By Senators Roach, Snyder, Nelson, Madsen, Kreidler and Erwin


     WHEREAS, Low-income households face a variety of problems in obtaining adequate housing; and

     WHEREAS, The problems range from a lack of available affordable housing to the household's inability to access housing due to the source of their income; and

     WHEREAS, In 1988, the Legislature directed the Department of Social and Health Services to develop a direct landlord pay pilot program for a two-year period to see if the availability of housing for low-income households would increase if a portion of the public assistance payment was paid directly to the landlord for the tenant's rent; and

     WHEREAS, Only two local governments participated in the pilot program that was offered on a voluntary basis to recipients on public assistance but no recipient on public assistance elected to have their rent paid directly from their public assistance payment; and

     WHEREAS, There is a need to determine if the payment of rent directly to the landlord will expand the supply of housing to persons on public assistance;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate encourage the department of social and health services to create a direct landlord pay task force, composed of nine members as follows:  Three members that represent rental housing owners; three members that represent low-income tenants; one member that represents public housing authorities; the director of the department of community development, or the director's designee; and the secretary of the department of social and health services, or the secretary's designee, to serve as the chair; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force should conduct a study to determine whether the supply of housing for persons on public assistance would increase if the department of social and health services made rental payments directly to the landlords.  In studying the issue, the task force should review the results of the department's direct landlord pay pilot project, examine housing needs of persons on public assistance, and review various program development and administrative operation options used to make rental payments from public assistance directly to landlords; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force should provide a written report to the Senate Committee on Children and Family Services and the House of Representatives Committee on Housing by December 1, 1992, presenting its findings and recommendations; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force should be terminated February 1, 1993.