AN ACT TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES AND PREVENTION OF EVICTIONS (HOPE) PROGRAM.
Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 2nd edition and replaces it with the following.
Enacts a new subsection to Section 3.4 of SL 2021-25 (Additional COVID-19 Response & Relief), relating to emergency rental assistance funds. Directs the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to accept applications under the Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program (HOPE) submitted by a landlord on behalf of a tenant so long as the submitted application meets the federal requirements for the HOPE program. Makes such applications retroactively eligible for rental arrears, including current or previous tenant addresses, within allowable federal guidelines. Directs NCORR to only allocate funds to the 12 counties listed in subsection (d) of Section 3.4 (counties identified to receive Emergency Rental Assistance funds) that accept applications submitted by landlords on behalf of a tenant, accept applications submitted by tenants, and comply with the use restrictions of subsection (j), as amended.
Amends subsection (j) of Section 3.4, SL 2021-25, to enumerate six specific uses for the emergency rental assistance funds reserved and allotted under Section 3.4. Uses include: (1) covering the cost of a hotel or motel room, excluding incidental charges, occupied by an eligible household that meets applicable program requirements and three additional criteria, including that the household has been displaced from its primary residence or does not have a permanent residence elsewhere; (2) covering the cost of reasonable accrued late fees due to a landlord; (3) covering utility or energy costs for renter households, irrespective of an application for or receipt of rental assistance; (4) complying with fund allotment parameters set forth in subsection (g), with NCORR annually reporting to the specified NCGA committee; (5) ensuring assistance is provided for no longer than 12 months, with a three-month extension permitted if necessary to ensure housing stability (subject to funding availability); and (6) covering rental arrears accrued after March 13, 2020, the date of the specified emergency declaration.
Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.