BY THELMA DREYER – Rep. Rida Cabanilla (District 42 – Waipahu, Honouliuli, West Loch, Ewa) today released a statement applauding the House of Representatives for passing House Bill 898, which extends the lapsed date of previous appropriations from the emergency and budget reserve fund for the development and implementation of the Housing First Pilot Program for chronically homeless individuals.
“The passage of this bill is crucial to continue to address the urgent issue of homelessness in Hawaii,” said Rep. Rida Cabanilla. “This measure would provide the Department of Human Services and the Hawaii Public Housing Authority the resources and manpower necessary to carry out the intended purpose of the Housing First Pilot Program. This extension would grant the state more time to implement the pilot program, which would be an investment for the future in addressing the state’s homelessness issues. I am committed to working with members of the Senate and my colleagues in the House to ensure the passage of this bill.”
The Housing First Pilot Program is an innovative housing policy which combines emergency housing combined with social services and medical treatment for the chronically homeless, especially homeless individuals with history of substance abuse and/or mental illness.
HB 898 will be transmitted to the Hawaii State Senate for further discussion and consideration.
Cabanilla also was pleased that House Bill 1303, a measure providing minimum rent for public housing units and allows the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to assess a community facility maintenance fee, today passed third reading in the Hawaii State House.
“Reform of our public housing system is urgently needed. I am excited that my colleagues in the House have agreed to this proposed change of policy. While I am committed to improving access and availability to affordable public housing, a minimum rent and maintenance fee will assist the Housing Public Authority to improve their ability to maintain units and overall self-sustenance of the program.”
Fetu Kolio, President of the Tenant Association of Mayor Wrights Homes, said in testimony to House committees that “requiring all tenants to pay a minimum rent will help instill a sense of ownership in our community.”
HB 1303 will be transmitted to the Hawaii State Senate for further discussion and consideration.