STAND. COM. REP. NO. 524

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1131

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. 1131 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO OHANA ZONES,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Increase the number of ohana zone sites on Oahu from three to six; and

 

(2) Appropriate funds to the Department of Human Services for the ohana zones pilot program.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and three 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.

 

Your Committees find that safe zones provide a housing alternative for homeless individuals and families. Your Committees further find that Act 209, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018 (Act 209), established an ohana zones pilot program to provide safe zones in the State. Ohana zones are designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness find and transition into permanent housing and provide them with needed services. This measure increases the amount of ohana zones on Oahu, which will provide more safe zones for homeless individuals and families and improve their overall well-being.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Requiring designated agencies to designate at least two additional ohana zones on each neighbor island, if the ohana zones pilot program capacity permits;

 

(2) Clarifying that the reports to the legislature on the ohana zones pilot program shall include evaluations on ultra-low cost modular housing that would be best suited for permanent supportive housing and whether there are off-the-grid infrastructure technologies that can provide drinking water, electricity, and process sewage, without existing infrastructure;

 

(3) Extending the deadline for the Department of Human Services to implement the pilot project, including extending the sunset of the project; 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 Housing that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1131, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1131, 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