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RFP

2018 Housing Stabilization Program - Program Administrators - Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF)

Friday, January 18, 2019
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET
Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 4 p.m. ET

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) requests proposals from not-for-profit service agencies and/or legal clinics to provide Program Administration services for its 2018 Allocation Year Housing Stabilization Program (HSP).

HOF Background

The HOF is a housing trust fund that has been established in the City of Pittsburgh (City) to support the development and preservation of affordable and accessible housing within the City’s boundaries. The HOF has allocated funding for five (5) programs to carry out this mission in 2018: Homeowner Assistance Program, Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program for first-time homebuyers, Housing Stabilization Program for at-risk renters, For-Sale Housing Strategy Program, and Rental Gap Program to fund the creation/preservation of affordable housing.

Funds appropriated to the HOF are to be invested in accordance with an Annual Allocation Plan (AAP) created by the HOF Advisory Board (Advisory Board) and approved by City Council and the Governing Board(Governing Board). The URA Board of Directors serves as the HOF’s Governing Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of 17 people appointed by the Mayor to four-year staggered terms.

For the 2018 Fiscal Year, $750,000 has been allocated for the HOF HSP.

Definitions

For the purposes of this RFP, the following terms shall mean:

· URA refers to Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

· HOF refers to Housing Opportunity Fund

· HSP refers to Housing Stabilization Program

· Recipients refers to HSP household fund recipients

· Program Administrators refers to nonprofit agencies and or legal service providers

Program Objectives

The main objective of the HOF HSP is to provide one-time or short-term funding to individuals and families who are struggling with housing expenses including mortgage payment, rent and/or utilities. The maximum support a recipient (household) may receive is $3,000 including legal services and/or administrative services; assistance will not extend beyond four (4) months. Attached are the HOF HSP Program Guidelines. Exact funding limits are to be set in each allocation years’ RFP. For the 2018 allocation year, the maximum amount will be $3,000 with an estimated average amount of assistance per household at $1,500.

The HOF HSP is designed to assist participants to stabilize their current housing, facilitate access to appropriate housing and prevent homelessness. The program will also allow for legal eviction prevention services including legal consultation and representation for eviction defense and/or related supportive services.  A recipient/household may only participate in the HSP one (1) time during a five (5) year period.

Full HOF HSP Program Guidelines are attached to this RFP (EXHIBIT A).

RFP Objectives

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit Program Administrators to apply for and administer HOF HSP funds. The URA will enter into contracts with the Program Administrators and reimburse them for costs incurred on a per household basis upon completion of work.

Program Administrators must request payments on the proper URA form(s), duly signed and approved by the Program Administrator, for a specified dollar amount.  The payment request must include information about the household/recipient helped (including income information) and must include copies of all checks paid to landlords, mortgage companies, and/or lien holders.  The URA will only reimburse for approved costs incurred.

Program Administrators may expect to be reimbursed within 2-4 weeks upon submission of appropriate URA forms, but this may take up to 60 days.

Program Administrator Responsibilities

a. Determine recipient eligibility (both income and circumstances)

b. Coordinate the Housing Habitability Standards inspection for each unit with the URA

c. Determine the package of assistance and services which are appropriate for the household’s circumstances, leading to successful housing stabilization

d. Make payments to verified creditors

e. Submit reimbursement forms to URA for payments made to creditors, not more than monthly


f. Provide supportive services to household, as appropriate

g. Monitor household success, including housing stability:

        i. For one-time and/or long-term assistance – at least three (3) contacts, at one (1) month, three (3) months, and six (6) months post assistance

        ii. Reporting of outcome of legal representation in eviction defense

h. Terminate support when no longer needed or when household is no longer meeting program participation requirements

i. Maintain files documenting homeowner eligibility including income, funding received, services received, and termination from program

j. Provide monitoring reports to URA on a quarterly basis  

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Households receiving assistance under HOF HSP must meet the requirements below:

a. Recipient Requirements:

        i. Each household must reside in the City.

       ii. The annual gross household income of each recipient must be at or below 30% or 50% of the Pittsburgh Area Median Income (AMI) with adjustments made for family size (Refer to EXHIBIT B for AMI Chart). The income limit will be specified and set in the funding award.

        iii. Determination of the recipient’s annual income shall be based on current income projected from the date of application.  Annual income should be based on the gross income from all sources before taxes or withholding from all household members who are not minors or full-time students. The most recent federal income tax form will also be required to verify the applicant's income history.

        iv. Each household must demonstrate that it is in a housing crisis which can be successfully addressed through one-time or short-term assistance to stabilize the household’s circumstances.

        v. If the Program Administrator determines that the recipient/household is able to pay up to 30% of their monthly income towards their rent and utility expenses while they are being serviced by the program, the recipient must do so to be eligible for program funds. 

b. Property Requirements:

Residences that will house the recipient households must meet the following requirements:

        i. Each property must be a permanent structure used primarily for year-round residential use.

        ii. Eligible properties must be located inside the City.

        iii. Eligible properties must pass a Housing Habitability Standards inspection conducted by the URA and/or the Program Administrator.

        iv. Eligible properties must have no outstanding City, School District, and County real estate tax obligations and/or the owner must be on a payment plan.

c. Required and Eligible Uses of Funding for Recipients (Households):

        i. Program Administrators will specify in their applications which of the following two (2) types of funding support they will administer: One-Time Funding Support and/or On-Going Funding Support (not to exceed four (4) months).

        ii. One-Time Funding Support may include the following:

                a) Move-in assistance which may include:

                       · First month’s rent

                       · Last month’s rent

                       · Security deposit

                       · Utility deposits

                b) Utilities in arrears

                c) Rent in arrears

        iii. On-Going Funding Support may include the following:

                a) Rent subsidy, not to exceed four (4) months

                b) Legal services throughout the eviction process

        iv. All funding will be provided as a grant.

         v. All payments will be made by the Program Administrator via dual check to recipient and recipient’s creditor.  The URA will reimburse the Program Administrator, or if necessary, provide dual checks to the Program Administrator and the recipient’s landlord/creditor.

d. Required and Eligible Uses of Funding for Supportive and/or Legal Services:

Short-Term Assistance: Housing stabilization funds are designed to provide short-term intervention. Assistance will not extend beyond four (4) months.  Program administrators are encouraged to work with recipients to find long-term support if (and as soon as) it becomes clear that short-term support will not be sufficient to meet the recipient’s need.

        i. Program Administrators should specify in their applications what supportive services they will provide including but not limited to legal consultation and representation for eviction defense.

        ii. Legal consultation and representation for eviction defense may include intake and assessment of eligible households, in person or telephone advice to qualifying households, and/or legal representation in court to prevent eviction or enforce tenant rights.

FUNDING TERMS, LIMITS, and OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Funding Type

Funding to social service providers and/or law clinics to administer the HSP and/or provide legal consultation to households facing eviction.

Limits and Other Requirements

There is $750,000 available for this program in the 2018 HOF allocation year.  The maximum award to a service provider will be up to $400,000.  The maximum assistance available to a household through this program is $3,000.  The service provider needs to calculate a 10% overhead request in its proposed amount in the RFP.  If the proposer is a legal clinic, instead of an overhead calculation, the proposer must show hourly rates.

Payments and Procedures

Program Administrators must request payments on the proper URA form(s), duly signed and approved by the Program Administrator, for a specified dollar amount.  The payment request must include information about the household helped (including income information) and must include copies of all checks paid to landlords, mortgage companies, and/or lien holders.  The URA will only reimburse for approved costs incurred.

PROPOSAL DEADLINES and OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Important Bid Notification Announcement

Please note that the URA is using Public Purchase as its bid notification and RFP Question and Answer (Q&A) platform. In addition to following the Submission Requirements, respondents must also register at: https://www.publicpurchase.com/gems/register/vendor/registerin order to submit questions for response. See Addendum A – Instructions for Registering on Public Purchase. 

RFP Anticipated Timeframe*

Pre-Proposal Meeting

A non-mandatory Pre-Proposal Meeting will be held on
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 2p.m. ET
200 Ross Street, 13th Floor Conference Room
Pittsburgh, PA  15219

This meeting serves as an opportunity to have questions answered about the RFP, submission process, the HOF HSP guidelines, etc.

All questions and answers from the Pre-Proposal Meeting will be posted on Public Purchase.

RSVP your attendance to Evan Miller at emiller@ura.org.

Due to extreme cold on 1/30/19, attendees may call in to the Pre-Proposal Meeting - Call: 412.255.6431 Access Code: 86430

Questions and Answers

All inquiries should be submitted through Public Purchase. All questions submitted by Friday, February 1, 2019, 4:00 p.m. ET will be responded to and made available on Public Purchase by Thursday, February7, 2019, 5 p.m. ET. Inquiries received after that time will not be responded to.

Additional Information

Additional information regarding the URA may be found on the URA’s website at www.ura.org.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All application submissions are to include a completed HOF HSP Administrator Application Narrative (EXHIBIT C) and all attachments listed in the Attachments Checklist (EXHIBIT D).

The Application Narrative is comprised of the following sections:

i. Eligibility Checklist

ii. Organization Information

iii. Organizational Experience

iv. Readiness to Proceed

v. Financial Capacity

vi. Approach to Providing Social Services and Financial Planning

vii. Additional Information (Optional)

All sections of the Application Narrative must be completed to the best of the applicant’s ability to be considered a complete application.

All submissions must be electronically submitted to hof@ura.org

SELECTION CRITERIA & REVIEW PROCESS

Fully completed applications will be evaluated in accordance to the Scoring Criteria for the HOF HSP (EXHIBIT E) after which URA staff will present the application for funding to the HOF Advisory Board.

a. Applications will be evaluated using the criteria below:

        i. Feasibility Criteria

                a) Readiness to Proceed

                b) Organizational Experience

                c) Financial Capacity

                d) Approach to Providing Social Services

b. Preference will be given to Program Administrators who:

        i.      Provides service citywide

        ii.      Have the ability to front all payments to the households and invoice the URA on a reimbursable basis

c. Application Review

After the February 19, 2019 proposal deadline, all proposals for Program Administrators will be evaluated by HOF staff, upon which a recommendation for 2018 HOF Housing Stabilization Program Administrators will be presented to the HOF Advisory Board.

Upon Advisory Board approval, selected Program Administrators will then be recommended to the HOF Governing Board for approval.

HOF Housing Stabilization funds are not guaranteed to any proposer, regardless of the Proposal Scoring Criteria score, and are subject to availability.

d. Guidelines

The HOF Governing Board may approve and disapprove awards to Program Administrators in accordance with the HOF HSP Guidelines (EXHIBIT A) and this RFP.

e. Deadlines

The Program Administrator must meet URA deadlines for submission of documents at each stage of the proposal process. Failure to meet the deadlines may result in the cancellation of the proposal and/or Program Administrator’s loss of a priority position for Housing Stabilization funding.

f. Written Commitment Letter

Approval shall be evidenced by a written commitment to the Program Administrator.

g. Withdrawal of Application

Respondents may withdraw their Housing Stabilization proposal at any time before final approval by giving written notice to the URA. The respondent shall bear any costs incurred for items related to their response.

MINORITY ANDWOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PARTICIPATION (MWBE)

The URA has a long history of diversity and inclusion within all its programs and activities. The URA encourages the full participation of minority and women organizations and professionals in this effort. The URA will require that all Program Administrators demonstrate a good faith effort to obtain MWBE participation in work performed in connection with this program.

Any questions about MWBE standards should be directed to Diamonte Walker, director of Performance and Compliance, at mwbe@ura.org.

LEGAL INFORMATION

The URA reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all information submitted. The URA shall be the sole judge as to which respondent(s) meet the selection criteria. The URA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any or all responses received, and to waive any submission requirements contained within this RFP. 

By responding to this RFP, proposers acknowledge that the URA has no liability to any individual or entity related to this RFP or any proposal and/or the URA’s use or nonuse of any such proposal.

APPEALS COMMITTEE

The URA will establish an Appeals Committee whose purpose is to review HOF HSP Program Guideline(s) waiver requests.  The Appeals Committee will recommend approval or disapproval of the request to the Director of the HOF.  The Director of the HOF can choose to accept or reject the recommendation of the Appeals Committee.

CERTIFICATIONS

In accordance with 24 CFR Part 8, the Authority certifies its compliance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended on June 2, 1988.

NON-DISCRIMINATION CERTIFICATION

The URA abides by all applicable laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and refrains from discriminating on the basis of age, race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political or union affiliation, and/or disability. No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination solely on the basis of any of the above factors under the loan and grant programs operated by the URA.

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