AN ACT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO CERTAIN STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM AND RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
Establishes the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program for Postsecondary Students (program). Allows for program grants to be used for up to 70% of a student's lease entered into for the 2020-21 school year, executed on or before March 15, 2020, so that the student's financial obligations towards rental lease obligations related to enrollment in a constitutions institution of UNC are partially covered.
Requires each constituent institution eligible for fund allocation under the act to begin accepting application from eligible postsecondary students by September 1, 2020. Eligibility requires documentation that the student is enrolled at the time of the application, the student has a financial need related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the student entered into a lease agreement on or before March 15, 2020, for rental property to reside due to the student's prospective enrollment in classes during any part of the 2020-21 school year.
Requires constituent institutions to award grants to eligible students within two weeks of the receipt of the application, or as soon as practicable, for up to 70% of the amount provided in the lease agreement. Allows for prioritizing applicants based on funds available, including priority to those with the greatest financial need, or awards on a first come first served basis. Requires funds to be paid directly to the lessor listed in the lease agreement and requires the lessor accepting funds to hold the lessee harmless in the lease agreement in the event funds do not fully satisfy the financial obligations of the lease agreement. Requires the University Ombuds Offices to facilitate the satisfaction of lease agreements as necessary.
Requires eligible students to take all reasonable steps to secure alternative funding for these purposes. Provides for remittance of the grant if the student obtains alternative funds. Restricts lessors to recovering no more than the amount obligated in the lease agreements.Requires funds obtained towards satisfaction of the financial obligations contained in the lease agreement to be remitted to the constituent institution.
Grants constituent institutions discretion in establishing additional eligibility criteria, but prohibits the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) from doing so.
Directs the State Controller to transfer $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established in SL 2020-4) for the 2019-20 fiscal year, and appropriates $50 million in nonrecurring funds from the Reserve (intends the Fund) to the BOG to be allocated to constituent institutions to provide the grants.
Effective July 1, 2020.