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LETTERS of INTENT WANTED

FY 2011-2012

TO: Potential Applicants

RE: $450,000 Grant Funding Available

The City of Charlottesville will begin accepting Letters of Intent on Monday, August 30, 2010 from interested parties for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Programs to expand or develop programs that support the following objectives:

The development of a viable urban community through the provision of:

§ Decent housing,

§ A suitable living environment, and

§ Economic opportunity for the low and moderate income citizens of Charlottesville.

Letters of Intent will be accepted until 4:00 pm on Friday, September 24, 2010 at the Department of Neighborhood Development Services, City Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22902. If the letter is mailed, it must be received by the September 24th deadline.

Letter of Intent submissions will be reviewed for grant eligibility, and staff will forward RFP applications on to eligible projects in early October. No RFP applications will be accepted without an approved Letter of Intent filed by the September 24th deadline.

Letters must be no longer than one page front and back, 12 point font minimum and include the information listed in the detailed instructions (technical assistance is available). A separate letter is required for each project. Organizations may submit letters for multiple projects. Twelve copies of the letter must be mailed or hand-delivered. No e-mail or fax submissions can be accepted.

Interested parties may direct questions regarding the submission of proposals to Melissa Thackston, Grants Coordinator, via phone at (434) 970-3093 or e-mail at thackston@charlottesville.org. Further detailed information on what should be included in the Letter of Intent can be obtained by calling or e-mailing the above contact information. Technical assistance is also available.

Please forward this information to anyone you feel would be interested. Thank you.

Each Letter of Intent (LOI) submitted must include the following information:

1. A General Program Description: Describe the most important need that you perceive and explain how your program can help address this need. What are you planning to do? How are you planning to do it? Who are you serving? How will participants be recruited? How are you planning to verify low/mod income status of persons the program is serving?

2. An explanation of how the program meets the Grant Criteria (listed below).

3. An explanation of how the program meets one (or more) of City Council’s top priorities for CDBG and HOME funding: Construction of New Affordable Housing, Workforce Development, or Neighborhood Stabilization (to include Homeowner Rehabilitation, Rental Rehabilitation, Homeownership and Code Compliance). Projects that feature new ideas or organizations, as well as projects that feature collaboration between organizations will also be given priority.

4. Any additional information you feel would be valuable in confirming eligibility of the project.

****A Letter of Intent must be completed for all projects for which funding is being requested. An organization may request funding for more than one project, but separate letters must be completed for each. 12 copies of each letter must be submitted****

I. INTRODUCTION

The City of Charlottesville is accepting requests for funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) from the following types of organizations:

· Housing or Human Services Agencies · Non-Profit Organizations

· Government Agencies and Authorities · For-Profit Organizations

· Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO’s)

· Economic Development Organizations or Groups

· Organizations with a Federal tax-exempt Status

All activities must meet a benefit standard in one of three primary ways:

Low/moderate Income Area – Charlottesville has five targeted areas or neighborhoods: Rose Hill, Tenth & Page, Fifeville, Belmont and Ridge Street. If an infrastructure activity is located in one of these areas, it can be assumed that the beneficiaries will be low/mod or a targeted population. Specific income verification is required for programs that serve individuals or households and priority should be given to persons in these areas.

Low/moderate Income Clientele – The participants in the activity are from low-mod income levels or special needs populations. This information must be verified.

Special Needs Populations - The activity benefits members of one of the following groups who can be assumed to be low to moderate income per CDBG/HOME statute:

Elderly/Frail Elderly Illiterate Adults

Migrant Workers Persons with AIDS

Severely Handicapped/Disabled Homeless Persons

Abused/battered Spouses and/or Children

The beneficiaries of CDBG grant-funded activities must reside in the City of Charlottesville. If the grant is not the only source of funding, then the percentage of participants that are Charlottesville residents must be equal to or greater than the percentage of CDBG funds in the program.

For FY 2011-2012 the City anticipates receiving approximately $300,000, after administrative costs, in CDBG funds and $150,000 in HOME funds available for appropriation. Of these funds, approximately $82,500 is available for activities that have a social or public service benefit. The remaining funds are available for housing and economic related activities. Technical assistance is available to help determine project eligibility.

II. INSTRUCTIONS

The funding application process is divided into two steps. The first step is the completion of a Letter of Intent (LOI). If all instructions have been followed and completed on the LOI, a Request for Proposal (RFP) form will be sent to the applicant. Applicants will be notified once their Letter of Intent is reviewed as to whether they are eligible to participate in the RFP process. The CDBG Task Force will review the RFP’s during January and February.

****Please read ALL instructions carefully. LOI’s that fail to provide the requested information will not be considered for funding****

III. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Eligible Activities:

A broad range of activities are eligible for funding. In order to be considered for funding, the activity must fit within one of the Activity categories listed on Attachment I, as well as meet one of the City Council defined priorities listed above.

Funding for Social and Public Service Activities is limited to 15% of the total grant received by the City of Charlottesville.

Technical Assistance is available to help organizations ensure proposed activities are eligible.

Lead Based Paint Regulations

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a regulation to protect young children from lead-based paint hazards in housing that is financially assisted by the federal government or being sold by the government. This includes training and accreditation of contractors, testing and clearance for lead levels, resident notification, and use of safe work practices as required by the level of work being performed. The requirements apply to housing built before 1978, the year lead-based paint was banned nationwide for consumer use. All housing programs funded with CDBG and/or HOME funds will need to follow HUD, EPA, and local lead-based paint regulations as may be applicable.


IV. EVALUATION and CRITERIA

Upon receipt of the Letters of Intent, Neighborhood Development Services staff will evaluate the letters of intent based on the following criteria:

1. Activity Eligibility: According to the CDBG statute, an activity must fulfill one of the following three objectives as follows. The City has determined that all programs must meet Criteria A, though it can also meet Criterion B or C.

A. The activity aids low and moderate income people.

a. The activity aids in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight.

b. The activity addresses a serious and immediate threat to public health or welfare.

2. Organizational Capacity to Carry Out the Activity: If the activity is not new, past performance will be evaluated.

3. Achievability: Realistic objectives and timeline and the measurability of the results.

4. Service Linkage: The project’s ability to link with existing services or partner with activities in the same service area.

5. Leverage: The organization’s ability to leverage other funds to carry out the activity.

6. Financial Feasibility of the Project: The organization can show financially how the project will be carried out.

7. Connection to Other Social Programs: The project’s connection (if applicable) with other social programs like welfare reform.

8. Relationship to City Council Goals and Comprehensive Plan: The organization’s ability to address identified needs in the community

9. Additional Criteria for Public Service / Social Program Activities Only:

1. It must be a new public service or represent a significant change in an existing level of service. CDBG funds cannot be used to maintain an existing program. Any changes in an existing program must be clearly defined or the program will not be considered eligible to receive CDBG funding.

2. CDBG funds cannot be used either to fund equipment purchases or to reimburse allocated costs without a cost allocation plan approved by HUD.

LIST of ATTACHMENTS –

I. Eligible CDBG & HOME Activities

II. Requirements of each Organization including necessary Insurance Policy information.


Attachment I

ELIGIBLE CDBG AND HOME ACTIVITIES

CDBG Activities

· Housing Rehabilitation – Repair of homes to meet current code standards.

· New Housing Construction – The building of affordable housing by qualified organizations (contact staff for qualification specifics).

· Economic Development Services – Special services to foster economic development including job placement, job training and outreach efforts, etc.

· Direct Economic Development Assistance – Assistance to for-profit entities including grants, loan guarantees, interest supplements, technical assistance and other support.

· Commercial or Industrial Rehabilitation – Repair of buildings used for business and industrial purposes if the repairs in some way benefit the targeted populations.

· Public Services – Also known as social programs, they are programs which address social and non-physical development needs of the community. They include, but are not limited to, job training, health care, child care, crime prevention, and housing counseling.

· Historic Preservation – Rehabilitation, preservation and restoration of publicly and privately owned historic properties.

· Removal of Architectural Barriers – Increasing accessibility to buildings and homes, including curb cuts, ramps and accessible restrooms.

· Improvements to Public Facilities – Costs associated with the acquisition, construction, repair, beautification or installation of buildings or facilities open to use by the general public. This includes parks, libraries, pools, in addition to housing for special needs populations.

· Infrastructure Improvements – Installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, streets, and utilities which will ultimately benefit the targeted populations by providing increased pedestrian safety, calming traffic, improving access and making business areas more attractive to residents and future developers.

· Relocation – Assist with costs associated with temporary relocation during rehabilitation.

· Acquisitions, Clearance and Development of Real Property – Purchase and preparation of property for future development.

· Planning and Capacity Building – Costs associated with the administration and implementation of the grant, including neighborhood planning.

· Direct Homeownership Assistance – Assisting homebuyers by subsidizing interest rates and mortgage principal amounts, financing a lease purchase, acquiring mortgage guarantees from private lenders, providing downpayment and closing costs.

· Code Enforcement – Inspection for code violations and enforcement activities in deteriorated areas.

HOME Activities

· Acquisition of Real Property – The purchase of property for rehabilitation or construction of housing.

· Rehabilitation – The rehabilitation of existing housing units or converted buildings for housing.

· Direct Homeownership Assistance – See above.

· New Construction – The construction of housing for low and moderate income people.

· CHDO Assistance- Funds made available to Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) to provide housing to low and moderate income people.

Attachment II

ORGANIZATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

1. The applicant is in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations, and has no outstanding violations, taxes or penalties.

2. The applicant has a well-developed organizational structure. If the applicant is a non-profit, it must have an adequate board to oversee the activities of staff and have a clear separation of board and staff responsibilities.

3. The organization would be able to meet the following insurance requirements:

The City requires that prior to signing a contract, that the providers file with the City certificates or policies of worker’s compensation, public liability, automobile liability (including non-ownership and hired vehicles) and property damage insurance satisfactory to the City, in compliance with the law and in form and amount sufficient to protect the City. Each certificate or policy shall carry the provision that the insurance shall not be canceled or reduced without the prior notice to the City. All the insurance required by this paragraph shall be and remain in full force and effect for the entire contract year, and THE CITY SHALL BE NAMED AS AN ADDITIONAL INSURED UNDER SUCH INSURANCE CONTRACT which shall contain a stipulation that the insurance provided shall not terminate, lapse or otherwise expire, prior to thirty (30) days written notice to that effect, given by the insurance carrier to the City, and that the insurance carrier will not invoke the defense of performance of governmental function of the provider in performing their contract with the City.

The minimum Limits of Liability Coverage shall be as follows:

1. Comprehensive General liability, including Premises and Operations, Elevator Liability; Provider’s Protective Liability, Products Liability including completed Operations Coverage; and Contractual Liability for the contract:

Limits $1,000,000/$2,000,000

2. Comprehensive Automobile Liability, including all owned Automobiles; Non-Owned Automobiles; Hired Car Coverage:

Limits $500,000/$1,000,000 (per occurrence/annual aggregate)

3. Workers Compensation, including Employer’s Liability

Limits: Statutory

Employer’s Liability $100,000

4. Organization has a record keeping, financial and auditing system, policies and procedures.