Policy and Advocacy

Policy advocacy is a key part of the State’s approach to addressing homelessness and housing instability statewide.   To support advocacy efforts, the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH) adopts policy priorities annually at its December quarterly meeting, and the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness and staff convene meetings with stakeholders from both Continua of Care – on Oahu and the neighbor islands – to discuss advocacy priorities and identify emerging issues.

The priorities adopted by the HICH for the calendar year 2022 take into account the long-term economic and social impacts of COVID-19, the potential to maximize the impact of one-time federal resource infusions, as well as the implementation of a multi-disciplinary approach to address homelessness and factors that lead people to become homeless.

The three identified priorities for 2022 are:

  1. Promote affordable housing for people transitioning from homelessness
  2. Reduce upfront barriers to accessing existing rental housing inventory
  3. Support policies and programs that assist key homeless sub-populations with transitioning to stable, long-term settings

2022 Legislative Efforts

Hawaiʻi Supportive Housing Work Group

The Hawaiʻi Supportive Housing Work Group was organized by the Statewide Office on Homelessness & Housing Solutions beginning in June 2022 in coordination with the State House Housing Committee Chair, Representative Nadine Nakamura. The formation of this informal group stemmed from momentum that began during the 2022 State Legislative Session with HB1749, which would have established a supportive housing task force to break down silos between stakeholders, improve data collection on supportive housing needs, and develop a path forward to meet the needs statewide. While this bill did not pass in 2022, advocates from Hawaiʻi’s two Continua of Care wanted to continue the discussion on supportive housing.

A case statement report was developed to communicate the Group’s findings and provide recommendations on these learnings:

Other Resources:

Policy Briefs produced by the HICH, please view the links below: