Below is a summary of housing-related legislation that met the recent “crossover” deadline (May 13) in the North Carolina General Assembly. Bills involving appropriations do not need to meet the crossover deadline to remain viable.
HB 232 – LRC Study on Affordable Housing
Directs the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) to study the availability of affordable housing, challenges to increasing the availability of affordable housing, and identify potential strategies for addressing affordability issues.
HB 352 – Hotel Safety Issues (also alive in HB 366: Regulatory Reform Act)
Defines “transient occupancy” in hotel, motel, or similar lodging as stays of no more than 90 days. May prevent those using hotels/motels as their primary residence from accessing rights to due process. Important Note: similar language is also included in HB 366 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2021) which also met the crossover deadline.
HB 489 – 2021 Building Code & Development Regulatory Reforms
Prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing a local ordinance or resolution or any other policy that requires regular, routine inspections of (single-family or duplex) buildings or structures without first obtaining approval from the North Carolina Building Code Council. The North Carolina Building Code Council shall review all applications for additional inspections requested by a local government and shall, in a reasonable manner, approve or disapprove the additional inspections.
HB 684 – Legislative Research Commission Study Development Exactions
Directs the LRC to study the constitutionality of conditional development approvals that require a landowner to pay for public facilities or infrastructure improvements as part of the development approvals process. Also directs study of review time lines and the costs of related litigation and the impacts on housing costs.
HB 854/SB 644 – Landlord/Tenant Changes
Reaffirms the statutory authority of landlords to recover out-of-pocket expenses and litigation costs in summary ejectment proceedings. Also prohibits discriminatory practices against tenants with service or support animals.
SB 329 – Building Code Modifications
Removes requirement for building permits for any residential construction, repair, alteration costing less than $15,000 and costs less than $20,000 for commercial buildings.
SB 554 – Encourage Affordable Housing/Shipping Containers
Eases process for approving the use of modular housing construction, such as shipping containers.
Notable bills that did not meet the crossover deadline:
SB 349 – Increase Housing Opportunities
Makes zoning changes to allow for increased by-right housing development while also limiting local government ability to adopt further zoning ordinances.
HB 618 – Pandemic Eviction Protection
Proposes sealing records of summary ejectment (evictions) taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic and makes denying housing based on the existence of a sealed court record a protected case under state Fair Housing laws.