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Expanded Partner Network – Outreach, Intake, and Referral Services RFP [Deadline extended]

Bids and Proposals
The City is seeking proposals from organizations experienced in providing outreach, intake, and referral services for the COVID Emergency Rent Assistance Program, with focus on the Native American, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander, and Asian American communities.
New deadline: March 11, 2022 at 5pm

RFP evaluation complete. View Notice of Intent.

COVID Emergency Rent Assistance Program
Request for Proposals (RFP)

Expanded Partner Network – Outreach, Intake, and Referral Services
Portland / Multnomah County

Issue date: February 4, 2022

Submission deadline: March 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Electronic submission to Jamila Dozier, COVID Emergency Rent Assistance RFP Coordinator

Download RFP:


I. Summary

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been immediate and severe for Oregonians already struggling due to the lack of affordable housing and rent assistance in our community. Disparities and inequities resulting from systemic and institutionalized racism and oppression existed and were experienced well before the pandemic and are now being further magnified amidst the current pandemic with disproportionate negative impact on the lives and health of people from Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

In response to the unprecedented need, the City of Portland and Multnomah County created the COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance program to prevent evictions caused by the financial and health impacts of COVID-19. Funds provide emergency rent assistance to households with incomes at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI) in Multnomah County, with priority in serving BIPOC communities experiencing the greatest adverse impacts from COVID-19. The COVID Emergency Rent Assistance program is entering its 4th phase of funding, with the program in operation since the Summer of 2020.

As the program enters the 4th phase, the City of Portland is solicitating proposals to select up to 4 organizations to meet a specific service need. With several partner organizations limiting current or future participation due to capacity challenges, the City is seeking organizations who have the ability and experience in providing outreach, intake, and referral services for COVID Emergency Rent Assistance focusing on the Native American, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander, and Asian American communities. These services should be delivered in a community-based and culturally specific manner. The total resources available are:

  • Up to $235,000 in soft allocations to assist up to 59 households (average of $4,000 per household)
  • Up to $61,000 in direct contracts to provide outreach, intake, and referral services, based on an estimated 20% for administration/delivery cost.

Eligible Applicants and Submission Deadline

Organizations must be a designated 503c(3) nonprofit entity to qualify. Culturally specific agencies serving BIPOC communities are encouraged to apply. Current COVID Emergency Rent Assistance providers are not eligible for this opportunity, due to a separate allocation.

Completed applications due by:

March 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Via electronic submission to the COVID Emergency Rent Assistance RFP Coordinator

Optional Info Session

Details to be announced.


II. Overview of Program

Purpose:

The COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance Program provides rent assistance to prevent households from experiencing evictions and homelessness due to the financial and health impacts of COVID-19. The priority is to serve communities experiencing the greatest adverse impacts from COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and households with very-low incomes. The program includes funding from the following source: Emergency Rent Assistance Program funds,  allocation 2.

ERAP-2 funds can serve households who are in rental housing or unhoused, and can pay for the following eligible expenses: current or future rent payments (future payments limited to 3 months), rent arrears, security deposits and fees. Funds are not eligible to pay for mortgage payments, utilities or direct cash assistance.

ERAP-2 funds should prioritize eviction prevention with a focus on payment of rental arrears allowable back to April 2020. Households who have received eviction notices for nonpayment of rent will be prioritized for the program. Current and future rents can be paid within the enclosed program guidelines.

Eligible Households:

To be eligible for the program, households must meet all three of the requirements below. There is no citizenship requirement for these funds.

  1. Resident of City of Portland or Multnomah County

  2. Experienced both of the following impacts due to COVID-19:

    1. One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits; or, experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus pandemic

    2. One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness; or, housing instability

  3. Household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)
    Income is based on snapshot of current income at time of application – the current gross income of all household members, or the household’s total income for calendar year 2020.

80% Area Median Income (effective until 4/2022)

Household Size80% AMI
1$54,150
2$61,900
3$69,650
4$77,350
5$83,550
6$89,750
7$95,950
8$102,150

Eligible Expenses:

  1. Rent arrears and late fees
  2. Current and future rent payments.  (Future rent payments limited to 3 months)
  3. Security, application fees and late fees

Not eligibleutilities, mortgage payments, direct client assistance

Priorities:

Funding should be prioritized for households facing imminent eviction due to nonpayment of rent and the upcoming COVID Eviction Moratorium payment deadline of February 28, 2022 for past due rents.

Assistance Limits:

No household may receive more than 18 months of combined assistance from ERAP-1 and ERAP-2 funding.

An eligible household may receive up to 9 months of rent assistance with ERAP-2 funds. Prospective rent payments may not exceed 3 months of rent assistance (this is counted toward the total limit of 9 months of ERAP-2 rent assistance).

Preference:

A preference is in place for households at or below 50% AMI, or households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least 90 days preceding the date of application. A household who meets one of the preferences is eligible to receive up to 12 months of rent assistance. future rent payments may not exceed 3 months of rent assistance (this is counted toward the total limit of 12 months of ERAP-2 rent assistance).

50% Area Median Income (effective until 4/2022)

Household Size50% AMI
1$33,850
2$38,700
3$43,550
4$48,350
5$52,250
6$56,100
7$60,000
8$63,850

Timeframe for Fund Expenditure:

Funds must be spent prior to December 31, 2022.  Due to the deadlines of the state, county and local evictions moratoriums, organizations are strongly encouraged to spend as much of the funding before June 1, 2022, as possible.

Allocation Method:

Partner Organizations will receive allocations in two forms:

  1. Rent Assistance Soft Allocation: Partner Organizations will be eligible to receive a designated number of household referral slots through a MOU with Home Forward. An average of $6,000 per household of rent assistance is used for budgeting purposes. A minimum of 40 referrals is recommended.

  2. Administration/Delivery Fee (direct contract): Partner Organizations will receive an administration fee, of $1,039 per application submitted through a contract with the City of Portland to cover outreach, eligibility, intake, and administration costs. The administrative fee amount will be determined based on the requested rent assistance allocation amount.

Roles of Partner Organization and Home Forward

Partner Organizations will send completed referrals to Home Forward/Multnomah County for processing and payment. Role and responsibilities are summarized below:

Partner Organization (Outreach and Intake):
For the purposes of planning, it is estimated 1.0 FTE will be able to process four (4) applications per day, at 90 minutes per household.

  1. Outreach to households and identify eligible households.
  2. Conduct intake process and compile complete applications:
    • Eligibility verification and collection of documentation
    • Landlord connection and assurance
  3. Submit application packets to Home Forward
  4. Manage and track submission of completed applications to ensure progress in reaching contracted goal and not exceeding allocated amount.

Home Forward (Payment and Reporting Entity)

  1. Review and cross-checking application for completeness.
  2. Processing and entering information into financial system.
  3. Cut and mail check to landlord.
  4. Data entry into Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).

Documentation Requirements:

The COVID Emergency Rent Assistance Program requires the use an intake packet:

Required documentation for program applicant


III. How to Apply 

Interested parties must submit a response and proposal demonstrating their qualifications and experience in providing outreach, intake, and referral services. Outlined below are the scoring criteria that will be used to determine which organizations are most qualified to provide these services. Responses are limited to a maximum of four (4) pages.

Interested parties MUST be based in, and serve communities in, the City of Portland and/or Multnomah County.

Scoring Criteria

  1. Organization is not currently a member of Multnomah County’s outreach and housing service providers and has not received funding from City of Portland or Multnomah County for these types of rent assistance services.in the past several years.

    • Yes – 5 points
    • No – 0 points

  2. Demonstrated experience in providing culturally specific services for Native American, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander, or Asian American communities

    • Clearly demonstrated – 15 points
    • Moderately demonstrated – 8 points
    • Not demonstrated – 0 points

  3. Organizational mission and services in alignment with providing COVID Emergency Rent Assistance

    • Clearly demonstrated – 10 points
    • Moderately demonstrated – 5 points
    • Not demonstrated – 0 points

  4. Proposed outreach and engagement approach is feasible and effective in reaching intended communities

    • Clearly demonstrated – 10 points
    • Moderately demonstrated – 5 points
    • Not demonstrated – 0 points

  5. Response clearly demonstrates capacity and ability to meet the scope of work within the budget and timeframe available

    • Clearly demonstrated – 10 points
    • Moderately demonstrated – 5 points
    • Not demonstrated – 0 points

Total Points Possible – 50 points