Request for Proposals


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Request for Proposals

  1. 1. Request for Proposals NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation Homes for Working Families Program March 2010 (Revised April 13, 2010) I. INTRODUCTION The NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC) invites you to apply for funding under the Homes for Working Families Program (HWF) through this Request for Proposals (RFP). This RFP describes the programmatic and submission requirements for the HWF Program. Under this RFP, applicants may seek funding for new construction, substantial rehabilitation and moderate rehabilitation of rental housing. This RFP also explains the process used by HTFC to accept and evaluate applications requesting HWF funding. After a funding determination has been made, unsuccessful applicants may request an exit conference to review their unfunded application. Prospective HWF applicants may request technical assistance at any time. Section II of this RFP, “Open Window HWF Application Deadline and General Requirements,” provides additional information on application submission methods. Section III, “HWF Program Announcement,” provides a more detailed description of the HWF Program pursuant to this RFP. Section IV, “Additional Guidance for HWF Applications,” provides additional technical guidance on requirements for applications submitted under this RFP. Section V, “Evaluation and Selection Process,” describes the general HWF application review process and explains the evaluation and processing of applications. Section VI, “Regional Office Service Areas,” provides contact information for DHCR Regional Offices so that applicants can access technical assistance in preparing applications. II. OPEN WINDOW HWF APPLICATION DEADLINE AND GENERAL REQUIREMENTS A. HWF Application Deadline: Prospective HWF applicants may apply for funding using DHCR’s Community Development On-Line (CD On-Line) System. The application and pertinent instructions are available through DHCR’s website: - 1 -
  2. 2. Applicants may make a special request, based on demonstrated need, to utilize a Word/Excel fillable paper application in lieu of CDOL. Such requests must be in writing and received no later than six weeks prior to application submission. Request for approval to use the Word/Excel paper application must be sent to: NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal Office of Community Development Hampton Plaza 38-40 State Street Albany, New York 12207 Attention: Program Management Applications requesting HWF funds alone or in combination with a request for New York State Low- Income Housing Tax Credit Program (SLIHC) may be submitted at any time between March 17, 2010 and December 1, 2010, but no later than 5:00 pm EST, on December 1, 2010. No HWF applications will be accepted after that date. Other than SLIHC, no other Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)or HTFC program financing is available pursuant to this RFP. The SLIHC Program is described in the DHCR Unified Funding 2010 Capital Programs RFP available on DHCR’s website ( Any HWF applications received after the stated deadline will be considered to be late submissions and will be rejected. HWF applications will be reviewed as received and funding determinations will be made throughout the year. HWF applicants should refer to the Capital Project Application Exhibits and Attachments Checklists contained in the Application Instructions to determine the specific Exhibits and Attachments required for the program. B. This RFP provides only a portion of the information and materials needed by HWF applicants. Other materials which may be applicable to the HWF application depending on the specifics of the project (as discussed in more detail in Section III.) are available from the DHCR website : 1. DHCR/HTFC Project Application and Instructions; 2. DHCR/HTFC Design Handbook; 3. Capital Programs Manual (CPM); 4. Low-Income Housing Credit Program Qualified Allocation Plan; 5. NYS Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (SLIHC) Statute – Article 2-A; 6. New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (SLIHC) Regulation – 9 NYCRR Part 2040 Section 2040.14; 7. Instructions for CD-On-line electronic application; - 2 -
  3. 3. 8. Green Building Criteria Reference Manual; 9. Reference Materials; and, 10. List of Pre-Qualified Market Study Firms. C. Regional Offices listed at the end of this RFP are available to answer questions from prospective applicants. D. HTFC reserves the right to award all, a portion of, or none of the HWF program funds based upon funding availability, feasibility of the applications received, the competitiveness of the applications, the applicant’s ability to meet DHCR and HTFC criteria for funding, and the applicant’s ability to advance the State’s housing goals including, but not limited to: preservation of affordable housing, community revitalization, green building technologies and practices and collaboration with other government agencies. HTFC, in its sole discretion, may review an application requesting HWF project funds as an application for funding under other HTFC and DHCR programs for which the project is eligible. HTFC may also change or disallow aspects of the applications received and may make such changes an express condition of its commitment to provide funding to a project. Due to the limited HWF resources available and the need to provide for a broad geographic distribution of these funds, HTFC will seek to award funds in such a manner as to assure a statewide distribution of this financing and, therefore, may deny funding for projects in areas of the State that have recently benefited from the award of HTFC or DHCR capital financing, including, but not limited to, HWF, and/or market studies or other analyses indicate a saturation of low-income housing. HTFC further reserves the right to charge HWF application and/or funding commitment fees as noted in Section III.C.7. below. III. HWF PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT The Homes for Working Families Program (HWF) is a housing development program that provides HTFC financing assistance of up to $35,000 per unit ($45,000 in New York City) for the capital costs and related acquisition and soft costs associated with the new construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing developments. HWF is subject to the statutory requirements of the Low Income Housing Trust Fund Program, which are summarized in the UF 2010 HTFC/DHCR Capital Programs RFP ( Under HWF, more than 50% of the project costs must be financed by tax-exempt bonds which are issued by a public authority and allocated from the State’s private activity bond volume cap. The bond financing provided by a tax-exempt bond issuer enables the project to qualify for an allocation of 4% Low-Income Housing Credit (often termed “as-of-right” tax credits since the credit allocation is not competitive and is statutorily derived from the issuance of the tax-exempt bonds). HWF financing may only be utilized to finance the development of residential units affordable to households with incomes at 60% or less of area median income (AMI), as adjusted for family size. However, a maximum of 20% of the project units may be affordable to tenants with incomes above 60% of AMI, provided that those units are financed by other funding sources. SLIHC funding assistance may - 3 -
  4. 4. be utilized as a source of financing for residential units affordable to households with incomes up to 90% of AMI. However, it is important to note that any request for SLIHC financing must meet the threshold eligibility, scoring and other project selection and review criteria set forth in DHCR’s LIHC Qualified Allocation Plan and SLIHC Regulations. Pursuant to this RFP, HTFC is again accepting HWF applications. While some previous programmatic standards and parameters are being retained, there are a number of changes in the program. New programmatic features are indicated below. A. Homes for Working Families Program Funding Availability HTFC expects to have approximately $7 million available in State Fiscal Year 2010-11, subject to appropriation. The maximum amount of HWF financing that may be requested per project is $2,500,000. As noted above, HTFC will consider a maximum award of $35,000 per unit ($45,000 in New York City). Applications requesting HWF financing above these project and per unit maximum amounts will be terminated by HTFC upon receipt with no further review. In such cases, the applicant will have to submit a new HWF application. These caps are subject to change in future Requests for Proposals, and may be adjusted subject to market conditions. B. HWF Application Review Coordination Historically, the primary public authorities which have provided the tax-exempt bond financing (and the LIHC allocation) for jointly financed HWF projects are the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New York City Housing Development Corporation, working in conjunction with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In addition, some previous HWF projects were financed by local industrial development agencies or public housing authorities. The application and review roles of HTFC and the tax-exempt bond issuer for HWF projects may vary depending on project-specific issues and other processing needs. However, it is anticipated the roles and responsibilities of HTFC and the tax-exempt bond issuer will be accorded as follows: 1. New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) HFA will continue to retain lead agency status in most facets of project application review, construction inspection and post completion compliance monitoring. As such, HTFC will accept HFA’s review and standards in the following areas, provided there is general adherence to HWF statutory and regulatory requirements: Underwriting feasibility; Architectural design and construction monitoring; SEQRA (when there is a coordinated review, as noted below); Minority and Women Owned Business Participation goals and participation percentages; Fair Housing Affirmative Marketing Plan and Management Plan; - 4 -
  5. 5. HFA Low-Income Housing Credit Program Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) requirements, since HFA will provide the 4% LIHC allocation for these jointly funded projects. Note: projects seeking New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (SLIHC) financing from DHCR will also be subject to DHCR’s QAP and SLIHC Regulations, which includes the necessity of the HWF project meeting additional threshold eligibility requirements, scoring provisions, underwriting concerns, project compliance monitoring and other programmatic standards beyond those customarily required by HFA; and, Compliance monitoring during the project’s HWF 30-year regulatory term (the terms and conditions of the HWF loan are incorporated in the regulatory agreement which is executed with HFA). For more information about HFA programmatic requirements standards for the issuance of tax-exempt bond financing, the availability of other HFA capital financing and LIHC funding, contact: Gail Bressler David Walsh Vice President Senior Vice President NYS HFA NYS HFA (212) 872-0496 (212) 872-0385 2. New York City Housing Development Corporation/NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will now have the lead agency role for the review of HWF projects which are jointly funded with NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) tax-exempt bonds and 4% LIHC allocated by HPD. HTFC will accept HPD’s lead review role in the following areas: Underwriting feasibility; Architectural design and construction monitoring; SEQRA (when there is a coordinated review); and, HPD Low-Income Housing Credit Program Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) requirements, since HPD will provide the 4% LIHC allocation for the HWF projects funded with HDC’s tax-exempt bonds. Note: As stated above, projects seeking New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (SLIHC) financing from DHCR will also be subject to DHCR’s QAP and SLIHC Regulations, which includes the necessity of the HWF project meeting additional threshold eligibility requirements, scoring provisions, underwriting concerns, project compliance monitoring and other programmatic standards beyond those customarily required by HPD/HDC. For more information about HDC/HPD programmatic requirements standards for the issuance of tax- exempt bond financing, the availability of other HDC/HPD financing and LIHC funding contact: Susan Kensky Director of New Construction NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (212) 863-6482 - 5 -
  6. 6. 3. Local Tax-Exempt Bond Issuers HTFC will retain the lead role for all facets of project review, monitoring during construction and the HWF regulatory term for HWF projects jointly financed by a local industrial development agency (IDA) or local public housing authority (PHA) since these agencies serve a more passive role as a funding pass-through. Therefore, HTFC’s architectural design and underwriting requirements (as set forth in the DHCR Design Handbook and DHCR Capital Programs Manual), as well as all of its other standards, will be applicable to such projects. Since DHCR no longer provides 4% LIHC allocations for tax-exempt bond financed projects, applicants seeking HWF financing in conjunction with IDA/PHA-issued tax-exempt bonds must apply separately to HFA or HPD for a credit allocation. As a reminder, regardless of which public authority is serving as the proposed tax-exempt bond issuer for the project, HWF applicants must apply separately to the tax-exempt bond issuer (and in the case of local tax-exempt bond issuers, to HFA or HPD for the 4% LIHC allocation) to secure that required funding. This constitutes a separate application track although HTFC, as noted, will coordinate many aspects of its application review with the tax-exempt bond issuer. Please note, however, that for projects which propose joint HFA/HWF financing, the HWF application serves as the request to HFA for their tax exempt bond financing, 4% LIHC allocation and, if applicable, additional soft loan funding. If requested, HTFC welcomes and will consent to another agency acting as the Lead Agency under SEQRA regulations for “coordinated” review. In such cases, HTFC must be named an “interested or involved agency” by the Lead Agency. This procedure is only possible when a coordinated SEQRA review is conducted. However, a coordinated review can substantially reduce the time required to receive environmental clearance from HTFC. It should be noted that the “CEQR” (New York City) process will not substitute for HTFC’s SEQRA review and as such will require HTFC to conduct its own, separate SEQRA review. C. New HWF Programmatic Features In reopening the window for receipt of HWF application, HTFC has updated some significant features and requirements of the program, as follows: 1. Maximum Award Amount As previously noted, the new per project maximum HWF award amount is $2.5 million. 2. Application Submission Timeframe HWF applications will be accepted continuously through December 1, 2010. It is currently anticipated the window for receipt of new HWF applications will reopen in March 2011, subject to appropriation. - 6 -
  7. 7. 3. HWF Loan Terms and Conditions HTFC will provide HWF financing to borrowers in the form of a permanent loan only. No construction loans will be provided under the program. The standard HWF loan will be provided in the form of a 1% fixed interest rate loan payable from project revenue along with other approved mortgages and will have a 30-year term. In regard to HWF projects utilizing HFA’s tax-exempt bond financing, the HWF loan terms will match the loan terms of any low-interest capital subsidy loan which HFA will provide to the project. 4. HWF Application Scoring HTFC is initiating an application scoring process to facilitate the review and selection of HWF projects in accordance with HTFC’s goals and priorities for the program. The scoring categories will include: Project Readiness (30 points) – development timetable, funding commitments, site control, local and environmental approvals; Financial Leveraging (15 points) – leveraging other financing sources including tax-exempt bonds, 4% LIHC, tax-exempt bond issuer soft loan; Sponsor Characteristics (10 points) – development and management team track record; Supportive Housing (10 points) – provision of units with supportive services for persons with special needs; Preservation Projects (10 points) – the rehabilitation of existing housing to extend the useful life of a current regulated low-income housing project and to avert the loss of affordable housing units; Green Building (10 points) – pursuant to the standards in the UF 2010 Request for Proposals; Energy Efficiency (10 points) - same as above; and, Fully Accessible, Move-in Ready Units (5 points) – provision of accessible units for persons with mobility and hearing or vision impairments. 5. HPD/HDC Review Role HPD’s new lead role in certain aspects of the review of HWF applications which propose joint financing is outlined in B.2. of this section. 6. HWF Pre-application Requirement Prospective HWF applicants will be required to schedule and coordinate a pre-application meeting with development team members, HTFC regional office staff and representatives of the proposed tax-exempt bond issuer. The pre-application meeting will enable HTFC and the bond issuer to jointly assess project readiness and evaluate if the timing is appropriate for the applicant to proceed with submission of the HWF application. Should an applicant submit an HWF application to HTFC without previously conducting such a meeting, HTFC may terminate the application without further review. - 7 -
  8. 8. 7. HWF Program Fees HWF applicants will be required to remit a $3,000 application fee (made payable to “NYS HTFC”) at the time of initial application submission. Applicants which did not receive an HWF award initially will be required to include this application fee payment in any subsequent HWF application resubmission. Project applications including a request for both HWF and SLIHC will be required to submit separate application fee payments for each funding program (i.e., HWF - $3,000; SLIHC - $3,000). The SLIHC application fee payment deferral for certain non-profit applicants is not available under HWF. In addition, HTFC may assess an HWF funding commitment fee, in an amount to be determined, for projects which are awarded HWF funding. IV. ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR HWF APPLICATIONS A. HWF Applicants are encouraged to consider the housing and community development needs set forth in the Statewide Affordable Housing Needs Study 2009 and related reports produced by DHCR when submitting applications this funding round. These documents are available through DHCR’s website. B. Additional Requirements for HWF Applications Applications which propose using more than twenty-five percent of the HWF request for acquisition costs will be considered for award only if the applicant demonstrates that there is a significant risk that the project will no longer be affordable to low-income persons. V. HWF EVALUATION AND SELECTION CRITERIA A. General Review Criteria: All HWF projects will be selected through a competitive process. To the extent feasible, HTFC will allocate resources to meet housing needs and achieve a geographic distribution of funding across the State. When making awards, HTFC will take into consideration the following objectives, including but not limited to: preservation of affordable housing, community revitalization, green building technologies and practices, and collaboration with other governmental agencies. All awards made as a result of this RFP must be in conformance with the State's Consolidated Plan and further one of its Strategic Plan objectives. The Consolidated Plan Strategic objectives are available using the “Publications” link on the DHCR website ( ). B. Equal Employment Opportunity/Minority and Women Owned Business Under Article 15A of the New York State Executive Law, all award recipients and their contractors are required to comply with the equal employment opportunity provisions of Section 312 of that Article in any instance in which an award of funds includes state-funded construction costs in excess of $100,000. Preference will be given to applicants that include a New York State certified Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise as a member of the development team. - 8 -
  9. 9. Also, all contractors and awardees are required to make affirmative efforts to ensure that New York State Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises are afforded opportunities for meaningful participation in projects funded by HTFC pursuant to Section 313 of the Article. C. Applicant Past Performance An applicant’s past and current performance in State programs and contracts, including their performance under Article 15A of the New York State Executive Law, will be considered in reviewing its application. HTFC reserves the right to deny an award to any applicant if it has been determined that the applicant is not in compliance with existing State contracts and has not taken satisfactory steps to remedy such non-compliance. D. Application Processing Steps 1. Application Receipt HWF applications are assigned an identification number and undergo a series of reviews as noted below. 2. Completeness Review HWF applicants who submit incomplete applications are expected to be notified by email, within 10 business days from the receipt of the application. Applicants will then have 10 business days from the date of first receipt of the Notice of Incomplete Application to provide all missing or incomplete documentation. Applicants will be notified by email of any missing or incomplete documentation. As such, applicants must ensure accurate and appropriate email addresses are provided in applications. Applications deemed incomplete after this time period will not be reviewed further and the applicant will receive an Application Review Letter listing all missing or incomplete items. An incomplete application is one that is missing required Exhibits and/or Attachments or that contains unsigned certifications. Application exhibits and attachments used primarily for scoring purposes will not be requested in a Notice of Incomplete Application. If an application is deemed complete, but the content fails to address application questions, is inconsistent, or fails to comply with instructions, its evaluation may be compromised, possibly affecting scoring determinations to the detriment of the applicant. Note: HTFC in its sole discretion will discontinue processing of those HWF applications determined to be substantially incomplete. Substantially incomplete applications are those in which 30% or more of the required exhibits and attachments are missing from the initial application submission. HTFC will also consider to be substantially incomplete any site-specific application which does not include acceptable evidence of site control. At the sole discretion of HTFC, - 9 -
  10. 10. processing will be discontinued for any application which does not include this required document based on review of the initial application submission. Further information on acceptable forms of site control is included in the Project Application instructions and Section 5 of the CPM. 3. Eligibility Review HWF applications are reviewed according to the eligibility criteria of the Housing Trust Fund Program which are summarized in the UF 2010 HTFC/DHCR Capital Programs RFP ( In addition, applications will be reviewed for consistency with the HWF programmatic provisions described in Section III. above. HWF applications which include a request for DHCR’s SLIHC financing will also be reviewed to determine if the project is eligible under the threshold eligibility provisions of the LIHC Qualified Allocation Plan. HWF applications that fail to meet all HWF and HTF (and SLIHC, if requested) eligibility criteria will not be reviewed further, and an Application Review Letter will be sent to the applicant, indicating that the application is ineligible and specifying the reason(s) for ineligibility. 4. Scoring Criteria HWF applications which pass completeness and eligibility reviews are scored using the criteria outlined in Section III.C.4. above. HWF applications which include a request for DHCR’s SLIHC financing will also be rated based on the criteria contained in New York State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (SLIHC) Regulation – 9 NYCRR Part 2040 Section 2040.14, and summarized in the UF 2010 HTFC/DHCR Capital Programs RFP. 5. Feasibility Reviews HWF applications will be subject to HTFC feasibility reviews including an assessment of architectural design features, underwriting of the project’s development costs and operational feasibility and viability and the provision of units for persons with special needs. As noted in Section III.B. above in regard to agency review roles, HTFC will coordinate its review with that of the tax-exempt bond issuer and will generally accept HFA or HPD’s underwriting and design reviews where appropriate. However, HTFC reserves the right to make its own determination in regard to project feasibility, at its own discretion. Projects which do not demonstrate feasibility to the satisfaction of HTFC will not be reviewed further. 6. Funding Recommendations HWF funding recommendations are made for feasible projects from available funds on the basis of scoring, the recommendation and funding determination of the tax-exempt bond issuer and a geographical distribution of funds in support of the State’s housing goals. - 10 -
  11. 11. 7. HTFC Board Approval All HWF awards must be approved by the HTFC Board of Directors prior to entering into a funding commitment for HWF-financed projects. 8. SLIHC Reservations If applicable, the Commissioner of DHCR will issue a reservation of tax credits for SLIHC in conjunction with HTFC Board approval of the HWF award. 9. Application Review Letter Applicants are informed of the disposition of their applications in an Application Review Letter AR Letter). If a request for SLIHC was submitted with a request for HWF financing, all programs will be addressed in the AR letter. 10. Funding Commitment Letters Subsequent to issuance of an AR Letter, HTFC will provide HWF Funding Commitment Letters to successful applicants which outline the terms and conditions under which HTFC will provide an HWF loan to the project. These Commitment letters will be issued in conjunction and in a corresponding timeframe to the funding commitments provided by the tax-exempt bond issuers and other lenders. 11. Project Development Meeting The Project Development Meeting provides a forum for the applicant's development team and HTFC/DHCR to discuss the project's development timetable; the roles and responsibilities of the development team members and HTFC/DHCR; and the deliverables required under the terms of the executed Funding Commitment. This meeting will generally be held in conjunction with tax- exempt bond issuer. Additional information on Project Development Meetings can be found in Section 3.02.08 of the Capital Programs Manual. 12. Processing Time Frames HTFC expects to process a request for a permanent takeout within 30 business days of receipt, if all conditions in the commitment letter have been met. VI. REGIONAL OFFICE SERVICE AREAS Any questions regarding this RFP or the HWF application process should be directed to the Regional Office which serves the county in which the proposed project is located. Regional Directors and the counties served by their offices are: - 11 -
  12. 12. Capital District Regional Office Lynn Kopka, Regional Director Hampton Plaza, 2nd Floor, 38-40 State Street, Albany, New York, 12207 (518) 486-5012 Counties Served: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren and Washington. Buffalo Regional Office Thomas Van Nortwick, Regional Director Electric Building, Suite 105, 535 Washington Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14203, (716) 847- 7955 Counties Served: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. Syracuse Regional Office Daniel Buyer, Regional Director 620 Erie Boulevard West, Suite 312 Syracuse, New York 13204, (315) 478-7179, ext. 200 Counties Served: Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Franklin, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Tompkins. New York City Regional Office Gregory Watson, Regional Director 25 Beaver Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10004, (212) 480-4543 Counties Served: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester. - 12 -