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FY 2005 HOPE VI Revitalization NOFA

- -
 Information by State
 Print version
Related Information
 -   FAQ Set #2
 -   FAQ Set #1 (MS-Word)
 -   FY-2005 Funding Page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Set #3

1. Does the NOFA provide information on how to submit narratives and
attachments electronically?

Yes. All HOPE VI applicants need to carefully read Section IV, "Application and Submission" information for detailed instructions on requirements for documentation (for thresholds and rating factors, etc.) and electronic submission. Specifically, Section IV.B.1.e., "Electronic Format," details how to narrative exhibits and attachments must be submitted.

2. Must I use PureEdge in order to submit my application electronically?
Yes. Section IV.F.3.a.indicates that Grants.gov has a full set of instructions on how to apply for funds on its website. Applicants should go to http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow the steps listed, which include downloading the PureEdge program. This small, free program will allow you to access, complete, and submit applications electronically and securely. You need PureEdge because, in addition to forms that are part of the application instructions, there will be a series of electronic forms that are provided utilizing a PureEdge reader (e.g., SF-424). The PureEdge Reader allows applicants to read the electronic files in a form format so that they will look like any other Standard or HUD form. The PureEdge forms have content-sensitive help. (To use this feature you will need to click on the icon at the top of the page that features an arrow with a question mark. This engages the content sensitive help for each field you will need to complete on the electronic form). The PureEdge forms can be downloaded and saved on your hard drive, network drive(s), or CDs. Because of the size of the application, HUD recommends downloading the application to your computer hard drive (desktop). For more information, see the links to "Download PureEdge Viewer" and "PureEdge on Macintosh" (if relevant) on the left-hand side of the http://www.grants.gov/Apply page, under the header, "Tips and Tools."

3. Can I fax in parts of my application?
Yes, if they are third party letters, certifications requiring signature and other documents, in accordance with Section IV.F.4.(2), which states:
"(2) Third Party Letters, Certifications Requiring Signatures, and Other Documentation. Applicants required to submit documentation from organizations providing matching or leveraging funds; documentation of 501(c)(3) status or incorporation papers; documents that support the need for the program or Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) have the following two options:
(a) Scanning Documents to Create Electronic Files. Third party documentation can be scanned and saved as separate electronic files. Electronic files must be labeled so the reader will know what the file contains. Match or leveraging letters can be scanned into a single folder or the applicant can create a separate file for each scanned letter and label them accordingly. All scanned files should be placed together in a zipped folder and then attached to the application package submitted to grants.gov as part of the application submission; or
(a) Electronic Facsimile Required Documentation. Applicants that do not have scanning equipment available, may submit the required documentation to HUD via facsimile (fax). The electronic facsimile method may only be used to submit attachments that are part of your electronic application."

Though these two options are permissible, HUD prefers and recommends that faxes be avoided to the extent possible in order to ensure accuracy and consistency in receipt of your application package. Rather, HUD recommends that third party letters, certifications requiring signature and other documents be submitted via pdf in zip files. HUD strongly recommends that architectural drawings (e.g., using CAD, Computer Aided Design), blueprints, maps, and photographs be provided as pdf files in the application because a facsimile version of such documents would be of little value to the application review due to the poor quality of such complex documents when transmitted via facsimile. Color faxes are not available for use in HUD program offices, so all faxed images would be black-and-white, again diminishing the value of such complex documents in the review process.

4. Can I submit my entire application via fax?
No. Section IV.F.4.(2)(b) states that "HUD will not accept entire applications via fax. Applications submitted entirely via fax will be disqualified."

5. Do I have to use the HUD form 96011, "Facsimile Transmittal," or can I use my own fax cover sheet?
Yes, you MUST use the HUD form 96011, "Facsimile Transmittal" because it enables Grants.gov and HUD to match your faxes to your application. If you use your organization's fax cover sheet, Grants.gov and HUD may not be able to match your faxes to your application. Section IV.F.4.(2)(b) of the NOFA gives the following instructions:
"To submit documents using the electronic facsimile method, applicants must use form HUD-96011, Facsimile Transmittal, which is a cover page for the faxed materials. The form HUD-96011 is an electronic form and is part of the applicant's downloaded electronic application obtained from www.grants.gov. Applicants must fax their information to the following fax number: 800-HUD-1010. Each document must be faxed as a separate submission to avoid fax transmission problems. When faxing several documents, applicants must use the Form HUD-96011 as the cover for each document (e.g. Letter of Matching or Leveraging funds, Memorandum of Understanding, Certification of Consistency with the Consolidated Plan, etc.).
Your facsimile machine should provide you with a record of whether your transmission was received by HUD. If you get a negative response or a transmission error, you should resubmit the document until you confirm that HUD has received your transmission. HUD will not acknowledge that a facsimile was received successfully. HUD will electronically receive the facsimile, read it with an optical character reader and attach it to the application submitted via Grants.gov electronic facsimile transmissions may be sent at any time before the application submission date. HUD will store the information and attach it to the electronic application when HUD receives it from Grants.gov

Additionally, applicants should carefully review the FAQs posted at the HUD URLs, http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/egrants/grantsgovfaqs.pdf and http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/egrants/faqs52305.pdf, as well as the FAQ link at the top of the Grants.gov webpage, for more information on faxing related to your application and other important topics.

6. When I have tried to transmit all my attachment documents into one zip file, my computer crashes (e.g., some of my architectural drawings are larger than 100 MBs). What can I do?
If your attachment documents are too large to submit in one zip file, you may break them out into a maximum of 15 zip files (that is the maximum allowed in the Grants.gov system structure).

7. When must my application be received by in the Grants.gov system?
In accordance with Section IV.C.2, all applications must be received by Grants.gov by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern time on July 29, 2005. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic time stamp is generated within the system when the application has been successfully received. The applicant will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicants should print this receipt and save it, along with facsimile receipts for information provided by facsimile, as proof of timely submission. When HUD successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, HUD will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt to the e-mail address provided on the SF-424. Proof of Timely submission shall be the date and time that Grants.gov receives your application submittal and the date HUD receives those portions of your application submitted by facsimile. Applications received by Grants.gov, after the established submission deadline for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by HUD. .

8. If I have to fax parts of my application, must they arrive by the deadline as well?
Yes. As stated in section IV.C.2., "all facsimile transmissions must be received by the application submission date and time….Applications will be considered late if information submitted by facsimile as part of the application has not received by HUD by the established submission deadline."

9. Who should I contact if I am having problems submitting my application?
Applicants should first contact the Grants.gov help desk, as they have control of the Grants.gov system and possess the technical knowledge of the system, its structure, process and issues. The Grants.gov help desk can be reached by calling 800-518-GRANTS or emailing Support@Grants.gov. Their hours of operation are 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you continue to have difficulties, you may contact the HUD Grants office at (202) 708-0667. You may also contact the HOPE VI program office by emailing Leigh van Rij at Leigh_E._van_Rij@hud.gov. Be reminded that there are many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted at the following locations:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/hope6/, listed under the "What's New" box;
http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/fundsavail.cfm, listed under the "Helpful Tools"

http://www.Grants.gov webpage, the FAQ link at the top of the page;
http://www.grants.gov/Apply, left-hand side of the webpage under the header "Tips and Tools," see the links, "Application Submission Tips" and "Application Error Tips," along with other links to important topics.

10. When I follow the directions in the NOFA, my application exhibits when zipped together are too large to save on my system. What can I do?
Regardless of the NOFA instructions, up to 15 attachment files (either Zip or other formats) may now be used to submit your application. Because of the design of some Zip programs (including Winzip, HUD's standard zip software), your computer must have more memory than the size of the zip file you are creating, or the zip program (and possibly your computer) will crash.

Using the "Attachment Form" in the electronic application package, spread the exhibits among smaller zipped files. Using file-splitting software, you may even split one document into several pieces and include it as a set of several separate attachment files. In both of the above cases, make sure that you label each attached file so that it is clear to the reviewer what that file contains as related to the application submission requirements listed in the NOFA. You may use the attachment form as well as the optional attachment form, if included in the application, to get all the required attachments included in your application package submission.

A caution on using file-splitting software; please be sure that the HUD reviewer has the ability to combine the file portions after submission. The HUD reviewer is not allowed to load software onto his/her computer. This means that you cannot submit a copy of the file-splitting software with your application package for the reviewer to use. Most file-splitting software creates a batch (.bat) or executable (.exe) file, to be submitted with the file portions, that will allow the reviewer to combine the file portions.

11. I am having trouble saving the application to my desktop when I include all the attachments. What can I do?
Until you go to submit the application, you are working on your computer. The application is downloaded to your computer and you are not working on an on-line connection until you go to submit the application. If your computer does not have sufficient memory to handle the large files, you may have trouble saving or working with your application files. If this happens, then you can look at alternative ways of getting the information to HUD.

One way that HUD recommends for reducing the size of the application package is to place parts of the application on your, an applicant partner's or a consultant's website. The website can be password protected or the URL can be hidden several folders down so that it is only known to HUD reviewers that read it in your application. This method of submission is limited to documents that are not easily modified by the applicant, such as architectural drawings, environmental reviews, maps, pictures, zoning ordinances, etc.,

When utilizing this method to reduce the size of the application package, please follow the following instructions:

  1. Reduce the size of your submission files by placing on a website items which are produced by others or signed off by other entities.
    1. Architectural drawings, maps, zoning ordinances, environmental reviews are all documents, which are generally created through the use of professional services where a person or entity is signing off on the validity of the document and upon which HUD can rely as a document that cannot readily be altered without the permission of the entity that created it.
    2. Items that are solely narrative statements created by the applicant should be contained in the application package submitted electronically.
  2. When placing a large item on a website, include an related MS Word document in your application package and post the related Word document, along with the large item, on the website.
    1. Use a file name for that related Word document that tells the reviewer both the submission requirement of the NOFA that is being addressed and the contents of the website-posted document, e.g., "Attachment 142: Elevation Drawing".
    2. In the related Word document, you should:
      1. Describe the information that you have placed on the website;
      2. State the file name of the document;
      3. State the exhibit, attachment or other item in the NOFA's submission requirements that it satisfies;
      4. State the URL where the information is posted,
      5. State the label name of any hyperlink on the website that leads to where the information is located;
      6. If the website is password protected (at your discretion), state the password and any instructions needed to enable the reviewer to access the site;
      7. If the document is password protected (at your discretion), state the password and any instructions needed to enable the reviewer to access the document.
    3. Please do not password protect files contained and submitted with the application package. If you do that on your electronic submission, HUD will not be able to open the file and may not be able to review your information.

Please do not submit material in your application that is not in the priscribed file formats found in the General Section of the NOFA, as HUD will not be able to read your documents.

You should also look at how you create the files. For example, MPEG files for pictures result in smaller size files than scanned documents.

Word processing or spreadsheet files (DOC, XLS, etc.) become larger if saved as PDF files. If these files were downloaded from grants.gov in Word or Excel, or you have created them in Word or Excel, and they do not require a signature (or other 'graphics'), please submit these files in their original file formats, either batched together in a Zip file or as separate attachments.

12. What happens if I do not have access to a website to place these large files?
The General Section of the SuperNOFA allows applicants to submit parts of their applications via fax. If you cannot successfully submit your application in its entirety due to file size, then you many use the fax solution to submit parts of your application to reduce the file size to permit a successful submission. Please be aware that HUD will not accept an entire application submitted by facsimile. Any application that is sent in its entirety by facsimile will be rejected.

Note that, if faxed, the quality of pictures, renderings, drawings, etc. will be no greater than a regular faxed document.

When faxing materials to HUD, please use the Facsimile Transmittal Cover sheet (Form HUD-96011) found in the application package you downloaded and are submitting to Grants.gov. It should be the first page that goes into the fax machine. Each time you download an application from Grants.gov it contains a unique ID embedded on the forms. Failure to use the same form that came with your application package may result in HUD not being able to match your facsimile transmittal to your application. Complete instructions for sending material by Facsimile and the toll free number to use when submitting a fax are found in the General Section of the SuperNOFA.

13. I am confused about the dates I should use in developing my program schedule. Section III.C.1.i states the threshold requirement that my application, "must contain a program schedule that provides a feasible plan to meet the schedule requirements" of Section VI.B. of this NOFA. Section IV.B.4.d. includes documentation instructions and lists suggested dates to use in the schedule such as: HUD's written request for Supplemental Submissions - Jan. 15, 2006 and HUD's approval of Supplemental Submissions - Feb. 15, 2006. However, Section VI. B. includes the statement that: "Grantees must submit Supplemental Submissions within 90 days from HUD's written request." Must we use the Jan. and Feb. dates or should we develop the schedule to meet the 90 days allowed for grantees to submit their Supplemental Submission?
Section III.C.1.i. establishes the threshold requirement that the application must contain a program schedule that provides a feasible plan to meet the schedule requirements of Section VI.B. of the NOFA. Section IV.B.4.d. addresses documentation requirements related to the program schedule threshold requirement. As stated in Section IV.B.4.d., the suggested dates are used for evaluation purposes only. Applicants may choose to use them if they wish. Regardless of the suggested dates in the documentation section, applicants must meet the threshold requirement that the program schedule must reflect the timeframes detailed in section VI.B. It is acceptable that an applicant use different dates than those suggested in the NOFA in order to properly reflect the timeframes in Section VI.B. in their schedule.

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