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RFP

Legal Assistance Program - Homeowners

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals from Program Administrators for its Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) Legal Assistance Program – Homeowners (LAP-H). The LAP-H is composed of three primary services:

  1. Coordinated Entry
  2. Tangled Title
  3. Foreclosure Prevention

***NOTICE***

ALL INTERESTED APPLICANTS MUST REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT ON THE URA'S NEW ELECTRONIC BIDDING AND SOURCING SOFTWARE

For more information on how to register, please click here

All proposal responses must be submitted via Ion Wave Technologies. This RFP posting can be accessed on Ion Wave Technologies here:  https://ura.ionwave.net/PublicDetail.aspx?bidID=4&ret=OPEN&pg=0&bidNumber=&title=&type=&org=

RFP Details

February 19, 2021
March 1, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST Registration is required. See link on the right side of page.
March 12, 2021 at 2:00 pm EST

INTRODUCTION

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals from Program Administrators for its Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) Legal Assistance Program – Homeowners (LAP-H). The LAP-H is composed of three primary services:

  1. Coordinated Entry
  2. Tangled Title
  3. Foreclosure Prevention

BACKGROUND

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh administers the Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF). 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 seven programs to carry out this mission in 2021:

1. Rental Gap Program
2. For-Sale Development Program
3. Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program
4. Homeowner Assistance Program
5. Housing Stabilization Program
6. Demonstration Dollars
7. Legal Help

Funds appropriated to the HOF are to be invested in accordance with an annual allocation plan (AAP) created by the Advisory Board and approved by City Council and the Governing Board. The URA Board of Directors serves as the Housing Opportunity Fund’s Governing Board.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

The purpose of LAP-H is to provide a one-time legal service to clients who are at-risk of losing their homes due to tangled title or foreclosure issues. Clients must be homeowners or the occupant of a home in which they claim a legal interest and the home must be their sole residence. To be eligible, the client must be at or below 80% of Pittsburgh’s Area Median Income and reside within the City of Pittsburgh

The LAP-H is composed of three primary services:

1. Coordinated Entry
2. Tangled Title
3. Foreclosure Prevention

Although LAP-H includes Coordinated Entry, the LAP-H will not be seeking Program Administrators for Coordinated Entry Services in this RFP.

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR RESPONSIBILITIES

A summary of each Program Administrator’s responsibilities is listed below.

Tangled Title: Tangled Title Program Administrators will responsible for assisting the applicant in transferring the deed to the applicant’s name.

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Confirming applicant’s program eligibility


- Confirming any outstanding debts, liens, and/or taxes associated with the applicant


- Determining how the applicant acquired the property, when appropriate


- Collecting the deed holder’s information, lender information, etc.


- Entering applicant data into appropriate URA databases


- Providing regular reports to URA staff in the format deemed acceptable by the URA


- Submitting invoices for services rendered no more than once per month

Foreclosure Prevention: Foreclosure Prevention Program Administrators will be responsible for assisting the applicant with repayment plans, special forbearance plans, and/or mortgage modifications and/or refinancing.

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:


- Confirming the applicant’s program eligibility


- Confirming any outstanding debts, liens, and/or taxes associated with the residence and/or applicant


- Collecting mortgage lender/service information


- Assessing and determining the appropriate reconciliation plan on behalf of the homeowner


- Making referrals to financial counseling agencies and services


- Coordinating and working with the homeowner and their debt holders to reach a mutual repayment agreement


- Negotiating on the homeowner’s behalf on any mortgage modification or refinancing requests


- Entering homeowner data into appropriate URA database


- Providing reporting to URA staff


- Submitting invoices no more than monthly

All Program Administrators are required to follow the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, 42 Pa.C.S.A. (1988), to the extent that they apply to the services to be provided hereunder.

QUALIFICATIONS

Program Administrators must have experience providing legal services related to tangled title and foreclosure prevention to low-income households.   

All Program Administrators are required to follow the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, 42 Pa.C.S.A. (1988), to the extent that they apply to the services to be provided hereunder.

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR COMPENSATION

Program Administrators will be required to outline their proposed fee structure for the services they are applying for the Application Narrative. The fee structure must include all reasonable costs to operate the service(s) and should be presented as expected number of clients to be served. Proposed rates should include but not limited to personnel costs, administrative costs (proportionate to the service being delivered), program operations, and costs related to directly carrying out the services to clients.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Eligible Clients

Clients receiving assistance under LAP-H must meet the following requirements:


a. Each client must be a homeowner or the occupant of a home in which they claim a legal interest (Tangled Title) and the home must be their sole residence.


b. The client’s home must be located within the City of Pittsburgh.


c. The annual gross household income of the client (also known as the homeowner or occupant) must be at or below 80% of the Pittsburgh Area Median Income (AMI) with adjustments made for family size.


d. Pittsburgh Area Median Income is subject to HUD’s annual calculation of Area Median Income (AMI). For more information please visit https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html.


e. Determination of the client’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 client must show pay stubs issued within the last 30 days and employment verification. A self-certification of one’s income will also be required to verify the client’s income history.


f. Where applicable, the homeowner must demonstrate that the need for LAP-H services is due to the risk or threat of foreclosure.


g. Where applicable, the occupant seeking tangled title assistance must show that the deed is not in their name.

Eligible Properties/Residences

Residences of those households to receive LAP-H assistance must meet the following requirements:

a. Each property must be a permanent structure used by the applicant as their primary, year-round residence.  

b. Eligible properties must be located inside the City of Pittsburgh.

c. 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.

d. Homeowners must have current homeowner insurance policy or have the ability to obtain such insurance.

Required and Eligible Uses of Funding for Clients

The purpose of LAP-H is to provide a one-time legal service to clients who are at-risk of losing their homes due to tangled title or foreclosure issues. Clients must be either homeowners or the occupant of a home in which they claim a legal interest (tangled title) and the home must be their sole residence. 

FUNDING TERMS, LIMITS, & OTHER RESTRICTIONS

Funding Type

This funding will be awarded to Program Administrators as a grant on a reimbursement basis.  

Tangled Title
- Each client is entitled to up to $5,000 of legal assistance

Foreclosure Prevention
- Repayment plans
 - Each client is entitled to up to $5,000 of legal assistance
- Special forbearance plans
  - Each client is entitled to up to $5,000 of legal assistance
- Mortgage modifications and/or refinancing
  - Each client is entitled to up to $5,000 of legal assistance

Funding Limits and Other Requirements

There is $800,000 available for this program in the 2021 HOF allocation year. The LAP-H will be sourced by local Housing Opportunity Funds, CDBG and/or other funding received by the URA which may include local, state, federal or foundation funds. Future or annual funding is not guaranteed.

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 client assisted and any additional information requested by the URA. The URA will only reimburse for approved costs incurred.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

All application submissions are to include a completed LAP-H Application Narrative. The Application Narrative includes the following sections:

1. Eligibility Checklist and Confirmation of Services Provided
2. Organization Information
3. Total Funding Request
4. Organization Experience and Staff Qualifications
5. Approach to Providing Services
6. Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Narrative
7. References
8. 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.

Effective January 6, 2021, all URA proposals must be submitted via Ion Wave Technology. To view instructions on how to register an account on Ion Wave Technologies, please click here.

PROPOSAL DEADLINES & OTHER SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

RFP Issue Date: Friday, February 19, 2021

Pre-Proposal Meeting (Optional): March 1, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Proposal Deadline: Monday, March 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm EST

URA Board Approval Thursday, March 11, 2021

*Dates subject to change

The URA is now using Ion Wave Technologies (IWT) 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://ionwave.net/suppliers/ in order to submit questions about this RFP.

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.

This form is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and/or withdrawal without notice by the URA at any time.

All responses, including attachments, supplementary materials, addenda, etc. shall become the property of the URA and will not be returned.

Respondents and team members must disclose any conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, with regards to any employee or staff of the URA or the City of Pittsburgh, and/or any work performed by the respondent for the URA, the City of Pittsburgh, or any related entity.

REVIEW OF PROPOSALS & SELECTION CRITERIA

Review of Proposals
• URA staff will check responses against mandatory criteria. Responses not meeting all the mandatory criteria will not be considered for review.

• Formal interviews of applicants may be scheduled at the discretion of URA staff.

• During the evaluation process, the URA reserves the right to request additional information or clarifications from the applicants, or to allow corrections of errors or omissions.

• URA staff may recommend an applicant or applicants to the HOF Advisory Board and URA Board of Directors, respectively, based upon the responses to this RFP.

Selection Criteria

Experience – The applicant’s experience in providing legal services similar to what is being requested in the RFP.


• Quality of Submission – The quality of the submission and the degree to which it demonstrates the team members’ full understanding of their ability to perform the services to be rendered; the content of the response should demonstrate the applicant’s full understanding of the objectives.


• MWBE Participation – The applicant’s MWBE narrative should indicate whether the applicant is an MWBE and include an overview of the applicant’s strategy toward MWBE participation, in general.

NON-DISCRIMINATION CERTIFICATION

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh 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 based on any of the above factors under the loan and grant programs operated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

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