AN ACT AUTHORIZING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO DECLARE A DWELLING UNFIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION IF THERE IS HARMFUL FUNGAL GROWTH THEREIN, TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO ESTABLISH STATEWIDE PARAMETERS AND GUIDELINES FOR EXPOSURE TO FUNGAL GROWTH THAT MAY RESULT IN MEDICAL AILMENTS, AUTHORIZING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO EXPEND TAX AND NONTAX FUNDS FOR TESTING PURSUANT TO THE STATEWIDE PARAMETERS AND GUIDELINES, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR FUNGAL GROWTH TESTING BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.
Amends GS 160A-441 to extend when a city or county may exercise its police powers to repair, close, or demolish a dwelling to include when the dwelling is unfit for human habitation due to fungal growth that may result in medical ailments as a result of prolonged exposure, as determined by parameters and guidelines established by the Commission for Public Health.
Amends GS 160A-444 to make conforming changes. Also adds that the Commission for Public Health (Commission) must adopt rules establishing statewide parameters and guidelines for exposure to fungal growth that may result in medical ailments. Sets out six considerations when establishing those parameters and guidelines including fungal species that can cause respiratory and immune ailments from prolonged exposure, the ability of counties and cities to implement fungal growth testing in a timely manner, and the cost of remediating fungal growth. Sets out steps relating to notice and public hearings and comments that the Commission must take at least 30 days before adopting, amending, or repealing a rule implementing these requirements. Allows the governing board of a county or city to expend tax or nontax funds to conduct tests under the established parameters and guidelines. Also allows entering into contracts with and accepting loans and grants for testing purposes.
Amends GS 42-42 by amending the requirement for a landlord to repair or remedy an imminently dangerous condition on the premises in a reasonable time to include fungal growth that may result in medical ailments for the tenant or another person authorized to live in the dwelling. Makes conforming changes to GS 42-43 by requiring a tenant to notify a landlord of the presence of such fungal growth.
Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt the Commission with respect to developing fungal growth parameters and guidelines from rulemaking requirements under Article 2A of GS Chapter 150B.
Allows the governing body of a county or city exercising the authority granted by Part 6 of Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A to adopt ordinances to implement the statewide parameters and guidelines established by the Commission. Allows the ordinances to include the manner and time period in which tenants must notify the landlord of the presence of fungal growth in a dwelling unit, and a tenant's notification, if in accordance with the ordinance, be deemed notification under the statutory requirements. Allows the ordinances to prescribe what constitutes a reasonable period of time in which the landlord must take action to remediate fungal growth in a dwelling unit, and the landlord's remedial action, if in accordance with the ordinance, is deemed to comply with the statutory requirements.
Appropriates $90,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2019-20 from the General Fund to the Commission to provide grants to counties and cities to conduct fungal growth testing.
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