Request for proposals the Coming Home Permanent Supportive Housing Project



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UNITY of Greater New Orleans

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

The Coming Home Permanent Supportive Housing Project

November 26, 2012

UNITY of Greater New Orleans, the lead agency for the homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) for New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, is seeking proposals for the Coming Home Permanent Supportive Housing Project, a new tenant-based leasing assistance project which will house 70-80 chronically homeless individuals and/or families, contingent upon an award from HUD in the 2012 national CoC funding competition. If awarded by HUD through the competition, this Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project would fund two agencies to be project sponsors for $467,149 each for a 1-year grant period expected to begin in the Fall of 2013.  It is anticipated that future funds for this project would be renewed annually for the project sponsors assuming that they are in good standing with UNITY regarding program and fiscal compliance. The persons eligible to be served in this PSH project are mentally or physically disabled, chronically homeless individuals/families with the longest histories of homelessness who are in need of ongoing supportive services in order to become and remain stably housed. Nonprofit or governmental agencies are eligible to apply; agencies which are currently members of the UNITY Service Providers and Professionals Association as well as those agencies not receiving funds through the Continuum of Care are equally encouraged to apply.

-------------------------------Proposals are due by December 12, 2012 by 4:00 p.m.---------------------
PSH is affordable and permanent rental housing linked to supportive services designed to enable each participant to remain stably housed.  National studies show that PSH is a cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness and that it can successfully house and stabilize vulnerable persons living on the street who previously often were believed to be beyond help.  UNITY expects project sponsors to follow “Housing First” principles and to persevere in providing housing and services to each client despite the difficulties of doing so.
The selected project sponsors must:


  • Provide ongoing leasing assistance and case management services to chronically homeless individuals or families in apartments found in the private rental market. 

  • Be willing to serve chronically homeless persons/families referred to them from the UNITY PSH Registry, which maintains a registry of persons eligible for PSH and ranks them according to their risk of dying and the length of time they have been homeless. Participants for this project would be ranked by the Registry to determine which chronically homeless persons have the longest histories of homelessness.

  • Be willing to find housing for participants in either parish depending on the participant’s preference and the availability of rental units.  Rent amounts for the housing units may not exceed the current area Fair Market Rents. 

  • Be willing to “front rents” for a period not expected to exceed 6 weeks until reimbursement is received from UNITY. This amount may average about $30,000 monthly per project sponsor once the program reaches full capacity.

  • Once receiving funds from the Continuum of Care, maintain dues-paying membership in the UNITY Service Providers and Professionals Association.

BUDGET: The annual budget for each project sponsor include these approximate budget line items. UNITY will assist project sponsors to further develop these budgets.


  • Supportive Services: $90,708 for case management services only (HUD restriction)

  • Leasing: $362,835 for leasing assistance for 35-40 participants

  • Administration: $13,606 for project delivery costs

Total Per Project Sponsor: $467,149

HUD defines chronic homelessness as follows:  "A chronically homeless person is defined as an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who 1) has been continuously homeless for a year or more OR 2) has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years.  Disabling condition is defined as a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions.  To be considered chronically homeless, persons must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g. living on the streets) and/or in an emergency shelter during that time.  An episode is a separate, distinct, and sustained stay on the streets and/or in an emergency homeless shelter."   Please note that HUD has expanded the definition of “chronically homeless” to include family households.

For further information about assisting chronically homeless persons, supportive housing programs, or housing first programs, the following websites may offer useful information:  www.pathwaystohousing.org; www.csh.org; www.naeh.org; and www.unitygno.org

Please consult HUD’s Supportive Housing Program Desk Manual for a description of the rules governing these program funds, how funds can be used, and the matching funds requirements for supportive services.  The desk manual is available at www.hudhre.info.

Anticipated Timeline for Project Implementation


  • RFP Informational Meeting: Nov. 28, 2012, 1:30 p.m., 2475 Canal St., New Orleans, First Floor Annex Conference Room.

  • Deadline for submitting proposal to UNITY: Dec. 12, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

  • UNITY informs applicants whether they were selected: Dec. 21, 2012.

  • Selected agencies submit any additional information needed by UNITY for HUD application: by Jan. 4, 2012.

  • HUD announces funding award in Spring or Summer of 2013.

  • HUD finalizes grant agreement with UNITY in Summer or Fall of 2013.

  • Project sponsors will receive program orientation and training from UNITY in Fall 2013.

  • Project should begin October or November 2013.

PROPOSAL FORMAT

Your proposal, no more than 6 pages, must address the following: 

1) Interest (5 points) - Describe the special needs and challenges presented by chronically homeless persons and explain why your agency is interested in and committed to serving this population. 

2) Experience (15 points) - Describe your agency’s experience and past performance in providing housing placement, direct financial assistance and supportive stabilization services to homeless persons with disabilities.   Include past performance on other HUD-funded projects or similar projects, if applicable.

3) Housing First Approach (15 points) - Describe how you will utilize a “Housing First approach” in which assistance is offered without requiring compliance with treatment or medication and in which your agency perseveres in providing housing and services despite often challenging behavioral health issues.  Describe your agency’s plans to acquire further training and expertise in housing and case management for chronically homeless persons.  

4) Plan for Effective Case Management (15 points) - Describe how you have provided effective case management with other similar programs in the past. Describe your plan for providing effective case management to assist participants obtain and retain housing in this program. Describe the duties of the employees you will hire to provide the services and how they will be supervised.  Attach a resume of the person who will provide supervision. Give an example of how you would address a participant with challenging behaviors to help retain housing stability.

5) Timeline (3 points) - Describe your timeline for reaching full program capacity in housing 35 participants within 3 months after the start date of your grant agreement.

6) Financial Capacity (15 points) - Describe your agency’s capacity and ability to front direct assistance payments to landlords (reimbursement from UNITY will not occur most likely until 6 weeks after your payments) 

7) Cultural Competence (5 points) - Describe your agency’s cultural competence.  Include experience in serving with cultural sensitivity people who are racially, ethnically and religiously diverse; who speak languages other than English; who have a range of physical and mental disabilities; and who are extremely low-income.  Describe the diversity of your board and staff, your agency’s non-discrimination policies, and how you ensure that your staff meets the needs of clients with sensitivity toward clients’ varied cultural and life experiences. 

8) Program Enhancement (7 points) - Describe what your agency will “bring to the table” in enhancing the performance of this program.   Describe what matching funds will be used to provide the annual match required by HUD for your project activities.


9) Other (mandatory to be considered for funding; these attachments not included in page limit.)

  • Attach proof of nonprofit tax-exempt status, if your agency is a non-profit organization.

  • Attach a copy of your 2 most recent annual Financial Audits.

10) Other Areas To Be Considered in Scoring of Proposals (DO NOT COMPLETE THIS SECTION. This is for information purposes only.) Each proposal is eligible for an additional 20 points to be determined by an independent Review Committee which will consider other factors in deciding which proposers would make a good project sponsor. These areas include:



  • Performance results from Annual Progress Reports and monitoring reports.

  • Participation at SPPA meetings, on CoC committees, etc.

  • Consumer Feedback and Collaboration with UNITY Welcome Home Outreach Program


Please limit your proposal to no more than six pages. Proposals should be received at UNITY by 4 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Proposals should be clearly labeled with the name of the project grant being applied for and be addressed to Martha J. Kegel, Executive Director. Send by email to sjordan@unitygno.org or by hand delivery or U.S. mail or overnight delivery to 2475 Canal Street, Suite 300, New Orleans LA 70119. For more information, please contact Vicki Judice, UNITY Deputy Director, at (504) 821-4496 ex. 105 or vjudice@unitygno.org.


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