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Landlord-Tenant Mediation Pilot Program RFQ

Bids and Proposals

Requests for Qualifications. Responses due 5:00 PM on Friday, January 22, 2021. Register for the optional information session on January 8. FAQ available on this page.

Overview

The Portland Housing Bureau’s Rental Services Office is responsible for fair housing and landlord-tenant services, developing code and administrative rules associated with local landlord-tenant law, processing exemptions to local mandatory relocation assistance, and providing technical assistance and information (in person, via email, and over the phone) to renters and landlords on general landlord-tenant law.

The goal of the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Pilot Program is to assess the impact of free mediation services to resolve landlord-tenant disputes in an effort to increase housing stability for tenants and avoid court filings. Landlord-tenant mediation, when instituted prior to the issuance of a formal eviction or other court filing, is a promising programmatic approach for reducing eviction and improving outcomes for tenants experiencing housing instability. Mediation does not tarnish tenants’ rental and credit histories and requires less of participants’ time and money than adjudication does. It often results in higher rates of compromise, compliance, and satisfaction than adjudication does. Mediation allows the parties to engage in a fuller discussion and generate creative and flexible solutions to housing disputes.

In addition to free mediation services, this Pilot Program will make limited financial assistance available to Program participants to satisfy the terms of mediated agreements.  A portion of the total Program funds are to be set aside for financial assistance in an amount to be determined based on contract negotiations with the selected provider. Either the Program provider will act as the fiscal agent for the financial assistance or PHB will contract with a second provider to act as the fiscal agent. This Pilot Program has a total of $150,000 allocated for FY 20-21 and a total of $150,000 for FY 21-22.

This request for qualifications is being issued to identify a list of potential organizations to provide mediation services to landlords and tenants. Reponses should describe experience and/or ability to provide mediation services to landlords and tenants, ability to effectively engage in outreach regarding mediation services with a focus on communities of color, people with disabilities, and other historically underserved communities, ability to effectively provide services to underserved communities, and experience, if any, and/or willingness to act as fiscal agent for financial assistance. Partnerships with culturally specific organizations are a preferred approach. Contracts for services may go to one provider, one partnership, multiple providers, or multiples partnerships. Participation of certified Disadvantaged, Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Businesses is encouraged.

Solicitation Location

www.portland.gov/phb/rso/rfq  (link for this webpage)

Information Session

non-mandatory information session for this solicitation will be held:

Friday, January 8, 2021, via Zoom (online meeting tips)
2:30 to 3:30 PM

Register here    

Solicitation Coordinator

All questions and responses should be directed to the solicitation coordinator, with contact information below:

Christina Dirks
Policy and Program Coordinator
(503) 865-6663
Christina.Dirks@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Housing Bureau
Attn: Rental Services Office
421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500, Portland, Oregon 97204

Key Deadlines

  1. Request for Qualifications Issued: Wednesday, December 30, 2020
  2. Non-Mandatory Information Session: Friday, January 8, 2021
  3. Responses Due: Friday, January 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM
  4. Date by which all funds must be expended: $150,000 by June 30, 2021 with an additional $150,000 by June 30, 2022.

All submissions must be received by the deadline to be considered. The Portland Housing Bureau reserves the right to change any dates to serve the goals of the Request for Qualifications.

Submission Requirements

Submit a 3-page response that includes:

  1. Name of the organization and contact information.
  2. Summary of experience and ability to provide mediation services including mediating landlord-tenant disputes.
  3. Overview of current service delivery model including any reliance on contract or volunteer mediators and corresponding recruitment, orientation and training of new mediators/volunteers.
  4. Experience and/or willingness to act as fiscal agent for financial assistance.
  5. Demonstrated ability and capacity to reach and serve historically underserved communities.
  6. Estimated cost structure and a description of potential costs.

All applicants should be prepared to provide any additional requested documentation and budget information within one week of being notified that the applicant has been determined to be qualified and is in consideration for being the selected Program provider.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What level of experience regarding mediation services are you seeking?
    PHB is seeking applicants that have demonstrated experience providing community-based mediation services.

  2. Does the applying organization have to have experience providing mediation in landlord-tenant matters?
    While not required, it is preferable. If an applicant is not experienced providing mediation services between landlords and tenant, the applicant should address how they intend to gain familiarity with the types of disputes that commonly arise between landlord and tenants in their submission.

  3. How will you assess a provider’s demonstrated ability and capacity to reach and serve historically underserved communities?
    We will be looking for an applicant that has experience in successful outreach to historically underserved communities in effort to expand the access and engagement of these communities with your services. This experience may be demonstrated by meaningful partnership(s) with culturally specific and culturally responsive organizations connected to BIPOC communities. Evaluators will also look at the applicant’s track record of successful engagement and service delivery to BIPOC communities and other historically underserved communities.

  4. How much of the Program funds will be set aside for financial assistance?
    The percentage of the total contact budget to be set aside for financial assistance will be negotiated with the selected Program provider. However, no more than 50% of the total contract budget should be set aside for financial assistance.

  5. Is serving as a fiscal agent for financial assistance under this Program required?
    It is not required but is preferred. If the mediation provider selected for this Program is unable to serve as a fiscal agent for the financial assistance, PHB contract with a second agency to serve as a fiscal agent. The costs to satisfy the duties outlined in this second contract will be part of the $150,000 allocated for FY 20-21 and the $150,000 allocated for FY 21-22 for this Program.   

  6. What will the reporting requirements be through this Program?
    Given the exploratory nature of this Program, the provider will be asked to gather information at every stage of the process including details about who initiated mediation services, what was the general nature of the dispute, whether the other party was willing to mediate and the outcome of mediation. Ideally, the provider will discuss with Program participants their motivation for engagement or disengagement and impressions of the process. This information will help assess the viability and need for a larger project of this nature.

  7. Is there a scoring metric - i.e. how many points are given to each section of the proposal?
    This opportunity is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which is a process to identify organizations that meet a set of qualifications and requirements laid out in the RFQ document. A scoring metric is not being used in the evaluation process. Proposals will be evaluated on the extent to which applicants meet the evaluation criteria, including the requirements and preferences.

For additional questions, contact the solicitation coordinator:

Christina Dirks
Policy and Program Coordinator
(503) 865-6663
Christina.Dirks@portlandoregon.gov

Portland Housing Bureau
Rental Services Office
421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500, Portland, Oregon 97204

Contact

Christina Dirks

Policy and Program Coordinator