STAND. COM. REP. NO. 523

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1031

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 Human Services and Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 1031 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to;

 

(1) Establish a long-term rental assistance pilot program to be administered by the Department of Health; and

 

(2) Appropriate funds for the administration of the pilot program.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from Catholic Charities Hawaii; Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force; Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation; Our Revolution Hawaii; HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc.; Partners In Care; Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; and three individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness.

 

Your Committees find that homelessness is one of the most pressing problems in Hawaii, which requires a robust, comprehensive, long-term solution to address Hawaii's affordable housing and homelessness crisis. High housing costs continues to drive more and more Hawaii residents into homelessness and now Hawaii has the highest homelessness rate in the nation.

 

Your Committees further find that one important component of the solution is ensuring that low-income elderly individuals are not forced into homelessness through a combination of fixed incomes and rapidly rising rents. Hawaii must prioritize programs that are the most cost-effective and target the most vulnerable populations, such as the State's elders. Many elderly individuals have a fixed income and may find themselves at imminent risk of homelessness if faced with unexpected hardship. This measure establishes a long-term rental assistance pilot program, which will provide a combination of rental assistance and case management to assist participants in obtaining and maintaining housing.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Requiring the Department of Health to enter into a memoranda of agreement with the counties to implement this measure;

 

(2) Requiring the long-term assistance pilot program to participate in the Continuum of Care's Coordinated Entry System for homeless services;

 

(3) Requiring the provider of the long-term assistance pilot program to input data into the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Homeless Management Information System;

 

(4) Requiring an annual report to the Legislature from the Department of Health regarding the long-term rental assistance pilot program, to no later than one month prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2020, 2021, and 2022;

 

(5) Specifying a June 30, 2022, sunset date for the long-term assistance pilot program; and

 

(6) 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 Housing that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1031, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1031, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

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

 

________________________________

STANLEY CHANG, Chair

 

________________________________

RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair