The Implementation Committee with the help of The San Francisco Foundation held the How to Apply Workshop for the Rental Assistance Request for Proposals (RFP) on September 18, 2014. At the Workshop organizations were able to walk through the RFP process and receive a more in-depth understanding of what the Implementation Committee desires in a response. Below are the questions and answers taken from the How to Apply Workshop:
Q: Why is there a gap between the two income levels outlined in the different sub-programs of the RA program?
A: Apologies for the confusion. On Page 5, the RFP states that eligible income levels are up to 140% AMI. Then following that, it could have been clearer to explain that Respondents might think of the grant as two sub-programs: (a) “middle income assistance”: 50% to 140% AMI and (b) low income assistance: 49% AMI and below. The semantics don’t work perfectly here. We tried to align the “low income assistance” label with the income limits (i.e. 35% AMI and below) set by the prevalent public sources of funds.
Q: Can the Administrator only provide to one income group outlined in the RFP?
A: Section III.D on Page 5 mentions that at least sixty-five percent (65%) of the financial assistance funds must be designated for individuals and households that fall within the range of 50% to 140% AMI. That is one limiting factor in directing funds to income sub-groups. The IC believes that this income group is not being served in D10, and a good use of its private unrestricted funds is to fill this gap. The IC also feels that it is important to support income groups below 50% AMI.
Q; I wanted a bit of clarification on the Target Population piece. The RFP mentions that the IC would like to focus on houses with earned income. Do all involved families have to have earned income? I’m concerned that qualifying families who lose a job and need one-time rental assistance would not qualify.
A: The IC would like Respondents to describe how they would structure these monetary and leveraged-service interventions in a way that will create housing stability. So if someone has lost their job, what is the likelihood that they will still be vulnerable to eviction two to three months after they receive the one-time back rent assistance? How do you prevent this situation from occurring and how successful are you at achieving these intentions?
Q: Why can’t Rental Subsidies be included with Move-in/Security Deposit Assistance and One-time Eviction Prevention Funds?
A: In this initial roll out, the IC wants the rental assistance program to focus its activities and not dilute funds across a wider range of sub-programs.
Q: Is it possible to have all four activities included in a rental assistance program?
A: No. See answer above.
Q: Why does the IC want packages with these certain activity requirements?
A: Same as above
Q: Can staff experience satisfy the requirement of organizational experience around Financial Services? I.e. As an organization, they do not have financial management experience but has listed staff with the required experience, would that suffice?
A: The IC encourages Respondents to state their case for how they would be effective with current staff and organizational capabilities. In this specific case, we’d look for a response to detail how their staff expertise would translate to organizational capabilities.
Q: How much funding does the IC have available for this type of program?
A: [paraphrased answer provided at the How-to-Apply meeting] The IC is soliciting proposals from industry experts that outline realistic costs and services, providing responding organizations the opportunity to present their ability to (1) meet the stated goal in the RFP Section III.A page 5, and (2) be efficient, innovative, and creative without influencing their responses based on the dollar amount of available funds.
Q: Is there an expectation that the funds designed will be designed as loans?
A: The IC places a high priority on structuring funds that can be revolving, repaid, “taken out”, etc. Loans are one common mechanism to achieve that, but not the only way. The IC encourages Respondents to be creative and leverage new and/or existing partnerships.