NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY SERVICES (DCS)
Notice is hereby given of proposed rule adoption, rulemaking, and public hearing by DCS to consider the adoption of
Title 8, Department of Community Services, Chapter 10.1, Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance Emergency Housing Voucher Program (“Proposed Rules”).
DCS will hold a public hearing to receive testimony on proposed adoption of a new chapter of its administrative rules relating to Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance. The Proposed Rules add new definitions, and establish new guidelines governing program options and requirements for Emergency Housing Vouchers.
The proposed new chapter is summarized as follows:
Chapter 10.1 – Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance Emergency Housing Voucher Program, is proposed for adoption. The Proposed Rules implement Section 3202 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Pub. L. 117-2, which authorized the issuance of Emergency Housing Vouchers to provide emergency tenant-based rental assistance for individuals and families who are: homeless, at-risk of homelessness, fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or recently homeless. The Proposed Rules are prepared pursuant to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development PIH Notice 2021-15, which details how jurisdictions must supplement and modify their Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher administrative plans for the new Emergency Housing Voucher program.
The new chapter 10.1:
1. Includes a section describing the authority for Emergency Housing Vouchers and the relationship of Chapter 10.1 to Chapter 10 of the Department of Community Services Administrative Rules.
2. Adds definitions for:
At-risk of homelessness
Continuum of care or CoC
E.H.V. eligibility categories
Emergency Housing Vouchers or E.H.V.s
Fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking
3. Establishes very low income limits for E.H.V. eligibility
4. Requires the CoC or partnering providers to determine whether E.H.V. applicants meet one of the four E.H.V. eligibility categories, and refer eligible applicants to the City.
5. Provides for admission preferences to be established in a memorandum of understanding between the Agency and Continuum of Care.
6. Excludes from E.H.V. program admission applicants where any household member:
a. Has ever been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of federally assisted housing; or
b. Is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program.
7. Establishes a waiting list for E.H.V.s that is separate from the waiting list for Housing Choice Vouchers.
8. Provides for an initial voucher term of 120 days.
9. Allows for an initial E.H.V. lease term that may be shorter than one year but not less than six months if a shorter term would improve housing opportunities for the individual or family.
10. Provides an Applicant Family may move immediately under portability.
11. Sets forth the allowable uses of the E.H.V. services fee to include:
a. Housing search assistance provided by the CoC, if funds permit, for more than one rental unit;
b. Security deposits, utility deposits and/or utility arrearages, to be paid by the Agency directly to the landlord or utility company, up to a total aggregate amount of $3,000.00 per family, not to exceed one rental unit per family. The security deposit and utility deposits and/or utility arrearage shall be paid on behalf of the family and any deposit balance that is returned shall belong to the family;
c. Application fees required by prospective landlords, and renter’s insurance if required by the lease, up to a total aggregate amount of $300.00 for application fees and renter’s insurance combined, per family; and
d. Tenant readiness services provided by the CoC, if funds permit, for more than one rental unit.
e. Services for an Applicant Family exercising portability, subject to availability of funds, and limited to the actual cost of services and assistance provided, or $1,750, whichever is lower.
Further, requires E.H.V. Services Fee funding to be initially used for the defined eligible uses and not for other administrative expenses of the E.H.V. program. To the extent allowed by HUD, beyond the initial use, the Agency shall use the remaining funds for other EHV purposes.
A public hearing will be held:
Date: October 29, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: Department of Community Services
51 Merchant Street, 1st Floor Conference Room
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Copies of the proposed rules are available for review at the address below starting today and ending five days prior to the day of the public hearing during normal business hours: Monday through Friday, except state holidays, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are also available free of charge on the City’s internet page http://www.honolulu.gov/cms-dcs-menu/site-dcs-sitearticles/1795-cad-plans-and-rules.html . Copies of the proposed rules can be mailed at no charge to any interested person who submits a written request to the address below.
Department of Community Services
51 Merchant Street, 2nd Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808) 768-7080
Fax: (808) 768-7095
The Department of Community Services is committed to allowing public testimony. All interested persons are invited to express their views on this matter.
Pursuant to the Emergency Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Response dated August 5, 2021, and Executive Order 21-05 issued on August 10, 2021, both issued by Governor David Ige relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s Emergency Order No. 2021-10 dated August 23, 2021, relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to allow public participation, the following procedures are in effect for oral testimony at the hearing: (1) masks are required, (2) in-person testifiers will not be allowed into the room until it is their turn to testify and must leave the room immediately after providing testimony, and (3) members of the public gathered outside the meeting room shall comply with Safe Practices and Social Distancing Requirements. If planning to attend in person, please notify us at least five business days in advance to allow arrangements to be made for adequate social distancing.
Written testimony: Attendance at the public hearing is not necessary to submit testimony. Written testimony may be emailed to: email@example.com ; faxed to: (808)768-7095; or mailed to: Department of Community Services 51 Merchant Street, 2nd Floor Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Testimony must be received by 10:00 a.m. on October 29, 2021.
It is the policy of DCS to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The above facility is accessible. For sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or materials in accessible format, please call (808)768-7098 at least five days in advance.
Sarah Allen, Director
Department of Community Services
City and County of Honolulu