services for innovative temporary housing solutions related to the Homeless Assistance Working Group's findings and recommendations;
(6) Transfers the administrative responsibility over the Homeless Assistance Working Group from the Department of Human Services to the Legislature; and
(7) Requires the Chairpersons of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Human Services to convene the Homeless Assistance Working Group, rather than the Director of Human Services.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from Catholic Charities Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Office for Social Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, Partners In Care, PHOCUSED, and three individuals. Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that homelessness continues to be one of the State's most significant and challenging social problems. According to a recent report, fourteen thousand two hundred homeless individuals were served through shelter and outreach programs in fiscal year 2011. Of these individuals, 9,781 resided in the City and County of Honolulu. Your Committee also finds that homeless service providers estimate that six thousand homeless people in the State need shelter each night. Your Committee further finds that homelessness is a complex issue that requires continuous resources and coordinated efforts at all levels. Your Committee believes that this measure provides resources to allow the State to take a multi-faceted approach to addressing homelessness.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the dollar amounts of all appropriations to unspecified amounts;
(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure; and
(3) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of consistency, clarity, and style.
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 S.B. No. 2535, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2535, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair