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FY 2007 HOPE VI Revitalization NOFA-Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

- -
 Information by State
 Print version
 
Q1. Is there an estimated award date we must use?

A1.    No. There is not an estimated award date in the NOFA. Applicants should stipulate their own estimated award date and use it consistently for purposes of their application, specifically the program schedule in the rating factor in section V.A.9.e. of the NOFA. This rating factor directs applicants to use the time requirements in program requirements section III.C.3.v.

Q2. Is an option for a long-term ground lease acceptable to HUD as site control documentation for a HOPE VI application?

A2.    In accordance with the threshold requirement in Section III.C.2.a.2.(p. 41826), the PHA (not the developer) must have site control of every property proposed for off-site housing development. Section III.C.2.a.2.c. states that: "Evidence may include an option to purchase the property, a sales agreement, a land swap, or a deed." To clarify, this language ("may include") allows that an option for a long-term ground lease may also be accepted, subject to it meeting the site control documentation and contingency requirements, noted in Section III.C.2.a.2.

Q3. Is there a new documentation requirement related to site control?

A3.    Yes. Applicants should be aware of the new requirement in this section, Section III.C.2.a.2.f: "You must include a cover sheet with your documented evidence of site control in the Attachments section. This cover sheet must provide a table that matches the off-site parcels proposed in your application for housing development to the corresponding documented evidence of site control for those parcels. Specifically, this table should provide in one column the name of each parcel, as identified in your application. A second column should contain the name of the documented evidence corresponding to each parcel. A third column should provide the location of the documented evidence in the attachment (page number, etc.) and any other necessary detail about the evidence. If more than one unit will be built on a parcel, this must be identified as well in the table. The purpose of this table is to aid reviewers' ability to determine whether your application complies with this threshold. Accordingly, applicants should provide site control information as clearly and consistently as possible."

Q4. We know that the NOFA requires that the PHA have site control of any property where housing is proposed to be developed. However, for non-dwelling structures, must the PHA have site control for the application purposes?

A4.    No, applicants only need to have site control for housing proposed to be developed on off-site parcels. As stated in Section III.C.2.a.2: "If you propose to develop off-site housing in ANY phase of your proposed revitalization plan, you MUST provide evidence in your application that you (not your developer) have site control of EVERY property. If you propose to develop off-site housing and you do not provide acceptable evidence of site control, your ENTIRE application will be disqualified from further consideration for funding."

Q5. Can the site control threshold be met if an instrumentality of the PHA has control of parcels proposed for off-site housing development?

A5.    No, the PHA, not its instrumentality, must have site control of the property(ies) on which off-site housing development is proposed in the application

Q6. Do we need to have three public meeting and one resident training for each site or is everything inclusive?

A6.    The minimum requirement is the one resident training and three public meetings. As stated in the threshold requirement (Section III.C.2.a.6), "You must assure that you have involved affected [emphasis added] public housing residents at the beginning and during the planning process for the revitalization program, prior to submission of your application." Applicants can always conduct more meetings as they see fit and those may be evaluated, and possibly earn points, under rating factor, V.A.4.

Q7. Will any of the public meetings we conducted for previous applications apply here?

A7.    The Section III.C.2.a.6 threshold requirement for Resident Involvement in the Revitalization Program instructs applicants to the follow the resident involvement requirements in Section III.C.3. in meeting the threshold. Section III.C.3.k (p. 41831, the program requirements on resident and community involvement which the threshold refers applicants to) states in paragraph (3)(a): "At least one public meeting, which included representation from both the affected public housing residents and the community, must have been held at the beginning of the revitalization planning period." If the beginning of your HA's planning began with an earlier year's NOFA, that earlier public meeting can count. However, we would remind applicants that the most resident/community involvement they can do in the present, the better, so as to involve them in a "meaningful way."

Q8. Can the public meetings conducted in 2005 to produce an area master plan be included and counted?

A8.    See the response to Q14 above. Applicants should be reminded that they must have two other public meetings to meet the threshold (note that the public meeting is different that the resident training) as described in Section III.C.3.k.5.c: "(c) A minimum of two more public meetings must have been held after the publication date of this NOFA in the Federal Register." Also applicants should make sure the public meetings involve residents and the broader community and address the topics listed in section III.C.3.k.3.c.
    Finally, as noted in the threshold requirement, "You must demonstrate compliance with this threshold through completion and inclusion of the Assurances for HOPE VI Application document."

Q9. Can you clarify the Sites Previously Funded threshold requirement? Section III.C.2.b.4 (p. 41828) states as follows: "(a) You may submit a Revitalization application that targets part of a project that is being, or has been, revitalized or replaced under a HOPE VI Revitalization grant awarded in previous years. You may not apply for new HOPE VI Revitalization funds for units in that project that were funded by the existing HOPE VI Revitalization grant, even if those funds are inadequate to pay the costs to revitalize or replace all of the targeted units. For example, if a project has 700 units and you were awarded a HOPE VI Revitalization grant or other HUD public housing funds to address 300 of those units, you may submit an FY 2007 HOPE VI Revitalization application to revitalize the remaining 400 units. You may not apply for funds to supplement work on the original 300 units. If you request funds to revitalize/replace the units not funded by the previous HOPE VI Revitalization grant, you must provide a listing of which units were funded by the previous grant and which units are being proposed for funding under the current grant application. You must demonstrate compliance with this threshold in your narrative (including as listed above, as relevant). If you request funds to revitalize units or buildings that have been funded by an existing HOPE VI Revitalization grant, your application will not be considered for funding. (b) You may not request HOPE VI Revitalization grant funds for units currently under construction, in accordance with the section IV(E), Funding Restrictions. You must demonstrate compliance with this threshold in your narrative."

A9.    This threshold refers to projects that "were funded" by an existing HOPE VI grant. Thus if funds have not been used on units in question, then PHAs may apply for FY 2007 HOPE VI Revitalization grant funds for those units. This is further demonstrated in the line, "For example, if a project has 700 units and you were awarded a HOPE VI Revitalization grant or other HUD public housing funds to address 300 of those units, you may submit an FY 2007 HOPE VI Revitalization application to revitalize the remaining 400 units." Please note also that the threshold requires applicants to demonstrate compliance with this threshold in your narrative.

Q10. Section V (A)(1)(c) (p. 41846) is the rating factor Capacity of Existing HOPE VI Grantees. It states: "(1) This section applies only to applicants that have received HOPE VI Revitalization grants for FYs 1993 to 2003. If an applicant has more than one HOPE VI Revitalization grant, each will be rated separately, not averaged, and the highest deduction will be made. Applicants with HOPE VI Revitalization grants only from FY 2004, 2005 or FY 2006, or no existing HOPE VI Revitalization grants are not subject to this section. (2) As indicated in the following tables, up to 5 points will be deducted if a grantee has failed to achieve adequate progress in relation to expenditure of HOPE VI Revitalization grant funds. Expenditure data will be taken from LOCCS as of the application deadline date." Can you clarify what is meant about being rated separately? Is there any flexibility in what "expended" means?

A10.    As indicated in the language, "If an applicant has more than one HOPE VI Revitalization grant, each will be rated separately, not averaged, and the highest deduction will be made." For example, if an applicant had two existing grants and one required a 2 point deduction and the other a 5 point deduction, we would deduct 5 points (not 7).
    As also noted in the criteria, we will use LOCCS for the expenditure information as of the application deadline (Nov. 7, 2007). Grantees should make sure their LOCCS information is as up-to-date as possible in terms of their expenditure of the grant funds.

Q11. Rating Factors Need for Affordable Accessible Housing in the Community (Section V.A.2.d, p. 41849) and Well-Functioning Communities (Section V.A.8.a, p. 41852) both use Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) utilization rate in order to determine scoring. What if we are a PHA that has been using the Disaster Voucher Program (DVP) as a result of Katrina and not HCV?

A11.    DVP utilization would be evaluated for PHAs impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that have been using DVP rather than HCV.

Q12. Can we count land sales proceeds in our application toward match and leverage?

A12.    Yes, in accordance with Section III(C)(3)(oo)(4)(a)(x) (p. 41837) land sales proceeds may be counted (Section III(C)(3) is the Program Requirements section). That section states: "(x) Sale of Land. The value of land may be included as a development resource only if this value is a sales proceed. Absent a sales transaction, the value of land may not be counted." Please note also Section III(C)(3)(oo)(3)(e), (under general requirements that apply to all match and leverage resource commitments): "(e) Dating. Match and leverage commitment letters must represent valid and accurate commitments. Resource commitment letters dated prior to 5 years before the NOFA publication date will not be accepted."

Q13. Program Requirements that Apply to Match and Leverage are found in section III(C)(4)(oo) (p. 41837). Section III(C)(4)(oo)(4)(a)(xii) provides the requirements for low-income housing tax credits. Is this language intended to require an actual allocation by the application deadline? Was this intended to apply just to this small funding round in 2007 to be sure you are only approving deals that are truly "ready to go"?

A13.    Section III(C)(4)(oo)(4)(a)(xii)(c) requires as follows: "(c) Only LIHTC commitments that have been secured as of the application deadline date will be considered for match/leverage scoring under this NOFA. LIHTC commitments that are not secured (i.e., documentation in the application does not demonstrate they have been reserved by the state or local housing finance agency) will not be counted for match/leverage scoring. Only tax credits that have been reserved specifically for revitalization performed through this NOFA will be counted." This requirement has been in the NOFA for several years.

   Paragraph III(C)(4)(oo)(4)(a)(xii)( (e) describes the documentation needed: "If you propose to include LIHTC equity as a development resource for any phase of development, your application must include a LIHTC reservation letter from your state or local housing finance agency in order to have the tax credit amounts counted in match/leverage scoring. This letter must constitute a firm commitment and can only be conditioned on the receipt of the HOPE VI grant. HUD acknowledges that, depending on the housing finance agency, documentation for 4 percent tax credits may be represented in the form of a tax-exempt bond award letter. Accordingly, it will be accepted for match/leverage scoring purposes under this NOFA if you demonstrate that this is the only available evidence of 4 percent tax credits, and assuming that this documentation clearly indicates that tax-exempt bonds have been committed to the project."

    The intent is to ensure readiness in the grantees. Please note that applicants can propose future LIHTC funding for any phase as part of their Revitalization Plan, but in order to earn points (or have LIHTC commitments count towards match) the applicant must provide documentation that demonstrates the LIHTC commitment they are wanting to count has been secured as of the application deadline, i.e., reserved by the state or local housing finance agency. Note, there is not a penalty for not having a reservation at by the application deadline - the LIHTC amount just could not be counted for purposes of match or leverage.

Q14. Collateral Investment Leveraging - in Section V.A.3.e. (p.41850), it identifies collateral investment as activities that are currently underway or have yet to begin but are projected to be completed before October 1, 2010. The date of October 1, 2010 is the same as last year's FY2006 HOPE VI NOFA. Should this date be October 1, 2011 or is it in fact October 1, 2010?

A14.    The October 1, 2010 date is correct so applicants should use that date.

Q15. What are the requirements on how many units and what type we must replace?

A15.    Please note that the definition of replacement housing in the NOFA is under Section I(C)(2) (p41823) and is as follows: "Under this HOPE VI NOFA, a HOPE VI replacement housing unit shall be deemed to be any combination of public housing rental units, eligible homeownership units under Section 24(d)(1)(J) of the 1937 Act, and HCV assistance that does not exceed the number of units demolished and disposed of at the targeted severely distressed public housing project."

   Additionally, Section III.C.3.ee. provides the following requirements regarding the number of units: "The number of units that you plan to develop should reflect your need for replacement units, the need for other affordable units, and the market demand for market units, along with financial feasibility. The number of planned new construction public housing units may not result in a net increase from the number of public housing units owned, assisted, or operated by the PHA on October 1, 1999, including any public housing units demolished as part of any revitalization effort. The total number of units to be developed may be less than, or more than, the original number of public housing units in the targeted public housing project. HUD will review requests to revitalize projects with small numbers of units on an equal basis with those with large numbers of units."

   Applicants should also review the Well-Functioning Communities rating factor in section V.A.8 (p.41852) for criteria and points available related to unit mix.

Q16. Is it correct that we can apply for funds for development, up to the maximum TDC for the particular unit mix of rental or homeownership replacement units, plus extraordinary site costs?

A16.    Yes, per section IV.E.3.a.: "a. The "TDC Limit" (24 CFR 941.306, Notice PIH 2007-19 (HA), or extending Notice) refers to the maximum amount of HUD funding that HUD will approve for development of specific public housing and other eligible replacement housing units to be developed under a HOPE VI Revitalization grant and/or under an Annual Contributions Contract for public housing development and modernization of public housing under the Capital Fund. The TDC limit applies only to the costs of development of public housing that are paid directly with HUD public housing funds, including HOPE VI funds; a PHA may exceed the TDC limit using non-public housing funds such as CDBG, HOME, low-income housing tax credit equity, etc…."

   Section IV.E.3.b(5) provides the information on Extraordinary Site Costs: "(a) You may request a reasonable amount to pay extraordinary site costs, which are construction costs related to unusual pre-existing site conditions that are incurred, or anticipated to be incurred. If such costs are significantly greater than those typically required for similar construction, are verified by an independent, certified engineer or architect … and are approved by HUD, they may be excluded from the TDC calculation above. Extraordinary site costs may be incurred in the remediation and demolition of existing property, as well as in the development of new and rehabilitated units. Examples of such costs include, but are not limited to: abatement of extraordinary environmental site hazards; removal or replacement of extensive underground utility systems; extensive rock and soil removal and replacement; removal of hazardous underground tanks; work to address unusual site conditions such as slopes, terraces, water catchments, lakes, etc.; and work to address flood plain and other environmental remediation issues. Costs to abate asbestos and lead-based paint from structures are normal demolition costs. Extraordinary measures to remove lead-based paint that has leached into the soil would constitute an extraordinary site cost.

   (b) Extraordinary site costs must be justified and verified by a licensed engineer or architect who is not an employee of the PHA or the city. The engineer or architect must provide his or her license number and state of registration. If this certification is not included in the application after the cure period described in section IV.B.4. of the General Section, extraordinary site costs will not be allowed in the award amount. In that case, the amount of the extraordinary site costs included in the application will be subtracted from the grant amount."

Q17. Section IV.E.1.a. (p. 41845), "Statutory Time Limits," states the following: "Required Obligation Date. Funds appropriated for the HOPE VI program for FY2007 must be obligated on or before September 30, 2008. Any funds that are not obligated by that date will be recaptured by the Treasury...". Please clarify that the 9/30/2008 obligation date refers to when HUD must obligate the funds to housing authorities, not when housing authorities must obligate the funds to developers or contractors.

A17.    It is correct that the required obligation date stated in the NOFA is the date by which HUD must obligate the appropriated funds to the selected PHAs.

Q18. On the HOPE VI Attachment forms 1-7, should we use the original project development number or the newly assigned AMP number?

A18.    Applicants should use the original project number.

Q19. Are there any other documents that need to be submitted other than the ones listed under Application Content (page 41841) in the Program NOFA? For example, do items from the General Section, such as the Code of Ethics, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statement, etc. need to be included?

A19.    No. The listing on page 41841, section IV.B.6, is what is required to be submitted as narratives exhibits and attachments in a HOPE VI Revitalization application.

Q20. The NOFA states that attachments that are downloaded from grants.gov in MS Excel format may be submitted in Excel format. In that case, how do you put page numbers on the Logic Model, the Budget Form, etc.? Or, do we omit page numbers from the HUD Forms?

A20.    Section IV.B.4.b(11) states: "Narrative pages must be numbered. HUD recommends that applicants consecutively number the pages of the Attachments section to ensure proper assembly of their application if submitted electronically." Please note that this second sentence says HUD "recommends" that applicants consecutively number their Attachments pages. But it is not required. If an applicant does number their attachments, one method would be to type or hand-write the page numbers on the documents and scan them as pdf files for submission.

Q21. Is it correct that items that are excluded from the page limit (such as deeds) should just be identified by the Attachment number only?

A21.    First, applicants should provide a page number if a form asks for it, e.g., the resources cover sheets for Attachments 19-22 which have a column, "Page # of Commitment Document." As referenced in Q&A20 above, Section IV.B.4.b(11) indicates that "HUD recommends that applicants consecutively number the pages of the Attachments section to ensure proper assembly of their application if submitted electronically." Applicants are reminded to be as well organized, coherent, and internally consistent with their application as possible. Additionally, Attachment 18 requires the following (see Section IV, Further Documentation Guidance on Narrative Exhibits and Attachments. paragraph u., p41843): "u. Attachment 18. Documentation of Site Control for Off-Site Public Housing. This is applicable if your plan includes off-site housing or other development. If applicable, provide evidence of site control for rental replacement units or land, in accordance with section III(C)(2). See section IV(B) for documentation requirements. You must include a cover sheet with your documented evidence of site control in the Attachments section. This cover sheet must provide a table that matches the off-site parcels proposed in your application for housing development to the corresponding documented evidence of site control for those parcels. Specifically, this table should provide in one column the name of each parcel, as identified in your application. A second column should contain the name of the documented evidence corresponding to each parcel. A third column should provide the location of the documented evidence in the attachment (page number, etc.) and any other necessary detail about the evidence. If more than one unit will be built on a parcel, this must also be identified in the table. The purpose of this table is to aid reviewers' ability to determine whether your application complies with this threshold. Accordingly, applicants should provide site control information as clearly and consistently as possible." This cover sheet language is also required in the threshold section itself, Section III.C.2.a.2.

 
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