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RFP

Housing Stabilization Program - 2020 Program Administrators

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Monday, May 11 at 1:00 PM EST
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals from not-for-profit service agencies and/or legal clinics to provide Program Administration services for its 2020 Allocation Year Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) Housing Stabilization Program (HSP).

RFP Details

Monday, May 11th, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/91046999040?pwd=TzFtMEpIbkZBSXF0V0ZVc1NRMVZOUT09 Meeting ID: 910 4699 9040 Password (required): 412 One tap mobile : +13017158592,,91046999040# Dial in by phone: +1 929 205 6099
All submissions must be electronically submitted to hof@ura.org

HOF Background

The HOF is a housing trust fund that was established by the City of Pittsburgh (City) to support the development and preservation of affordable and accessible housing within the City of Pittsburgh. The City of Pittsburgh is committing $10 million per year until 2030 to fund HOF programs and projects. 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. Please see below for HOF HSP funding allocations by year.

For the 2020 funding year, HOF has allocated funds to the following programs: Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program, Homeowner Assistance Program, Housing Stabilization Program, Rental Gap Program, and For-Sale Development Program.   For the 2020 Fiscal Year, $1,015,000 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

Additional funds outside HOF may be used to supplement this program. Funds may include but are not limited to CDBG, ESG, and additional Local, State, and Federal Funds.  The URA reserves the right to modify program guidelines based on funding source requirements and pending URA Board of Directors approval.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

The main objective of the HOF HSP is to provide one-time or short-term funding to individuals and families who are facing a temporary financial difficulty and need short-term rental assistance or mortgage assistance to regain financial sustainability. HSP helps renters avoid eviction and homelessness by assisting with rent and utilities in arrears, and in cases where a household may need to move to a more affordable unit, assist with application fees, first and last month’s rent, security deposits, mortgage assistance and legal fees. The maximum support a recipient may receive is $3,000 including legal services and/or administrative services; assistance will not extend beyond three (3) months. 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.

To view the original HOF HSP Program Guidelines that were approved by the URA Board of Directors in 2018, please refer to EXHIBIT A. To view the most recent HSP Program Process Guidelines for the 2020 funding year, please refer to EXHIBIT B.

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) and include all necessary documentation. A list of necessary documentation may be found in EXHIBIT C.  The payment request must include information about the recipient helped (including income information) and must include copies of all checks paid to landlords, utility companies, mortgage companies and magistrate.  The URA will only reimburse for approved costs incurred once all documentation is received.

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

  • Schedule in-person meetings and perform full HSP intake appointment.

  • Coordinate the Housing Habitability Standards inspection for each unit with the URA’s Construction Advisor.

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

  • Make payments to verified creditors.

  •  Submit reimbursement forms and necessary documentation to URA on a monthly basis, in a timely manner.

  • Provide supportive services to household, as appropriate.

  • Monitor household success, including housing stability:

    • 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;

    • Reporting of outcome of legal representation in eviction defense;

    • Engaging with the Client during their time of assistance prior to the Follow-Up Assessments.

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

  • Maintain digital or hardcopies of all HSP documentation for a minimum of 12 years.

  • Provide monitoring reports to URA on a quarterly basis or as requested.

  • Comply with routine site visits by URA staff.

Program Administrators who are awarded under this RFP may be subject to Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended, 12 U.S.C. 1701U (Section 3)

a)      The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment and other economic opportunities generated by HUD assistance or HUD-assisted projects covered by Section 3, shall, to the greatest extent feasible, be directed to low and very-low income persons, particularly persons who are recipients of HUD assistance for housing.

To review the full Provisions and Procedures Pertaining to Compliance with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, see EXHIBIT D.

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR COMPENSATION

Program delivery funds may be provided to nonprofit Program Administrators for reasonable and necessary program delivery expenses such as an allocation for staff time.

  • Program delivery funds must not exceed 25% of the total contract that the Program Administrator has with the URA and must be clearly documented.
  • Program delivery funds will be budgeted annually and paid either on a monthly or quarterly basis.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

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

a. Recipient Requirements:

  • Each household must reside in the City or plan on relocating within City limits.

  • 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 E for AMI Chart). The income limit will be specified and set in the funding award.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 must meet the following requirements:  

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

  • Eligible properties must be located inside the City.

  • Eligible properties must pass a Housing Habitability Standards inspection conducted by the URA if the unit inspected is not HACP or Section 8

  • 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):

  • Program Administrators will specify in their applications if they will be providing rental assitance, mortgage assisatance, or both, and 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).

  • One-Time Funding Support may include the following:

    • Move-in assistance which may include:

      • First month’s rent

      • Last month’s rent

      • Security deposit

      • Application Fees
    • Utilities in arrears (if the funding source allows)

    • Rent in arrears

    • Mortgage Assistance
  • On-Going Funding Support may include the following:

    • Rent subsidy, not to exceed three (3) months

    • Mortgage assistance, not to exceed three (3) months
    • Legal services throughout the eviction process

    • Legal fees related to court

  • All funding will be provided as a grant

  •  All payments will be made by the Program Administrator. The URA will reimburse the Program Administrator, upon receipt of the Invoice and its proper supporting documentation.

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 three (3) 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 enough to meet the recipient’s need.

  •  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.

FUNDING TERMS, LIMITS, and OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Funding Type

Funding to social service providers to administer the HSP to households facing eviction.

Limits and Other Requirements

There is $1,015,000 available for this program in the 2020 HOF allocation year.  There is an additional $1,000,000 available for emergency rental assistance and an additional $1,000,000 available for mortgage assistance from the Community Development Block Grant- Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) as authorized under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  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 25% 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 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 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.

Proposal Deadline Information - Revised 5/18/20 - Tier 1 (existing HSP Administrators) and Tier 2 (new HSP Administrators) proposal deadlines have been extended to Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 2 PM EST. 

Pre-Proposal Meeting

 A non-mandatory Pre-Proposal Meeting will be held on Monday, May 11th at 1:00 PM EST via Zoom. 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.

Pre-Proposal Meeting Details: Monday, May 11th, 2020, 1:00 PM EST Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/91046999040?pwd=TzFtMEpIbkZBSXF0V0ZVc1NRMVZOUT09 Meeting ID: 910 4699 9040 Password (required): 412 One tap mobile : +13017158592,,91046999040# Dial in by phone: +1 929 205 6099

 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

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

The Application Narrative is comprised of the following sections:

  1. Eligibility Checklist
  2. Organization Information
  3. Organizational Experience
  4. Readiness to Proceed
  5. Financial Capacity
  6. Approach to Providing Social Services and Financial Planning
  7. 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 H) after which URA staff will present the application for funding to the HOF Advisory Board.

a. Applications will be evaluated using the criteria below:

  • Feasibility Criteria 
    • Readiness to Proceed

    • Organizational Experience

    • Financial Capacity

    • Approach to Providing Social Services

b. Preference will be given to Program Administrators who:

  • Provides service citywide

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

c. Application Review

After the May 26, 2020 Tier 1 proposal deadline, all proposals for Program Administrators will be evaluated by HOF staff, upon which a recommendation for 2020 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. This process will happen again after the Tier 2 proposal deadline.

HOF Housing Stabilization funds are not guaranteed to any proposer, regardless of the Proposal Scoring Criteria score, and are subject to availability.  Additionally, the URA may enter into contracts up to the total amount of HSP funds available for 2020.

d. Guidelines

The HOF Governing Board may approve and disapprove awards to Program Administrators in accordance with the HOF HSP Guidelines 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 AND WOMEN-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.

In the form of a narrative state as succinctly as possible your organization’s efforts to promote opportunities for MWBE professionals in your organization. MWBE participation can be satisfied by:

  • Employment levels of minorities and/or women in the organization;
  • Staffing of minorities and/or women on URA work;
  • Use of minority or women-owned businesses as vendors for legal, printing, office supplies, travel, etc.; and

  • Subcontracting with organizations owned and controlled by minorities and/or women. If this is to be done, that fact, and the name of the proposed subcontracting organizations, must be clearly identified in the submission. Following the award of a contract, no additional subcontracting will be allowed without the express prior written consent of the URA.

Any questions about MWBE standards should be directed to 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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