Questions and Answers from the July 27, 2016 Bidders’ Conference and from Written Questions Submitted Following the Bidders’ Conference

Leasing/Rental Assistance

  1. Q: The rents in this project are categorized as leasing instead of rental assistance—what does that mean? A: With leasing assistance, the program sponsor rents units and enters into a sub-lease or occupancy agreement with program participants. The program sponsor, as the leasing entity, pays full monthly rent to the landlord. The program sponsor separately collects any rents from program participants. (With rental assistance, program participants pay their share of rent directly to the landlord, and the program sponsor pays only its portion of the rent to the landlord.) With leasing assistance, the program sponsor pays for a vacant unit according to the terms of its lease; in contrast, with rental assistance, the program sponsor is limited to how long it can pay for a vacant unit by the CoC Interim Rule. Leasing and rental assistance are treated differently with regard to match requirements for the grants. All project sponsors must provide match of 25% of all grant amounts—except leasing. There is no match requirement for Leasing costs.
  1. Q: Can this project be changed from a leasing project to a rental assistance project? A: Probably not. Following implementation of CoC Program regulations under the HEARTH Act, CoC Programs had a one-time opportunity to change projects using Leasing funds to a project using Rental Assistance funds. This project did not change at that time. While a new program sponsor could make a request for the change based on the fact that a new program sponsor will be administering the program, there is no indication as to whether HUD will consider this to be adequate justification for this change.

Budget

  1. Q: The RFP includes a program budget. Can this be changed? A: At this time, when all CoC grants are being submitted to HUD for renewal, budget amounts across categories—Leasing, Rental Assistance, Supportive Services, Operating Costs, and Administration—must be the same as what is on a Grant Inventory Worksheet (GIW) prepared by HUD. The amounts on the GIW are what has been provided in the RFP, and cannot be changed. A successful applicant can allocate money within budget categories to any allowable program costs. During the period between HUD competitions, a program sponsor may request budget changes that result in moving funds from one category to another. A request for this type of change must be approved by HUD.

Contact with Current Program

  1. Q: Can we contact the current operator and/or the landlord currently leasing the units to the program? A: Yes. The current operator is Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services – contact Exective Director Ronn Johnson, rjohnson@mlkjrfamilyservices.com or Project Director Pamela Jumba, pjumba@mlkjrfamilyservices.org; phone (413) 746-3655. The landlord for the majority of units is Home City Housing, Contact Jodi Smith, jsmith@hmrproperties.com, 413-785-5312, ext. 113.

Furniture

  1. Q: Are the units furnished and will the furniture remain in the units? A: The units are not furnished; participants are responsible for their own furniture.

Utilities

  1. Q: In the existing leasing contracts, are utilities included in the rent? A: Utilities are included in the rent for one unit; utilities are not included for the other seven units.

Transfer of Case Management Notes

  1. Q: Will the agency that takes over this project be provided with access to existing case manager notes (as long as program participants authorize release of the notes)? A: Yes, if releases are signed, case notes that have been entered in ETO (HMIS) will be turned over.

Participant Rents Counted as Match

  1. Q: Can the project sponsor count rents paid by program participants as contributing to the required program match? A: Yes. On April 21, 2006, HUD released guidance (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/new-changes-to-hud-coc-and-esg-program-implementation) which makes clear that program income (including participant rents) can count as match for grants awarded in the FY15 or FY16 competitions.

Initial and Renewal Contract – Term, Funding, Match

  1. Q: Will the contract term be 9/1/16 – 4/30/17? If so, is the “total available funding” of $137,872 meant to represent only the 8 months of operation from September through the end of April (i.e., the contract awarded the initial provider was actually $206,808)? I believe the $137,872 is meant to representtwelve months of operations because ($924 x 3 units x 12 months) + ($1,154 x 5 units x 12 months) =  $102,504, which is not equal to $102,463, but is closer to that amount than to $68,336, which would be leasing costs for 8 months at those FMRs. A: The “total available funding” of $137,872 is the total annual amount available for the program.  The initial contract period is a partial year period of 8 months. The amount available for the 8-month period is $91,914.
  1. Q: If the term is 9/1/16-4/30/17, is the match requirement 25% of the pro-rated eight-month non-leasing costs, (assuming that the budget embedded in the RFP represents the full twelve month budget) or would the provider be expected to match at $9,992 regardless of the fact that the provider would only be in operation 8 months prior to renewal? In fact, if the match requirement is for 25% of non-leasing costs, $9,992 seems high even for the full twelve-month contract. 25% of the non-leasing costs detailed in the RFP would be $8,852.25. Does the match requirement letter need to reflect $9,992; $8,852.25; or a smaller amount to account for the fact that the provider would only be in operation for 8 months? A: The annual required match amount is $9,992. The amount of match that will e required for the initial 8-month period is $6,661.
  1. Q: If the term is only eight months, would the total funding awarded (and each associated item – rental assistance, supportive services, indirect) be less than $137,872? If so, what would be the exact amount? A: The total 8-month initial term grant amount is $91,914. The amounts for each budget item for the 8-month period are: Leasing $68,308; Case Manager $20,566; Administration $3,040.

Expansion of Program Beyond 8 Units

  1. Q: Would this contract, if renewed, permit the provider to apply “savings” (i.e., difference between FMR and actual rent invoiced to CoC) to additional units so long as the contracted units were performing satisfactorily? A: When a program receives funds for Leasing, the program must serve the number of households committed to in the application. It cannot serve more than this number, unless the Leasing line is converted to Rental Assistance. As stated in the answer to question 2, it is unlikely that HUD will permit a change from Leasing to Rental Assistance.

 

 

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