The Niner Choice Program is a safety initiative designed to help students and parents make informed decisions about off-campus living options. It is a partnership between UNC Charlotte Housing and Residence Life, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, and UNC Charlotte Police and Public Safety. Implemented in 2014 and reimagined in 2019, the program is focused on supporting the safety of students and building relationships with off campus resources. It is not a stamp approval or endorsement from UNC Charlotte or the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, a guarantee of student safety, or an option for every property.
- To help students and their families make informed decisions regarding off campus living options by providing them with criteria to consider
- To promote increased security measures in University Area off campus properties
- To increase relationships and communication between off campus properties and the University
- To educate property owners/managers on how to make their properties safer for students
Who is eligible to participate?
Any apartment community that houses UNC Charlotte students and/or is interested in developing a relationship with the University in support of students is welcome to participate. Apartment communities electing to participate in the program will need to:
- maintain a relationship with the Niner Choice Taskforce
- register with the CMPD Rental Registration System and maintain current owner/manager contact information
- meet and adhere to green or gold level safety standards
- maintain accurate and up-to-date leasing records
- remain below specific crime and disorder thresholds
- participate in an annual property assessment
The Green and Gold Standards
Properties which chose to participate in the Niner Choice program need to meet and adhere to specific safety standards and record-keeping, and not meet or exceed specific crime thresholds. Participating properties agree to undergo an annual physical security survey and an annual administrative review of leasing files. This assessment evaluates the safety features of the property, its grounds, and units.
The two standard levels for this program are the Green Standard and the Gold Standard. The Green Standard indicates the property meets the minimum safety requirements for participation in the program. The Gold Standard indicates the property meets all of the Green Standard requirements as well as 5 of the 11 enhanced safety features as outlined below.
To participate in the program, properties must not meet or exceed CMPD’s Crime and Disorder Threshold. The Crime and Disorder threshold numbers are based on a quarterly timeframe (calendar year). Any time a community meets or exceeds the crime and disorder threshold, they will be removed from the program for the remainder of the current quarter and the next one.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Crime and Disorder Threshold
Green Standard Requirements
(Property will meet all of the listed requirements below)
- The lease must contain a separate Lease Addendum for Drug Free Housing.
- A criminal history screening must be completed for all applicants.
- Crime prevention and safety information must be provided electronically at move-in.
- The landscaping must be well-maintained using the 3/7 rule.
- The property must have sufficient lighting in working order (walkways, exteriors, parking, etc.)
- The front door of each unit must have a 160 or 180 degree peephole.
- Exterior door strike plates must have three-inch screws.
- Exterior doors must have a Grade 2 or better lock with deadbolt (minimum 1 inch throw).
- All interior and exterior locks must be in good working order.
- If exterior doors have glass panels, panels must be double-pane.
- Sliding glass doors must have a secondary security feature.
- Windows must have working locks that cannot be defeated from the exterior.
- Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be in/near bedrooms and kitchens where required by fire code.
- Each bedroom must be labeled if unit is rented by bedroom.
- Residents must have a 24-hr emergency contact number of maintenance personnel/management.
- Building numbers will be visible from the street. Additional signage required for multiple buildings.
- Property Managers/Assistant Managers must attend quarterly meetings.
- The manager must host a crime prevention/safety meeting annually.
Gold Standard Requirements
(Property will meet all of the requirements for the Green Standard plus 5 out of the 11 requirements listed below)
- Bedroom doors will be solid core if apartments are leased by the bedroom.
- The property will have Blue Light Emergency Phones.
- The property will have self-closing and locking front doors.
- The property will employ a licensed and insured security company.
- The property will have a surveillance system (14-30 day loop & signage).
- The property will have a functioning vehicle gate at entrances and exits.
- The property will have a fence (with pedestrian gates) completely surrounding the property.
- The property will have high security strike plates on exterior doors.
- The property will have lock and door re-enforcers on individual bedroom doors if leased by bedroom.
- The property will have an alarm system installed in each unit (fees are the responsibility of the tenants).
- The property will only house students with other students.
Niner Choice Disclaimer
Please note that neither the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) nor the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (the CMPD) own, manage, endorse, or recommend any specific rental property. A Niner Choice designation is not a representation or warranty regarding the suitability, fitness, condition, or safety of any specific rental property, and neither UNC Charlotte nor CMPD are responsible for the accuracy or completeness of, or any liability or damage arising from the use of, any information provided in connection with the Niner Choice program. Students and families must exercise independent judgment when evaluating a prospective rental property.