(a) The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency shall establish an Adult Care Home, Group Home, and Nursing Home Fire Protection Fund (hereinafter “Fire Protection Fund”) to assist owners of adult care homes, group homes for developmentally disabled adults, and nursing homes with the purchase and installation of fire protection systems and emergency generators in existing and new adult care homes, group homes for developmentally disabled adults, and nursing homes. The Fire Protection Fund shall be a revolving fund.
(b) The Agency, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, shall adopt rules for the management and use of the Fire Protection Fund. These rules at a minimum shall provide for the following:
(1) Financial incentives for owners of facilities who utilize Fire Protection Fund monies to install sprinkler systems instead of smoke detection equipment.
(2) Maximum loan amounts of one dollar and seventy-five cents ($1.75) per square foot for advanced smoke detectors and digital communication equipment, three dollars and seventy-five cents ($3.75) per square foot for residential sprinkler systems, and six dollars ($6.00) per square foot for institutional sprinkler systems.
(3) Interest rates from three percent (3%) to six percent (6%) for a period not to exceed 20 years for sprinkler systems and 10 years for smoke detection systems.
(4) Documentary verification that owners of facilities obtain fire protection systems and emergency generators at a reasonable cost.
(5) Acceleration of a loan when statutory fire protection requirements are not met by the facility for which the loan was made.
(6) Loan approval priority criteria that considers the frailty level of residents at a facility.
(7) Loan origination and servicing fees.
(c) Proceeds from the Fire Protection Fund, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) annually, may be used to provide staff support to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency for loan processing under this section and to the Department of Health and Human Services for review and approval of fire protection plans and inspection of fire protection systems.
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