Bill Text: HI HB729 | 2021 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Relating To Homelessness.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-18 - Passed Second Reading as amended in HD 1 and referred to the committee(s) on FIN with none voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Gates excused (1). [HB729 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2021-HB729-Amended.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

729

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has decimated the State's economy and caused the State's unemployment rate to surge.  Despite efforts to reopen the State's economy, Hawaii still had the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation as of November 2020.  As the pandemic continues to rage around the world, Hawaii's tourism industry is not expected to recover for many more years.  Accordingly, the State will continue to feel the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.

     The legislature also finds that recent data from the university of Hawaii economic research organization has shown that more than eleven thousand Hawaii tenants have fallen behind on their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that forty per cent of rental tenants have lost their jobs.  Thousands of other households may face an unsustainable change in their housing cost burden in 2021 as the State's economic challenges continue.  Even in a best-case scenario, the number of individuals facing homelessness is likely to continue rising during the upcoming fiscal year.

     The legislature further finds that budget cuts proposed by the administration have threatened the ability of the department of human services to adequately address the State's growing homelessness crisis, including key programs such as:

     (1)  The housing first program, which provides support to the State's chronically homeless population to allow them to achieve stability and recovery;

     (2)  The rapid re-housing program, which provides assistance to people who are homeless and at imminent risk of becoming homeless and allows them to access permanent housing as rapidly as possible;

     (3)  Family assessment centers, which ensure families are housed while they are being connected to services and long-term housing; and

     (4)  Homeless outreach and civil legal services, which provides urgent services and help to connect individuals to permanent housing and other basic but important needs.

     The purpose of this Act is to ensure that certain moneys appropriated to the department of human services are used to fund core services that address homelessness.

     SECTION 2.  Of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii that are appropriated for medicaid (HMS   ) by the General Appropriations Act of 2021, the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 shall be reallocated for services that address homelessness (HMS224); provided that the sum appropriated shall be expended as follows:

     (1)  $           for the housing first program;

     (2)  $           for the rapid re-housing program;

     (3)  $           for the family assessment centers; and

     (4)  $           for homeless outreach and civil legal services.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of human services for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  The department of human services shall take any actions necessary to modify its medicaid waiver and negotiate with the federal government to effectuate this Act.

     SECTION 4.  It is the intent of this Act not to jeopardize the receipt of any federal aid nor to impair the obligation of the State or any agency thereof to the holders of any bond issued by the State or by any agency, and to the extent, and only to the extent, necessary to effectuate this intent, the governor may modify the strict provisions of this Act, but shall promptly report any modification with reasons therefor to the legislature at its next session thereafter for review by the legislature.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2060.


 


 

Report Title:

Homelessness; Department of Human Services; Family Assessment Center; Housing First; Homeless Outreach and Civil Legal Services; Rapid Rehousing; Appropriation

 

Description:

Reallocates moneys to fund and administer core homelessness services (HMS 224), including the housing first program, rapid re-housing program, family assessment centers, and homeless outreach and civil legal services.  Effective 7/1/2060.  (HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

 

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