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How Rep. Brower voted on housing, the houseless

With Rep. Brower agreeing to put down his sledge hammer and hang up his cape, we decided to take a look at his 2013 voting record on bills relating to housing and the houseless.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, dozens of bills from both the house and senate were introduced regarding housing and the homeless. Of these bills, 15 made it to a roll-call vote and were passed on to the governor’s office where they all became law.

Rep. Tom Brower, who managed to attract national attention and garnered his own locally trending hashtag on Twitter (#BrowerShouldSmash) for his sledgehammer-wielding vigilantism (see cartoon, above), voted ‘yes’ on all 15 bills. Below are the bills (all linked to capitol.hawaii.gov pdfs) and brief summaries of what they said.

SB515 - CD1: Appropriates funds for mental health and drug abuse programs, a rental assistance program, the housing-first program, to match federal shelter funds and to establish a three-year pilot for the “return-to-home” program that would send some homeless back to their families on the mainland.

SB82 - CD1: Relates to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s (HPHA) general powers, including disposal and retrieval of property, and mandates that HPHA make at least 50 percent of available low-income housing to applicants without preference.

HB536 - CD1: Clarifies preference in state low-income housing for disabled veterans and authorizes HPHA to disqualify low-income housing applicants or tenants if the applicant, tenant, or a household member owns or acquires a home within the State.

SB305 - CD1: Authorizes HPHA to develop commercial and industrial properties and sell or lease them in connection with the development of public housing dwelling units.

SB94 - CD1: Provides for the appointment of a House member and a Senate member to serve as alternate members on the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness. Also provides for the appointment of a representative of HPHA to sit on the council as well.

SB88 - CD1: Prohibits possessing open liquor containers in the common areas in state and federal public housing projects.

SB84 - CD1: Expands the scope of the definition of “public housing project” to include any housing project controlled or managed by HPHA, pursuant to federally assisted housing. Excludes state-owned public housing.

SB1118 - CD1: Authorizes the HPHA Board of Directors to set the salaries, not to exceed the Governor’s salary, of the HPHA executive director, executive assistant, chief financial management advisor, property management branch chief, chief planner, and redevelopment officer.

SB1025 - CD1: Updates the Hula Mae Single Family Mortgage Loan Program to allow broader program participation by potential homeowners.

HB888 - CD1: Establishes a process whereby the HPHA may dispose of abandoned or seized property that it has acquired on state low-income housing projects. Effective July 1, 2013.

HB87 - CD1: Broadens the petty misdemeanor crime of criminal trespass in the second degree to include a person who enters or remains unlawfully in or upon the premises of a public housing project or state low-income housing project. Effective January 1, 2014.

HB560 - CD1: Authorizes the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation and Hawaii Community Development Authority to develop programs that provide incentives for the development of housing projects that incorporate urban gardening programs.

HB514 - SD1: Establishes the state income tax and obligations exemption for public housing agencies among the laws governing the HPHA.

SB310 - CD1: Establishes an assisted community treatment program in lieu of the involuntary outpatient treatment program for severely mentally ill individuals who meet specified criteria. Amends procedures for determination of order to and discharge from a treatment program. Requires an entity designated by the department of health to submit an annual report to the legislature about hospitalization of persons who are under an order for assisted community treatment. Prohibits state-operated providers from filing a petition for assisted community treatment until July 1, 2015. Allows private providers to file a petition for assisted community treatment after January 1, 2014. Allows any interested party to file a petition for assisted community treatment after January 1, 2014. Repeals on 7/1/2020.