STAND. COM. REP. NO. 375

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1020

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Housing and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 1020 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENTAL ASSISTANCE,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority for the state rent supplement program to provide assistance through the establishment of a housing homeless children rental assistance pilot program.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Hawaii Youth Services Network, Hawaii Children's Action Network, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Our Revolution Hawaii, Hawaiian Community Assets, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force, and four individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness and State Procurement Office.

 

Your Committees find that homelessness and affordable housing are two of the most pressing problems in Hawaii. According to the 2018 Oahu Homeless Point-In-Time Count, there were 407 sheltered and unsheltered homeless families on the island of Oahu, including 899 homeless minor children on Oahu. Your Committees note that while the number of homeless individuals has decreased in recent years, a robust and comprehensive solution is needed to address the number of homeless families, particularly homeless children. Your Committees further find that one major contributing factor to the number of homeless families is the high cost of housing in Hawaii. By increasing the State's investment in long-term, shallow rent subsidies, the State can help vulnerable families out of homelessness and ensure greater housing stability.

 

This measure continues to address the State's homeless crisis by expanding help to homeless children through a housing homeless children rental assistance pilot program to provide ongoing, shallow rental subsidies to move homeless families with children into stable housing.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Changing the agency responsible to provide assistance through the establishment of a housing homeless children rental assistance pilot program from the state rent supplement program under the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to the Department of Human Services;

 

(2) Inserting language to clarify that the period of performance of contracts procured for financial management and budget counseling services do not exceed the three-year term of the pilot program;

 

(3) Requiring the Department of Human Services to participate in the Continuum of Care's Coordinated Entry System and requiring the Department of Human Services and housing counseling agencies that provide services under the pilot program to input data into the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Homeless Management Information System; and

 

(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

Your Committees note that all families, not only families with children who are experiencing domestic violence, stand to benefit from the pilot program proposed by this measure and that this program should therefore be expanded to encompass all families. Your Committees further note that it is important to provide job training, proper placement of families, and extensive children assistance for families receiving a short term subsidy, to ensure sustainability of their housing.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Housing and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1020, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1020, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Housing and Human Services,

 

________________________________

RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair

 

________________________________

STANLEY CHANG, Chair