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Frequently Asked Questions

2015 CDBG RFQ

  1. Question: I’m looking at the RFQ that just came out, and on the first page at the top there is a section for Project Category. The instructions say to check only one box. Based on comments at recent CPAB meetings and also procedures in past years, we were under the impression that it was possible to apply under two separate categories, such as one public services project and one capital improvement project. Is that no longer allowed?

    Answer: Yes, it is possible to apply under two separate categories. Please disregard the “select one” and select as many as apply to your RFQ. We will delete that language in the next version of the application.

  2. Question: Has the City identified priorities through the Con Plan? If not finalized for this year, is there a draft of priorities through the Con Plan committee? Do you think the funding priorities will be roughly the same as the current plan? We are trying to determine if we want to submit an application based on our programming as a match to funding priorities.

    Answer: The Con Plan is currently being developed for the FY 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. We hope to have a draft of the preliminary Consolidated Plan Goals by November 13th. The Goals are not part of the current Request for Qualification (RFQ) process and thus adherence to them will not be a consideration at this stage. We expect to have the Goals before the Request for Proposal is released in January 2014.

  3. Question: HUD still has not released the new list of low/moderate-income census tracts. How would I know if my community will still be eligible to apply?

    Answer: At this point, HUD has not released the 2010 census data so we anticipate using the 2000 census tracts for eligibility until the 2010 census data is released.

  4. Question: If we are planning to propose a CIP as well as Public Services project, should we complete a separate RFQ for each one?

    Answer: Please complete one Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for both projects. On Friday, we will be posting a revised application that will remove the “check one only” statement in the Project Category box on page one of the RFQ.

  5. Question: In Section B, question C, there is not enough space to list all the non-City federal funds received for fiscal years 2011-2013. What should we do?

    Answer: You may attach a list, with the same formatting, to list all the non-City federal funds from 2011-2013 as well as the Agency’s experience with CDBG funds for the same time frame. However, you may not expand the narrative sections of the applications.

  6. Question: Would a demolition project that will result in the removal of urban blight be an eligible project? The project is currently in a LMI census tract.

    Answer: To evaluate if a demolition and/or clearance activity meets HUD and City standards, we would need to know more about the planned use after the demolition and/or clearance occurs. For demolition to be eligible as a standalone activity related to blight removal, there are several factors related to the determination of blight that are required before the activity can be funded. Please note the City of San Diego currently has no HUD designated slum or blighted areas nor recognized “urgent needs.”

  7. Question: My Agency was unable to meet the submittal deadlines for FY14; Are we still able to submit an application?

    Answer: You can apply, however it will be noted, if the Agency is deemed qualified and makes it to the FY15 RFP, that the agency did not comply with the FY14 application process requirements.

  8. Question: In reviewing the various documents, I notice that the checklist and handbook state that federal and state tax forms are not required of governmental agencies. However, the RFQ form states that these are not required of non-governmental agencies. I assume that the latter is incorrect, but can you please clarify/confirm?

    Answer: You are correct. The RFQ form page 4 0f 10 should read “not required for Governmental Agencies” in Section 1; question A numbers 1-3. A correction to the form will be made and sent out.

  9. Question: The RFQ only has space to list 16 Board Members. My Board has 31 members. May I attach a page using the same format with the remainder of the names?

    Answer: If additional space is needed for Board Members, please use the same format and attach a page with the remaining names.

  10. Question: In question C of the Section entitled B. Applicant Agency Capacity it states:

    c. Has your agency received other federal funds (non-City of San Diego federal funding) in any of the past four fiscal years (Fiscal Years 2011 through 2013)? If yes, complete the following table(s).Yes No Does this refer to federal funds OTHER than CDBG funding?

    Answer: In Section B for questions C, we are interested in knowing about other federal funds that the Agency received for the past four fiscal years including CDBG funds received from other Cities. If the Agency received CDBG funds from other cities, please list those funds. If the only CDBG funds received by the Agency are from the City of San Diego, then you don’t need to list.

  11. Question: I am more than half way done with the RFQ and you sent out revisions. Would you accept the original version you released?

    Answer: Yes, the update to the application was for formatting only. You are welcome to continue to use the old version.

  12. Question: Pg 8 question C) 1.d – Estimated Budget. – Is this the program budget, or the amount we are planning on requesting for CDBG funding?

    Answer: For the estimated budget in question 2, it should read CDBG estimated budget. Please enter the amount of CDBG funding the Agency plans to request.

  13. Question: In the past the City had mandatory meetings at the War Memorial Building for all potential applicants. Has this changed?

    Answer: We will conduct a mandatory workshop as part of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process which is anticipated to be released in January 2014.

  14. Question: We are currently in an eligible census tract but Appendix B says that could change for the FY 15 CDBG application. Will the new eligible census tract list be available before the November 18th RFQ due date so we know whether we should take this first step?

    Answer: We do not anticipate having new data from HUD by November 18th. HUD has not released the 2010 Census information yet and we have been instructed to use the 2000 data for low and moderate income area eligibility until additional data is released. We were told HUD hopes to release the data by the end of the year but we have received no additional information.

  15. Question: I believe we would qualify for a CIP project, under the Availability/Accessibility Project Objective. However, I would like to confirm whether these following costs would be eligible to be included:

    A path-of-travel survey for placement of the ADA Lift, completed by a CASp-accredited firm-Costs of the architectural & engineering firm managing the project-Contingency costs included in the budget

    Answer: We cannot give definitive determinations of eligible costs without reviewing the complete proposal because we need to examine the entire project scope and budget. Generally speaking though, the component costs you listed are not uncommon costs (assuming the costs are reasonable given the total budget) associated with a CDBG project but it really depends on the complete project scope and budget.

  16. Question: Are bios with specific qualifications (education, expertise, etc.) acceptable instead of formal resumes?

    Answer: Yes, bios are acceptable as long as they contain all the required information requested in the handbook.

  17. Question: Would activities that relate to building affordable homes fall within your spectrum for a housing rehabilitation project?

    Answer: We would need more information on the entire project scope and budget components to make an eligibility determination. Generally, construction of new housing is not an eligible CDBG activity. Housing rehabilitation is permitted in several variations. More information regarding what ‘specific activities that relate to building affordable homes’ is necessary to determine eligibility.

  18. Question: In section B, question 1 section c it asks for other federal funds received that are "non-City of San Diego federal funding". We received HOPWA EH and HOPWA OH funds but are unsure if these qualify since they are received by the City of San Diego but then dispersed by the County of San Diego and not the City. Can you please let us know whether or not these funds qualify? Thanks for your time.

    Answer: Please list the HOPWA funds since they are not directly dispersed by the City.

  19. Question: Section A2 (Current Target Population Information). The program we are applying for focuses on assisting Low- to Moderate Income renters and homeowners. Which boxes would we check for this specific program? Would we check off “Renters”, “Homeowners”, or both? Furthermore, since our services are available to everyone, should we also check other boxes, such as “seniors”?

    Answer: Please list the types/categories of beneficiaries to whom your agency currently serves/provides assistance. Multiple selections may be provided as applicable to your agency. If renters, homeowners, and seniors reflect the populations currently served by your agency then check those boxes.

  20. Question: Section B1.a6: The application requests the Agency’s Procurement Policy. Are there any specifications as to what the procurement policy should cover or address? For instance, should the policy state the organization’s policy for acquisition of office supplies?

    Answer: The FY2015 CDBG RFQ Handbook, available on our website, provides detail information on what HUD requires of all applicants. Please see pages 11 and 12 for detail information on the Procurement Policy.

  21. Question: Section B3.D: The application requests the resumes of staff members designated to have direct project management/administration oversight, program compliance and/or reporting responsibilities for your agency’s proposed CDBG activities. As a result, will be submitting resumes for our COO and the vice-president for our Compliance and Management Systems department and the department responsible for program implementation. Should we also submit resumes for project managers or staff that will be involved in the project, or will the resumes of higher-level staff suffice?

    Answer: We are requesting resumes for the Agency Key Executive/Management Personnel, Agency Designated Fiscal Personnel, and the Agency Designated Project Management/Administration personnel. Be sure that the resumes include all the requirements outlined in the procedures.

  22. Question: Our nonprofit is interested in applying for CDBG funding in FY 15 for an ADA overhaul of our street signs. We are wondering if our proposal would meet the guidelines of the Community Development Block Grant Program. Our proposed project is to increase the height, width and visibility of the street signs to assist the visually impaired. We are wondering if the project would meet the criteria in the handbook on page 5 under Section III, A; a public service project or if it would be something considered under C, the CIP projects.

    Answer: We cannot make a definitive determination of CDBG eligibility without reviewing the entire project scope and budget components. Generally speaking, the project described would need to be proposed as a Capital Improvement Project, not a Public Service. In addition, the Agency must have site control of the property where the improvements will be installed.

  23. Question: Would you please clarify what the “Assurance of Audit Requirements” is? It is one of the required fiscal documents that need to be submitted, but we are a little unclear on what exactly you are looking for.

    Answer: The “Assurance of Audit Requirements” is included in the package on page 11 of 13.

  24. Question: Question Regarding Sec B.2.b.3. and 4.

    Answer: For question 3, we are interested in knowing the amount of funding you received for the last four fiscal years beginning with FY2011. Please report on federal funds received during FY2011, FY2012, FY2013, and FY2014. We are looking for an aggregate number here.

    For question 4, list the non-federal funds expended for the same four fiscal years.

  25. Question: Can my organization submit more than one CIP-Infrastructure Improvement application?

    Answer: Each Agency must submit one Request for Qualifications (RFQ) application. In the application, the Agency should list all projects that they might be considering submitting a Request for Proposal in January, if deemed eligible. The Agency is not required to submit a proposal for each project listed in the RFQ but the project must be in the RFQ to be considered.

  26. Question: The guidelines state that CIP projects must be for locations where clients come for service or receive service. Our clients are all homebound, so they do not come to our site to receive services. However, we manage our program services out of our metro office location. Would we be eligible for CIP funds to make improvements to this building? Likewise our Meal Center where all our client meals are prepared? Both these locations are within the City and located in CDBG eligible areas.

    Answer: Final determination of eligibility cannot be determined until the complete project scope and budget are examined. Generally speaking, improvements to non-profit facilities are limited to only areas that are directly tied to the provision of the proposed CDBG service and ultimately client benefit (such as meal distribution activities). Improvements to administrative offices, furniture purchases or other common areas that are not directly related to the provision of the proposed CDBG service are not permissible.