Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based Funding Assistance

Winnebago County Housing Authority

3617 Delaware Street

Rockford, Illinois  61101

The Winnebago Housing Authority (WCHA) (dba NI ReACH) is issuing a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) from experienced rental housing providers to receive Project-Based assistance for rehabilitation and/or new construction. The housing must be located within Winnebago and Stephenson County, Illinois. WCHA’s goals for project basing Housing Choice Voucher assistance are to increase and preserve affordable rental housing opportunities for lower-income Winnebago County, Illinois households.

Through this RFP, the Authority intends to make up to ten (10) Mainstream Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) available for Project-Based assistance for an initial term of 20 years. Contract terms may be extended subject to federal appropriations and contract performance. No more than 25% of units in any one project may receive Project-Based assistance with the exception of single-family dwellings, developments for elderly or disabled families, and developments that offer supportive services. Units proposed for Project-Based assistance must be vacant or occupied by a lower-income household, not receiving tenant-based assistance on the date of submission. After that, all new occupants must result from a referral from the WCHA waiting list. In addition, the owner must certify that tenants have not been displaced to qualify for a unit. Preference will be given to proposals which meet the following criteria:

  • De-concentration of poverty and expanding housing and economic opportunities.
  • Provide rental housing located in census tracts with poverty rates less than 20%
  • Create more affordable housing through the construction or rehab to create affordable housing units.
  • Create more affordable housing within walking distance of services, amenities, and public transit.
  • Provide additional affordable units targeted to households at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Proposals with longer contract terms.

Successful submissions will receive letters of commitment for HCV Project-Based funding and, eventually, the execution of Agreement to Enter in Housing Assistance Payment Contracts (AHAP) for the initial term of the proposal. Units proposed for Project-Based assistance may be subject to HUD Environmental and Subsidy Layering Reviews before issuance of the AHAP contract.

To be considered, email copies of proposals complying with the terms and conditions of the application must be submitted. Applications will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. on August 17, 2021.

This application must be completed, and the information provided will be verified before Winnebago County Housing Authority’s final acceptance.  

WCHA expects to select the proposals that demonstrate the most potential to achieve the objectives described in and based upon additional evaluation criteria outlined in the application. The WCHA reserves the right to waive any informalities or irregularities in submittals and reject all proposals.

  1. Scope of Services

HCV Project-Based Vouchers provide rental subsidies to extremely-low income (ELI) and very-low-income (VLI) households. The amount of rental subsidy is based on the difference between the tenant’s contribution (30 percent of defined household income) and the contract rent for an eligible housing unit. Rents must be reasonable for the immediate market, with the determination of rent reasonableness according to 24 CFR 983.303.

WCHA will offer owners of selected quality affordable housing the opportunity to receive allocations of vouchers that can be attached to their rental housing for an extended period of time through contracts with the Authority. Owners will gain the benefit of a multi-year contract ensuring the HCV program approved rent for their properties for an extended period. Eligible projects must be within the jurisdiction of Winnebago and Stephenson County, Illinois.

II.        Available Vouchers and Intended Uses

Availability: Voucher availability is conditional upon agreements with the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Use:  WCHA must provide 75% of its voucher to extremely-low income (ELI) and very-low-income (VLI) households in existing, new, and or rehabilitated construction under a Project-Based Voucher HAP Contract.

Terms of  Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based Assistance

Key contract terms and program regulations include, but are not limited to, the following:

A. Contract Term: The HCV Project-Based Vouchers will be committed for an Initial 20-Year Term subject to the availability of continued funding to the WCHA from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Contracts will be executed between the BCHA and the owner of the development.

B. Rents: Rents must be reasonable, i.e., comparable to the market rents for similar units in that immediate market. Market rents will be approved by WCHA using Rent Comparability Studies.

C. Tenant Selection: Tenants of assisted units will be referred exclusively via the PBV waiting list maintained by WCHA.  Selection of tenants for these Project-Based units is outlined in the WCHA’s Administrative Plan for the HCV Program consistent with the following guidelines:

  1. WCHA will establish a separate waiting list for PBV assistance.
  • WCHA will refer families to properties based on the availability of appropriate sized units.
  • The owner of the units must select tenants from applicants referred from the WCHA’s waiting list.
  • Owners must screen the prospective tenants referred by WCHA and used the same selection criteria for tenants from their development. Owners must submit written selection criteria.
  • Owners may reject tenants referred by the WCHA; however, valid reasons based on the generally applied selection criteria must be provided in writing for such rejections.
  • Owners may refer prospective tenants to WCHA’s waiting list according to HUD regulations.

D. Housing Quality Standards: Selected units must meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards.

E. Site Standards and De-Concentration of Poverty Goals: The project must be consistent with the goal of de-concentrating poverty and Expanding Housing and Economic Opportunities. Project-Based Voucher assistance must be for units in census tracts with a poverty rate of less than 20 percent.

F. 25% Limitation: Units receiving PBV assistance may not exceed 25% of total units at a property, except for single-family homes, housing for the elderly or disabled, and housing that provides supportive services.

III. Processing of Applications

A. Timetable:

RFP Response Deadline: 4:00 p.m. August 17, 2021

B. Instructions for Submission of Applications

To be considered, emailed proposals complying with the terms and conditions of the application must be submitted.  Deliver one (1) complete document attachment as a pdf (Portable Document Format) file in an email with the Subject Line clearly marked with the words “RFP Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based Funding Assistance,”:

Winnebago County Housing Authority

Via email only:  Alan@wchauthority.com

Place the following information in the upper, left-hand corner on the document attachment when submitting the proposal:

Company Name

Company Address

RFP Name

Respondents must provide a complete submission. Incomplete submissions, as determined by the Authority in its sole discretion, will not be reviewed.

Any questions regarding the RFP should be submitted via e-mail to:

alan@wchauthority.com

C. Application Selection Process

Following is the sequential process that the Authority will use for awarding vouchers to applicants.

1. Non-qualifying applications will be rejected.

2. If the number of vouchers offered by the WCHA is fewer than the number of vouchers requested by all qualified applications, then applications will be awarded based on the highest scoring.

3. Selection of any PBV proposal is conditional and subject to the successful award of funding by HUD.

The document must be composed in the same order as the Summary of Evaluation Factors table presented below and tabulated with the Headers shown in Bold Font.

Summary of Evaluation Factors and Maximum Points                                               points

  1.  Owner Qualifications: A statement of the qualifications and experience of the firm on projects that are similar in scope and nature, including:   The firm’s organizational staffing and names and qualifications of personnel to be assigned to the project.Provide an outline of recent projects completed that are similar in scope and nature.Names, qualifications, and experience of outside consultants, if proposed to be used on the project and their degree of participation. Statement of insurance qualifications as required by the Form of Agreement Financial Feasibility– Discuss the project’s readiness to proceed based on the level of funds committed and the other resources yet to be secured. Describe the financial assumptions used to develop the operating budget. Include rents and other sources of income, operating and maintenance expenses, and inflationary factors. The Project must have the ability to leverage other permanent funding sources, from sources other than the BCHA. Only the proposed stable financing sources identified will be used to determine the leveraging ratio. If private debt is underwritten on PBV rental income to the project, the private debt may be counted in this calculation.    40
  2.  De-concentration of Poverty / Communities of Opportunity: Current guidance by the federal government, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and industry best practices indicate that affordable housing should be sited so that it is a local amenity that compliments the existing housing stock, and should be located in communities that have opportunities for residents. Therefore, projects ideally should be located in Census tracts with federal poverty rates of less than 20% and where there are job opportunities and educational amenities (if appropriate to the project’s target population(s)), and other services applicable to the populations served. Points will be awarded for: Poverty rate where the project will be/is located based on 2010 census tract data; Close proximity to various services and opportunities, if appropriate to the project’s target population(s), for education and economic advancement; and Accessibility to public transportation and health services.  20
  4.Locational Amenities/ General Resident Services / Supportive Services: The Owner/Developer must certify as to the locational attributes that are applicable to the proposed project. A project may earn 4 points for each of the following qualities that are property documented and shows the facility’s or service’s distance (measured by radius from the project) and certified to be applicable to the proposed project, for a maximum of 20 points. Public Transit (3) If located within a public transit corridor, the project site must be within ¼ mile of a train station, bus station, or bus stop, or community transportation service.Health and Social Services/ Schools: (3) The proposed project is NOT a family project and is located within one mile of a health or social service facility that is operated to serve the target population(s)Recreation: (3) The proposed project is located within one mile of a park, library, recreational facility, or a community center accessible to the general public and appropriate for the targeted population(s).Grocery Shopping: (3) The proposed project is located within one mile of a grocery shopping.  Grocery is defined as a full-service store or market that provides fresh food staples: fresh meats, poultry, dairy products, and produce.Services Plan: The proposed resident services plan addresses:  • The target population(s) to be served and their service needs.  20
  5.Property Management –  Indicate how your organization can carry out this project and its ability to manage the project over time. Describe the operating structure and staffing of the project. Provide management and maintenance information. Describe tenant selection criteria and screening plan. Describe the Fair Housing Marketing Plan. Describe how WCHA waitlist will be utilized in leasing the property. How might the property develop a preference for WCHA waitlist residentsDescribe Owner’s experience in the tenant-based or project-based voucher program and owner community involvement.  Public Purpose Applicants will provide for justification/documentation of how their projects meet priority needs.15
 Percentage of Assistance – Projects with less that 25 percent of the units assisted will be rated higher than projects with 25 percent of the units assisted.  In the case of projects for occupancy by the elderly, persons with disabilities or families needing other services, the BCHA will rate partially assisted projects on the percent of units assisted.  Projects with the lowest percent of assisted units will receive the highest score.5
 Total  100

IV. Threshold Criteria for Applications

Applications must meet all the applicable threshold criteria to be considered for assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based Assistance Program. All information must be supplied and submitted with the application.

A. Eligible Owners: Owners of eligible properties that are non-profit, for-profit, and non-profit/ for-profit partnerships.  List the name of all owners, board of directors, and affiliations.

B. Eligible Properties: New housing provided through New Construction or Rehabilitation, all of which must meet HUD Housing Quality Standards. List the name of all contractors currently involved with the project.  

C. Development Readiness to Proceed: Proposed New Construction and Rehabilitation must be ready to proceed as documented. Supply any permits, municipal approvals, variances as applicable.

D. Prevailing Wage Requirements: If projects require New Construction or substantial rehab of nine (9) units or more, HCV/PBV Program assisted units are subject to the Davis-Bacon Act. If applicable, Developer or Sponsor shall comply or cause its contractors and subcontractors to comply with the Federal requirements of the Davis-Bacon wage laws in connection with any construction, alterations, or improvement funded under this RFP. If applicable, developers should make sure their development budgets reflect Davis-Bacon wage rates.  Supply proposed budget.  

E. Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Project-Based Assistance Program Regulatory Requirements: The project must comply with the HCV Program Project-Based Assistance Program’s Regulatory Requirements, 24 CFR Part 983, dated 04-01 2019, and Notice PIH 2017-21, Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA).

F. Experience: Must demonstrate successful affordable housing property management experience on their team or experience in administering the Housing Choice Voucher Program in collaboration with Housing Authorities.  Provide a list of experiences and references.   

G. Proposal Cost: All costs incurred in the preparation of the proposal are the responsibility of the applicant. All documents submitted as part of the proposal will become the property of WCHA. Any material submitted that is considered confidential by the submitter must be clearly marked as such. However, BCHA cannot guarantee the confidentiality of materials that are not protected from disclosure by law.

H. AFFIRMATIVE: WCHA is an Equal Opportunity Business Enterprise which promotes competitive solicitations and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation. BCHA encourages Minority-, Small-, Women-, and or Disabled-Owned Business Enterprises to respond to this solicitation.

I. Supply: Proposals must be designed to add to the supply of affordable, decent housing units available to extremely-low-income (ELI) and very- low-income (VLI) households. List the name of units per unit type on application. Submit a tenant selection plan. 

J. Readiness to Use Vouchers: Proposals must demonstrate evidence that the requested vouchers will be put in place and utilized for the subject property by Spring 2021.

K. Submit marketing material: Submit any marketing materialsdescribing property, any contracts with agencies that provide supportive services.  Include site plans, photos, and drawings of the project.

L. Approval by The Boone County Housing Authority is required:

The BCHA, in its sole judgment, reserves the right to:

  • Amend, modify or withdraw this RFP,
  • Revise any requirements of this RFP,
  • Require supplemental statements or information from any respondent to this RFP,
  • Accept or reject any or all responses to this RFP,
  • Revise the schedule to advertise,
  • Receive and review responses to this RFP, hold discussions with any respondents(s) to this RFP and allow such respondent(s) to correct deficient responses which may not completely conform to the instructions contained herein, or immediately eliminate responses which are incomplete or unresponsive to this RFP, and
  • Cancel and reissue, in whole or in part, this RFP if the WCHA, in its sole discretion, deems it to be in its best interest or that of the county. The WCHA may exercise the foregoing rights at any time without notice and without liability to any respondent to this RFP or any other party.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY

APPLICATION FOR

PROJECT-BASED VOUCHERS (PBV)

Owners and Project Sponsors should fill out one application for each project in which Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based Vouchers are sought. Please use additional pages to provide any other information that may be necessary to better describe the units.

Date:   ______________________________

  1. General Unit Information

Unit Address:    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

                        Address                                                                                                      City

Total No. Units in Project:  __________________  Year Built:  ____________________

Total No. of Units requesting PBV:  ______   Census Tract:  __________________

                       Break down of the number of units requested per bedroom size:   

   _____ 0 BR     ______1 BR   _____ 2 BR  _____ 3 BR   _____ 4 BR  _____ 5 BR

Number of Units Occupied:  ________   Date of Proposed HAP Contract:  ____________  

  • Requested Contract Term:  _____ Years (Owner/Project Sponsor must request a minimum

        term of 3 years up to a maximum of 20 years)

  •  Was this unit a single-family home purchased under foreclosure?  __________________
  •  Are there Supportive Services for special needs population:  _______________________

                              If yes, please attach description.

  • Number of units ADA compliant and Accessible:   _______________________________
  • Owner Experience Managing and Maintaining Rental Housing:    __________ Years

    Please attach an explanation of your experience with any Assisted Housing Programs

     (Housing Choice Voucher Vouchers, other Project-Based Vouchers, Home, Tax Credits, etc.)