COLLEGE STATION, TX (June 29, 2023) — On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 299 (HB299). HB299 improves the operation of recovery homes in Texas. Recovery homes are shared residences that assist individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder.
Dr. Miner Marchbanks and a team of researchers in the Department of Public Service and Administration at the Bush School were contracted by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to help them fulfill a prior Legislative mandate to study the needs surrounding recovery homes in Texas (HB707, TX-87R).
Researchers conducted 43 recovery home site visits, over 50 interviews, and 17 focus groups across Texas. The resulting report recommends future action to the Texas Legislature, including recovery home improvements.
HB299 contains several key actions that were recommended in the report:
- Define what constitutes a recovery house.
- Ensure the law does not consider recovery houses as boarding homes (limits the ability of cities to block the establishment of recovery houses).
- Create a voluntary accreditation process for recovery houses.
- Provide technical assistance to those involved in the management and/or creation of recovery houses.
- Develop a code of ethics for recovery houses.
- Limit the use of state funds to non-accredited recovery houses.
Dr. Marchbanks noted, “We came into this project without preconceived notions of the value of recovery houses. After visiting over 40 homes, it is clear that when properly structured, these homes are of tremendous value to the state and improve the lives of many Texans.”
The Bush School’s Department of Public Service and Administration has over 30 faculty and researchers who specialize in issues of key concern to policymakers at all levels of government—from local to international, as well as improving the operations of nonprofit organizations worldwide.