AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND UNDER THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS AT RISK OF LOSING CERTAIN TYPES OF HOUSING AND PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WITH HOUSING UTILITIES DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
Directs the State Controller to transfer $100 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established in SL 2020-4) for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Appropriates $100 million in nonrecurring funds from the Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the 2019-20 fiscal year to provide housing or utilities assistance, housing navigation, and case management services on behalf of an individual or family that are homeless or precariously house, at risk of losing housing, or in need of assistance with housing utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as follows.
Provides for up to $1,000 a month for up to six months for an individual or family who is at or below 80% of the Area Medium Income (AMI) for housing assistance. Defines housing assistance to include, but not limited to, assistance with hotel housing, rental security deposits, move-in costs, and application or management fees. Provides for utilities assistance at up to $1,000 over a six-month period for an individual or a family who is at or below 50% AMI, or up to $500 over a six-month period for an individual or a family who is at or between 50% AMI to 80% AMI. Requires apportionment of funds such that 75% of the funds for utilities assistance are used for the first class of described eligible participants. Permits utilities assistance funds to be used for utility deposits, arrears, or ongoing utility bills.
Requires DHHS to establish a COVID-19 Emergency Housing Rental and Utilities Assistance program (program) to provide funds, as feasible, to local providers of these housing and utilities services or assistance with the limitations that (1) the income limit is 80% AMI for housing assistance and at or between 51% AMI and 80% AMI for utilities assistance, with CARES Act IRS stimulus payments excluded from income calculation; (2) eligibility does not require children to reside in the home; and (3) there is no resource limit requirement.
Permits DHHS to use up to 5% of the appropriated funds for program administration.
Directs that any unspent funds be carried over to the 2020-21 fiscal year to implement the act and the requirements and limitation set out in the CARES Act.
Exempts DHHS from the rulemaking requirements of Article 2A, GS Chapter 150B in its implementation of the program.
Requires DHHS to report to the specified NCGA committees and division by March 1, 2021, regarding its use of State funds appropriated in the act.
Applies retroactively to housing or utilities expenses incurred on or after March 1, 2020. Expires December 30, 2020.
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