Many cities, counties, and states have excelled at using funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to create innovative, place-based revitalization strategies. However, the economic downturn, collapse of the housing market, and accompanying foreclosure crisis intensified the challenges grantees faced. As a result, HUD shifted the way it provided technical assistance (TA) and capacity building to grantees and subgrantees. The OneCPD Integrated Practitioner Assistance System (OneCPD) provided comprehensive, needs-based, and cross-program TA to maximize the impact of HUD funds. HUD’s FY 2010 Technical Assistance and Capacity Building under the Transformation Initiative Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), commonly referred to as OneCPD, was HUD’s first attempt to integrate its multiple TA awards within the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) under a single program. This NOFA was released in 2011, during HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s tenure.
To meet the challenge of OneCPD’s new approach to the way HUD provided TA and capacity building, Econometrica joined forces with a team of more than 60 cross-disciplinary community development practitioners and firms from across the country. A successful response to the NOFA resulted in a $500,000 award, executed by then Technical Assistance Director Julie Hopkins (nee Hovden). Under this funding, the Econometrica Team conducted needs assessments of grantees to determine the nature and scope of TA and capacity building needed; provided direct TA based on results of the needs assessments; and developed tools and products to assist CPD grantees in understanding relevant CPD and federal requirements. Areas of focus included programs such as Section 108, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and HOME funding. Under OneCPD, the team provided needs assessments and TA to grantees (municipalities) in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, as well as the State of North Carolina. The team also designed materials and implemented a process to provide grantees an opportunity to comment on CDBG TA needs and program effectiveness. To engage grantees and other stakeholders in this conversation, Econometrica launched “Moving CDBG Forward,” during which it conducted 9 in-person information and listening sessions and 10 interactive webinars in less than 6 months’ time. Econometrica also monitored an electronic forum and prepared a thorough report, including findings and recommendations.
Following this initial award, Econometrica has continued to receive an increased level of funding for every subsequent year during which HUD issued a similar TA NOFA. The focus of these NOFAs has transitioned from just CPD programs to also include the Office of Native American Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, and other divisions within HUD. Areas of focus now commonly include Choice Neighborhoods, physical needs assessments, and more. Commensurate with this expansion, the NOFA itself transitioned in terminology from OneCPD to OneCPD Plus to the current titling, Community Compass. In 2017, Econometrica closed out its inaugural award from 2011, but continues to provide services under the newer awards, which remain active. The most recent award was made in late 2017 and is featured in this blog post.
Econometrica’s partnerships have also evolved over time, expanding to keep pace with changing and expanded needs of HUD grantees as well as to capture new and emerging practice areas and increase geographic reach. We are proud of the teams we have assembled and our legacy of providing high-quality, effective, and efficient TA to HUD consumers. We look forward to many more years of doing so.
NOTE: HUD grantees interested in receiving TA, including units of local government, tribes/tribally designated housing entities, public housing agencies, and others, can review the instructions found here: https://www.hudexchange.info/program-support/technical-assistance/.
Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers and business development.
Under this funding, the Econometrica Team conducted needs assessments of grantees to determine the nature and scope of TA and capacity building needed; provided direct TA based on results of the needs assessments; and developed tools and products to assist CPD grantees in understanding relevant CPD and federal requirements.
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