HOUSE BILL NO. 648
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 3
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 86, TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION TO BE ADDED TO STATE INCOME TAX PAYMENTS FOR THE SUPPORT OF EMERGENCY SHELTER FACILITIES FOR THE HOMELESS AND TO ESTABLISH A FUND FOR SAID FACILITIES.
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the State to aid non-profit institutions in providing emergency housing assistance to homeless individuals in Delaware; and
WHEREAS, the homeless are no longer confined to the alcoholic, the emotionally disturbed or the teenage runaway, but today include among their numbers the unemployed, single women and their children, migrant workers, the elderly and those who are employed in low-paying jobs; and
WHEREAS, in the face of crisis situations, such as fire, utility failure, family conflicts, displacements or eviction, individuals who cannot turn to family and friends for help must turn to the community for emergency housing; and
WHEREAS, non-profit organizations that provide emergency shelters now rely primarily on contributions from churches and concerned citizens; and
WHEREAS, the amount of these contributions is not sufficient to permit these organizations to provide shelter for every homeless individual qualified to receive assistance; and
WHEREAS, the taxpayers of this State have shown their willingness to contribute to worthwhile causes by donating a portion of their tax return to selected community needs and problems.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Section 8603, Subchapter 1, Chapter 86, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new paragraph to read as follows:
"(10) To appoint an administrator from within the Department of Community Affairs to head the Emergency Housing Fund Administration Board, the powers and scope of which are designated in §8625."
Section 2. Amend Subchapter 1, Chapter 86, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Section 8625, to read as follows:
§8625. Emergency_Housing Fund Administration
This Board is authorized to promulgate regulations and procedures, and administer all funds collected in the Emergency Housing Assistance Fund. The Board will consist of:
An administrator appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs as specified in §8603 of this title. This administrator will act as chairperson of the Board.
Five Board members shall be appointed by the Secretary for staggered terms and shall be composed of persons who have demonstrated an interest in emergency housing.
This board will review proposals and allocate funds. The board will be responsible for monitoring expenditures, authorizing the adjustment of funds and reallocating funds from one organization to another. In order to be eligible for these funds, an organization must:
Be a private, non-profit agency operating within this State.
Have a generally accepted system of accounting and must conduct an annual audit.
Agree to submit to a programmatic review and financial audit of their program each year that funds are received.
(1) 'Emergency Housing Shelter' means any facility operated by a qualified organization which provides food, sleeping quarters and counseling support services for adults and children who find themselves temporarily without a form of shelter from the elements. The shelter must be a facility which meets all local building codes, and each person's stay in the shelter is not to exceed a period of thirty (30) days.
(2) 'Department' means the Department of Community Affairs.
§8627. Emergency house program: voluntary funding through income tax return check—off
The Division of Revenue shall provide a space on the face of the Delaware income tax return form whereby an individual may voluntarily designate a contribution of any amount to the Delaware Emergency Housing Assistance Fund established in Section 8628 of this Title.
The amount so designated by an individual on the income tax return form shall be deducted from the tax refund to which such individual is entitled or the amount so designated may be added to the individual's payment of taxes due and shall not be included in the general revenue of the State.
The Division of Revenue shall determine the total amount designated pursuant to this section and shall report such amount to the State Treasurer, who shall transfer such amount to the Delaware Emergency Housing Assistance Fund.
To accomplish the purpose of this program. the Department of Community Affairs, with the cooperation of the Division of Revenue shall use the Fund to provide adequate educational information, including instructions which accompany State income tax return forms.
§8628. Emergencyhousing assistance fund
There is hereby created a special fund, which shall be known as the Emergency Housing Assistance Fund of the Treasury of the State of Delaware.
All monies received from the voluntary contribution system established in Section 8627 shall be deposited in said Fund.
The General Assembly shall make no appropriation into said Fund, but individuals and organizations may, from time to time, make contributions or bequests to the Fund.
The moneys contained in said fund shall be continuously transferred to the Department of Community Affairs for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the objectives of the Act, including administration thereof.
From time to time as determined by the Delaware State Clearinghouse Committee, the Department shall submit a detailed report to members of the Committee of revenues, expenditures, and program measures for the fiscal period in question. Such report shall also be sufficiently descriptive in nature so as to be concise and informative. The Committee may cause the Department to appear before the Committee and to answer such questions as the Committee may require."
Section 3. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
Section 4. This Section shall apply to taxable years beginning January 1, 1984.
Approved July 20, 1984.