STAND. COM. REP. NO. 313

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1551

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Housing and Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 1551 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO SUPPORTIVE HOUSING,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish a Supportive Housing Pilot Program in the statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions; and

 

(2) Appropriate funds and establish positions for the Supportive Housing Pilot Program.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Governor's Coordinator on Homelessness; Department of Public Safety; State Council on Developmental Disabilities; State Procurement Office; Hawaii Public Housing Authority; Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation; Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center; Affordable Housing Connections, LLC dba AHC Hawaii; Catholic Charities Hawaii; Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition; Hawaii Autism Foundation; The Institute for Human Services, Inc.; AARP Hawaii; Keiki Education Living Independent Institute; HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc; Pacific Housing Assistance Corporation; Fuller Lives; and ten individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.

 

Your Committees find that the concept of supportive housing has been shown to decrease homelessness, reduce burdens and costs on public systems, and decrease crime rates. Your Committees recognize that the State has a need for significant public financing of housing units since the free market is not generating the essential inventory and that there is also a critical need for rental subsidies and supportive services to help individuals and households with special needs maintain housing over time. According to testimony received by your Committees, the support systems proposed in this pilot program will increase long-term benefits for several populations with various housing challenges statewide. Your Committees note that during the February 2, 2023 Committee on Housing's hearing on Senate Bill No. 936, Regular Session of 2023, which would have required HHFDC to prioritize the allocation of low-income housing tax credits to state-owned development projects, HHFDC testified against the earmarking of funds for specific projects and has reiterated the same concerns for this measure.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by:

 

(1) Clarifying the Hawaii Public Housing Authority shall implement project-based rent supplement payments at levels sufficient to fill the gap between the flat rents needed to cover project costs and an amount that targeted residents can afford;

 

(2) Deleting language that would have exempted the statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions and the Hawaii Housing Public Authority from the State Procurement Code for the supportive housing program;

 

(3) Extending the deadlines of the interim and final reports to the Legislature by one year to account for the planning and inter-agency coordination needed to implement this measure; and

 

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

 

Your Committees note that the Senate Draft 1 of this measure does not make appropriations for fiscal year 2024-2025, but only for fiscal year 2023-2024. Should your Committee on Ways and Means choose to deliberate on this measure, your Committees respectfully request that it considers inserting appropriation language that would also allow for an appropriation in fiscal year 2024-2025.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Housing and Health and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1551, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1551, 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 Health and Human Services,

 

________________________________

JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair

 

________________________________

STANLEY CHANG, Chair