Bill Text: NJ A1012 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits emergency shelters for the homeless from refusing to provide services for minimum time frame unless shelters are at maximum capacity.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2016-01-27 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee [A1012 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-A1012-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 1012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  MILA M. JASEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblyman  RALPH R. CAPUTO

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Johnson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits emergency shelters for the homeless from refusing to provide services for minimum time frame unless shelters are at maximum capacity.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning emergency shelters for the homeless and amending and supplementing P.L.1985, c.48.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.1985, c.48 (C.55:13C-2) is amended to read as follows:

     [For purposes of] As used in this act [, an]:

     "Emergency condition" means and includes, but is not limited to, a snow emergency or excessive cold or heat.

   ["emergency] "Emergency shelter for the homeless" means a building or structure in which a public entity or a private, nonprofit organization provides shelter, or food and shelter, [for a limited period of time] to individuals and families having neither a home nor the means to obtain a home or other temporary lodging.

     "Licensed capacity" means the number of individuals specified by a public officer of a municipality or the Department of Community Affairs as the maximum occupancy level of an emergency shelter for the homeless, or the number of individuals indicated on the certificate of occupancy of the shelter.

(cf:  P.L.1985, c.48, s.2)

 

     2.    (New section)  a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, an emergency shelter for the homeless shall not refuse to provide shelter, or food and shelter, for a minimum of 72 hours, to an individual or family seeking these services, unless the shelter is at its licensed capacity.

     b.    In the event of an emergency condition, an emergency shelter for the homeless, which has been authorized by a public officer of a municipality or the Department of Community Affairs to provide shelter, or food and shelter, to a specified number of individuals in excess of its licensed capacity because of emergency conditions, shall not refuse to provide shelter, or food and shelter, for a minimum of 24 hours from the commencement of the emergency condition or for the duration of the emergency condition, whichever is longer, to an individual or family seeking these services, unless the shelter is at its licensed capacity plus any authorized excess capacity.

 

     3.    The Commissioner of Community Affairs, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B- 1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

     4.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Community Affairs may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits emergency shelters for the homeless from refusing to provide shelter, or food and shelter, for a minimum of 72 hours, to an individual or family seeking theses services, unless the shelter is at its maximum occupancy level (defined in the bill as "licensed capacity").  Under current law, the shelters must provide these services for a "limited period of time," which, under the regulations of the Department of Community Affairs, means a minimum stay of less than 24 hours.

     In addition, the bill provides an exception in the event of emergency conditions, such as snow emergencies or excessive cold or heat.  In the event of emergency conditions, emergency shelters for the homeless, which have been authorized to provide shelter, or food and shelter, to individuals in excess of their licensed capacity, are prohibited from refusing to provide these services, for a minimum of 24 hours from the commencement of the emergency condition or for the duration of the emergency condition, whichever is longer, unless the shelters are at their licensed capacity plus any authorized excess capacity.

     This bill is intended to ensure that emergency shelters for the homeless do not refuse to provide shelter, or food and shelter, to homeless individuals when the shelters have the capacity to do so, and to clarify and expand the minimum time frames for a stay at these shelters.

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