Home Repair Fund
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)
Home Repair Fund
Issue Date: November 22, 2022
Applications Due: January 4, 2023
The City of Providence hereby notifies interested applicants of the availability of funds allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) budget for Home Repair funding. The availability and use of these funds are subject to federal regulations and are further subject to the City of Providence’s policies and program requirements.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 into law to bring direct and immediate relief to families and workers. The act provides $350 billion in funding to states, counties, municipalities and other governmental units across the country. These funds-Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF)- are to be used by state and local governments to address the devastating public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Providence received approximately $166M in SLRF funds, distributed in May 2021 and June 2022. The City’s associated ARPA Budget Ordinance(s) contained line items to address housing rehabilitation needs to ameliorate substandard housing quality, foster energy efficiency, and address lingering equity disparities.
Through this notice of funding availability (NOFA), the City of Providence will provide funding to non-profit subrecipient organizations to administer home repair programs to provide housing rehabilitation grants to eligible households and properties within the City of Providence.
The goal of this grant opportunity is to expand residential rehabilitation programs to assist individuals and families in Providence who are experiencing financial hardship to address home repair needs so that they are able to shelter in their homes during and after the pandemic. Completion of home repairs will also serve to foster stability in Providence neighborhoods in the long-term through equity-building and housing quality improvement.
Organizations operating residential rehabilitation assistance programs for target populations to remain safely and sustainably housed may apply for funds up to $3,000,000. An additional $500,000 in funds is also available to fund pre-electrification upgrades in qualifying households. Programs that receive funding through this opportunity must be able to be fully implemented by June 30, 2024.
AMOUNT OF FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR AWARD
There is $3,500,000 in federal ARPA funds available through this funding opportunity. Applicants may request up to $3,000,000 in funding for residential rehabilitation assistance programs, as well as an additional $500,000 set-aside to fund pre-electrification upgrades in qualifying households.
The City reserves the right to fund in whole or in part, any, all, or none of the applications submitted in response to this NOFA. The City reserves the right to renew or increase overall funding available through this NOFA. If less than 100% of available funds are initially awarded in this funding round, the City reserves the right to make additional awards on a rolling basis to applicants that are awarded through this round, or to applicants that applied but did not receive an initial award. In both instances, applicants must meet the requirements of this NOFA and have demonstrated adequate utilization of prior ARPA funds (if appropriate).
This funding opportunity is intended to support residential rehabilitation programs, and priority proposals shall favor properties that are owner-occupied as opposed to investor-owned.
Examples of priority programs for this funding include, but are not limited to:
- Owner-occupied home repair programs designed for low-income senior citizens or persons with disabilities to enable aging-in-place and necessary home modifications;
- Owner-occupied home repair programs for properties located within Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs), i.e. concentrated areas with limited economic opportunity and inadequate or poor-quality housing;
- Owner-occupied home repair programs to address emergency repair needs in properties owned by households verified to be at or below 65% of area median income;
- Home repair programs to make targeted repairs for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)enrolled households to address repair needs causing deferrals from state and federal weatherization, healthy housing and energy efficiency programs.
- LIHEAP-enrolled households pursuing energy efficiency or electrification improvements are also eligible for pre-electrification improvements in anticipation of state and federal electrification incentives such as the State’s forthcoming High Efficiency Heat Pump Program. A $500,000 set-aside has been established under this NOFA for programs targeted to address this priority.
Priority populations to be served through this funding opportunity include seniors and persons with disabilities struggling to maintain their homes, owner-occupants within Qualified Census Tracts disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, LIHEAP households deferred from receiving related weatherization and energy efficiency benefits due to property condition, and owner-occupant households with verified income levels at 0-65% AMI.
Clientele may be presumed eligible if they are verified to be enrolled in LIHEAP, TANF, or other means-tested assistance programs, receive SSI/SSDI, OR are verified as being located within the QCTs. All other clientele will need to be fully income certified through an application process and verified to be at or below 65% AMI. Projects that serve other populations besides the ones listed will be considered if the proposal can provide compelling evidence of how the targeted population is underserved by our existing system and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Organizations interested in applying for this funding opportunity are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the City’s Anti-Displacement and Comprehensive Housing Strategy and explain how their proposed project fits within the needs identified within that report.
Awarded projects will be funded for up to an 18-month contract term and must have a completion date on or before June 30, 2024. Extension of the project(s) is possible contingent upon available funding.
Applicants seeking funding must be public or private non-profit organizations or collaboratives (demonstrated by a Memorandum of Agreement between partners) that have demonstrated experience and capacity to provide housing rehabilitation services to priority populations in Providence. Additionally, projects must demonstrate their ability to meet all threshold criteria, listed below, in order for their proposal to be reviewed and scoped by the Application Review Committee.
Applications must demonstrate and/or certify:
- Established history of managing rehabilitation programs and initiatives for low-income populations in Providence.
- Capacity to deliver culturally-competent and accessible services in languages other than English that are most spoken in Providence, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Mon-Khmer.
- That the applicant is eligible for federal funding, i.e. has no outstanding delinquent federal debts; no debarments and/or suspensions from doing business with the federal government and has active and valid registration with SAM.gov.
- That the agency has no conflict of interest that would violate City, State, or Federal Conflict of Interest laws or policies and has disclosed any potential conflicts.
- That the agency has an accounting system and sufficient internal controls necessary to meet federal standards described at 2 CFR 200.302.
- That the applicant is committed to federal Fair Housing Rules.
- That the applicant is familiar with the Lead Safe Housing Rule and its applicability to federally-assisted rehabilitation activities.
- That the applicant has reviewed Treasury SLFRF guidance.
- That no more than 10% of the total program budget is for administrative/indirect costs; this should be demonstrated in the project budget. (Agencies with federally negotiated indirect cost rates may provide documentation with the application form)
- That the project will provide direct benefit to one (or more) of the following eligibility categories:
- Households living in owner-occupied properties verified to be earning at or below 65% AMI and experiencing a financial hardship prohibiting repairs.
- Categorical (presumed) eligibility:
- Households documented as qualified for LIHEAP or other public assistance programs as defined in the Treasury Guidance;
- Households living in owner-occupied properties located within Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs);
Funds available through this NOFA cannot be used towards projects outside the political boundaries of the City of Providence, that are politically driven or affiliated, deposits into pension funds, as match contribution towards other federal grants, or to supplant other funding.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND TIMELINE
Organizations that seek funds must submit a completed proposal form available here: Home Repair Fund Application Form.
The City will keep the NOFA open until January 4, 2023 at 11:59PM. Any application materials submitted outside of the submission deadline will not be accepted or reviewed. Completed applications received by 11:59PM on January 4, 2023 will be screened in order to determine whether the application meets minimum threshold eligibility requirements. Late proposals will not be accepted. The Application Review Committee will evaluate each complete and eligible application according to the priorities identified herein.
The City hosted a virtual information session on this NOFA.
For the full information session slide deck, click here.
For the video recording, click here.
For the sound recording, click here.
Questions & Answers
Question: Who can initiate a request? A homeowner, tenant, landlord, both?
Answer: While an inquiry or referral can originate from any of the above, it’s advisable that the property owner serve as the applicant (as they will need to consent to the repairs at their property, provide documentation, and facilitate property access to staff/contractors). They will also serve as the signatory on any grant agreements, deed restrictions, etc. that may be part of your program design.
Question: Does the property need to be owner occupied?
Answer: Treasury SLFRF guidance does not restrict assistance to only owner-occupants; however, the assistance must be necessary, reasonable, and appropriately targeted to distressed households. If your program contemplates service to investor-owned properties, please describe how this meets a recovery goal and why the investor requires public assistance to address the repairs.
Question: When income qualifying, is it based on the owner or the occupants or both or any of the above?
Answer: This will vary based on a program’s design. If not within a QCT, it’s advisable to ensure units receiving direct assistance are income-qualified (whether through their existing enrollment in a means-tested program, or through a documented income verification process). The Treasury Final Rule points to other HUD programs as a safe harbor to mirror.
Please send all emails with questions about the NOFA application or process to Emily Freedman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOFA Opening Date: November 22, 2022
Virtual Information Session: December 2, 2022
Final Date for Questions: December 13, 2022
Q&A Posted Online: December 14, 2022
Application Submission Deadline: January 4, 2023, 11:59PM
APPLICATION REVIEW CRITERIA
Submitted applications that meet the threshold criteria will be further prioritized based on the scoring rubric available here:Scoring Rubric-Home Repair Fund.
The City reserves the right to request additional information from applicants during the review process and to use other available information regarding an applicant’s history, experience, and past performance as a City subgrantee or borrower as may be necessary when evaluating applications.
Funding for this program is limited. Applications that meet all of the NOFA’s general guidelines and requirements may not necessarily receive an award. The City may fund a program for the full amount requested, or less than the full amount, or not at all. There are no requirements or expectations that the City must award all or any funds through the NOFA process.
The City reserves the right to postpone or cancel this NOFA, if it deems it to be in the best interests of the City to do so. The City reserves the right to waive any technical or formal errors or omissions, and to reject any and all proposals, or to award contracts, either in part or in whole, if deemed to be in the best interests of the City.
Successful applicants shall be in complete compliance with all of the specifications, terms and conditions of the proposal. The City shall have the right to inspect the facilities and equipment of the successful applicant to ensure such compliance. The City shall not be liable for any costs incurred in the preparation of proposals or for any work performed in connection therein.
FEDERAL CONTRACT PROVISIONS
Recipients of ARPA funds are subject to required federal contract provisions. Required conditions may be found in Attachment A: Sample City of Providence ARPA Agreement which also includes an ARPA Exhibit: ARPA Handbook – City of Providence SLFRF Manual. These conditions are subject to change.
Application reviews and awards are contingent upon applicants being current to the City on any loan, contractual, or tax obligation as due, or with any rule, regulation, or provision on existing or past City contracts.