STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2349
RE: S.B. No. 2032
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Housing, to which was referred S.B. No. 2032 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENTAL DISCRIMINATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit discrimination, including in advertisements for available rental units, based on receipt of income from a housing assistance program or requirements related to participation in housing assistance programs, in rental transactions and requirements.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission, Hawai‘i Health & Harm Reduction Center, and one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawai‘i Association of Realtors and one individual.
Your Committee finds that many homeless individuals continue to have trouble locating permanent housing, even when assigned a housing voucher through programs such as Housing First, State Rent Supplement Program, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, Tenant Based Rental Assistance, or Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Your Committee notes that the Hawaii Public Housing Authority testified that in 2019, eighty-six eligible families had to return their housing vouchers because they were unable to find a rental unit.
Your Committee further finds that many landlords are reluctant to rent to individuals who have a housing voucher. According to the testimony received by your Committee, many advertisements for housing specifically state, "No Section 8" or "No Vouchers".
Your Committee further finds that a recent study conducted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that jurisdictions with housing voucher discrimination protections produced a higher rate of landlord voucher acceptance. Therefore, this measure prohibits housing discrimination based on the renter's participation in a housing assistance program.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Housing that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2032 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Housing,
STANLEY CHANG, Chair