NEW: Letters of Interest for Housing the Homeless - An Immediate Response
Posted March 22, 2021
Deadline for Letters of Interest: March 31, 2021
It is likely that the Vermont General Assembly will appropriate additional funds to VHCB in the near term for investment in housing projects that address homelessness related to the pandemic. The following information is provided to initiate a project selection process.
To create a safer environment in the face of COVID-19, the State of Vermont is currently covering the cost of temporary shelter in motels and hotels for approximately 2,000 individuals, including more than 200 families with children, who were experiencing homelessness. Many of these households had been staying in shelters and temporary housing and others were unsheltered.
VHCB anticipates receiving $10 million to award competitively for capital expenses for the acquisition and rehabilitation of non-congregate housing for households experiencing homelessness. The funding must be expended by the sponsoring organization by December 31, 2021. VHCB will consider proposals in which a majority of units are occupied by December 31, 2021.
We anticipate being able to provide funding for two or three proposals.
VHCB intends to administer this pool of funds in a manner that is similar to our CRF award last year, including by inviting proposals before final enactment in order to meet the intended timeline. The fact that this appropriation has moved forward so quickly reflects lawmakers’ deep concerns about the needs of households facing homelessness and also a recognition of the skill and capacity in the nonprofit housing development community to respond well to the crisis. Their intent is to fund housing that can help address homelessness before winter returns.
Letter of Interest due by noon on March 31, 2021
Using this form, we ask applicants to submit a Letter of Interest to VHCB by noon on March 31, 2021 to indicate your organization’s interest and capacity to access funding to meet the selection criteria stated below. VHCB will review proposals for need, impact, and quality and will use the following criteria to select projects to submit a more complete application. Please see below for the proposed decision-making schedule.
Project Selection Criteria
- The project sponsor, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or a municipality, must demonstrate that the project is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- There must be a demonstrated plan and commitment for coordination/partnership between developer, Continuum of Care, and social service providers who work with the target population to serve homeless households. This must include a plan to accept referrals for occupancy through the Coordinated Entry system.
- Projects that can demonstrate significant need to house households experiencing homelessness and are in a location that was underserved with CRF funding that was initiated July 2020.
- Projects located in an area of the state shown by data to have a large number of homeless households and a lack of available housing units.
- Experience and capacity of the project sponsor(s) to successfully complete project and demonstrate compliance with relevant requirements, including the CARES Act, if applicable.
- Evidence of project readiness to proceed and achievable timeline, including site control, level of support from municipality, and capacity of related development partners.
- Projects that will be completed by December 31, 2021 and where a significant majority of units are occupied by December 31, 2021.
- Reasonable per unit capital cost for homeless households housed.
- Project sponsor’s demonstrated ability to obtain and coordinate resident services.
Please submit your Letter of Interest to VHCB by noon on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 by email to Jenny. (If you do not receive confirmation of your submission, please contact Jenny at 828-5539.)
Your LOI should include:
1) Attached cover sheet.
2) Narrative not to exceed three pages that addresses the selection criteria described above. 3) A preliminary development budget indicating project costs. Assume that 100% of the development costs to be covered by VHCB’s funding are incurred in 2021.
4) A preliminary five-year operating budget.
Informational Zoom meeting: Thursday, March 25 at 11:00 a.m. to respond to questions about the funding process. See information to join the call and more details.
Anticipated Funding Schedule, Subject To Revision:
Zoom Q & A Meeting March 25 at 11:00 am
Letter of Interest Due to VHCB Wednesday, March 31, by noon
Response from VHCB Friday, April 9
Full Applications Due Monday, May 3, by noon
VHCB Board to Consider Requests Wednesday, June 23