Request for Qualifications: Notice of Funding Availability for FY 2020 and FY 2021

Request for Qualifications: Notice of Funding Availability for FY 2020 and FY 2021

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Consultant and Contractor Partner

Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and FY 2021 Community Compass Technical Assistance and
Capacity Building Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) No.: FR-6400-N-06

Established in 1998, Econometrica is an economic research and analysis firm located in Bethesda, MD, that provides research, data analytics, and management services to local, state, and federal government clients, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its grantees. Econometrica is requesting qualifications from firms and individuals interested in participating in our application in response to HUD’s FY 2020 and FY 2021 Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Program NOFA (Opportunity No. FR-6400-N-06).

For more information from HUD regarding the FY 2020 and FY 2021 NOFA, the full announcement is accessible at the following link: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/SPM/documents/HUD_FY2020andFY2021_ccta.pdf.

HUD’s NOFA invites competitive applications for 2 funding years, FY 2020 and FY 2021. Econometrica intends to request funding from both funding years.

Consultant/Contractor Partner RFQ Submission Deadline

The priority deadline has passed; however, Econometrica is now accepting applications on a continuous and rolling basis. Consultants and subcontractor firms with specialized skills and experience in the areas of economic development, affordable and assisted housing programs, community development, and disaster resilience and recovery are important members of our team. Experience with HUD data systems is a plus. Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Please consider reviewing the application requirements and submitting a response to join our team.

Qualifications and Experience Required

In accordance with 2 CFR Part 200, Sections 200.317 through 200.326, Econometrica is providing in this RFQ a description of the technical requirements of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards. The Community Compass initiative is designed to support HUD’s local and state grantees to address a range of challenges or obstacles to full program implementation. The goal of the technical assistance and capacity-building initiatives is to equip HUD’s grantees with the knowledge, skills, tools, organizational capacity, and systems to implement HUD programs and policies successfully and in compliance with state and federal rules, regulations, and program requirements. Therefore, Econometrica is searching for qualified firms and individuals who can provide experience and skills relevant to HUD programs, policies, systems, and initiatives. These programs, policies, systems, and initiatives include but are not limited to:

  • Affordable housing, mixed finance (including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Rental Assistance Demonstration), and homeownership.
  • Community and economic development and disaster resilience.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
  • Public housing operations and programs, including public housing accounting, Moving to Work, and Section 3.
  • Choice Neighborhoods, Promise Zones, and Opportunity Zones.
  • Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR), Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS), Line of Credit Control System (LOCCS), Section 3 Performance Evaluation and Registration System (SPEARS), Physical Needs Assessment (PNA), and Energy and Performance Information Center (EPIC).
  • Supportive housing and services.
  • Housing preservation, tenant participation, and capacity building.
  • Policy Development and Research (PD&R).
  • Fair housing, procurement, Davis-Bacon, energy and environment, and other cross-cutting requirements.
  • Workforce development.

Evaluation Criteria

All submissions received will be reviewed against the following selection criteria:

  • Experience and Technical Qualifications: The extent to which each respondent demonstrates skills and abilities related to the description above and acceptable experience with Econometrica, as applicable.
  • Rate Reasonableness: The extent to which rates are considered reasonable compared to the respondent’s experience and qualifications, market prices, and any rate limitations imposed by HUD. Before assigning a funded task, rates must be determined to be fair and reasonable. Respondents must be able to provide evidence of their past pattern of compensation. This evidence includes customary rates, including rates on non-government contracts or cooperative agreements.
    • Please note: Due to HUD restrictions on approval of hourly consultant rates of $200 or above, Econometrica may need to request additional documentation and rate justification from a consultant to provide to HUD for approval.
  • Debarment/Suspension Check: Potential consultants found to be suspended or debarred from federal government business will not be solicited for or awarded task orders. This status is verified by searching the System for Award Management: https://www.sam.gov.
  • Small Business: Econometrica is committed to utilizing small disadvantaged businesses, minority-owned firms, American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned firms, veteran-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises whenever possible.

All consultants will be selected in compliance with the procurement procedures and standards codified in 2 CFR 200. Selection of consultants will be competitive, as required by 2 CFR § 200.320.

Qualified Applicants

The qualifications and experience of selected individual consultants or partner firms may be included in Econometrica’s application to the NOFA. Those included may also be asked to assist with contributing expert knowledge in areas of the application response.

Instructions for Submission

  1. Review and respond to only the required Experience Form tab/worksheet 4 found in the attached Excel Workbook entitled “1.C. Applicant Summary, Interest, Capacity & Experience Workbook-REQUIRED.”
  2. Once you have completed the required Experience Form, email the Excel file along with the following documents to FY2020NOFA@EconometricaInc.com. Please use the subject line “Your Name – FY2020 NOFA.”
    • A scanned copy of the signed and dated Participation Agreement found in Appendix A of this RFQ.
    • Professional resumes for each individual included in the completed Experience Form.
    • Hourly rates for everyone included in the completed Experience Form.
    • Three professional references for work completed within the last 3 years. The references should be nonfamilial and not an Econometrica staff member. Please provide the following for each reference:
      • Contact name (first, last).
      • Title/role.
      • Organization.
      • Email.
      • Best phone.

The following instructions apply to the Experience Form (tab/worksheet 4) in Excel Workbook entitled “1.C. Applicant Summary, Interest, Capacity & Experience Workbook-REQUIRED”. REMEMBER you are ONLY required to complete the Experience Form. Econometrica as the Prime Applicant will complete the other tabs/worksheets.

  • For each staff person, consultant or partner organization populate the following (first and last); organization name, city, state, ZIP Code, and DUNS or unique identifier; role (in relation to you/your firm) and qualifications narrative.
  • For the qualifications narrative, provide a summary of the individual’s experience, expertise, and other qualifications relevant to the activities included in the Community Compass NOFA.
  • Use the “+” links (above the dark gray columns) to expand and show the relevant programs/topics in each HUD Office. To hide/collapse those programs/topics, use the “–” links.

Note: For each person listed, there are two steps to document years of experience:

  1. Enter the years of experience for each program/topic column.
  2. Enter the total number of unduplicated years of experience associated with each HUD program area.

For example, if Jane Doe has 5 years of experience with CDBG entitlements (2011–2016) and 8 years (2008–2016) with CDBG Disaster Recovery programs, the applicant would include 5 and 8 under the relevant program topics. Then, for the total years for the CDBG program, the applicant would include 8 years to represent unduplicated years. When entering the number of years of experience relevant to each program/topic, include only whole numbers; do not include text or decimals.

For this chart, 1 year means “10 months or more.” For instance, if a person has 9 months of experience, that person would be considered to have 0 years of experience, while a person with 5 years, 11 months of experience would be considered to have 6 years of experience.

Note: There are two columns under the Additional section that require a Yes or No response, rather than a numeric answer: the “Completed Administration and Rental Housing Compliance Certification courses” column and the “Bilingual (Spanish)” column.

Questions and Inquiries

Respondents are encouraged to submit questions about this RFQ in writing to: FY2020NOFA@EconometricaInc.com. Please use the subject line “Your Name – FY2020 NOFA Questions.”

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Econometrica’s Legacy of Research for HUD

Econometrica’s Legacy of Research for HUD

Econometrica, Inc., has been providing support to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 2002. Almost since that beginning, we have produced many research publications, alone or in collaboration with other notable firms such as Abt Associates, Urban Institute, and ICF International. Our areas of research vary but often include program evaluation, in-depth analysis of American Housing Survey (AHS) data, and studies providing insights into implications of policy, programs, or regulations. Our work is most often produced for HUD’s Office of Policy Development & Research (PD&R).

Two of the leading authors of our research related to AHS are Dr. Frederick Eggers and Dr. Fouad Moumen. AHS is sponsored by HUD and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey is the most comprehensive national housing survey in the United States. They are renowned experts in this dataset and have been supporting work related to it for nearly their entire careers. Some of their works include:

In addition to their publications listed at PD&R, additional items may be found at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html. You can read more about Econometrica’s legacy of AHS work in this blog post.

Some of the other notable Econometrica-supported research includes:

All publications available online and produced for PD&R can be accessed at these links: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/taxonomy/term/2811 and https://www.huduser.gov/portal/taxonomy/term/3437.

We are proud of the important work we do and hope that our contributions to this research can improve design, increase knowledge, advance understanding, and inspire further investigation!

About Econometrica:
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.

HUD contracted Econometrica to provide these support services, including direct TA and group learning (training) across the HUD portfolio of housing agencies, which includes more than 3,500 PHAs. HUD Field Offices, a group of PHAs with similar needs, or an individual PHA could request TA from the project’s Government Technical Monitor.

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Econometrica’s Inaugural Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement Awarded in 2011

Econometrica’s Inaugural Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement Awarded in 2011

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/.

About Econometrica:
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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Our First Disaster Services Contract Awarded in 2005

Our First Disaster Services Contract Awarded in 2005

In 2005, Econometrica was awarded its first disaster assistance–related contract. Econometrica provided the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Public and Indian Housing with support services related to the implementation of the Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program and the follow-on Disaster Voucher Program, two programs that addressed the urgent housing needs of flood victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Econometrica provided data analysis, process development and documentation, funds control and quality assurance, and operational support to assist HUD in its implementation and management of the program. Econometrica’s specific responsibilities included database development, eligibility verification, social marketing, community outreach, and quality control efforts.

Econometrica was also responsible for identifying and informing HUD of housing vacancies to accommodate the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. We worked with public housing authorities, landlords, realty organizations, and others to obtain current housing vacancy data, and we created a website to provide this information quickly to Federal and local public housing personnel serving displaced households across the country. We also advised HUD about the reliability and usefulness of the vacancy data generally and made recommendations, as appropriate.

Econometrica has since gone on to provide other disaster-related services, including providing onsite subject matter expertise in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Joint Field Office to inform State, regional, and local economic recovery planning following extensive flooding and landslides in Colorado in September 2013. But our first encounter with the post-disaster landscape—and especially the human connections we forged—will forever serve as a reminder of the impact we can have when we connect our professional abilities with the real-world needs and time-sensitive demands that disasters create.

Note: Through February 28, 2018, Econometrica’s fundraising page to support the Central Texas Food Bank, including those affected by Hurricane Harvey, continues to accept donations. Recent reports indicate that there is still great need.

Econometrica was also responsible for identifying and informing HUD of housing vacancies to accommodate the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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Econometrica assists HUD with the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grantee Conference

Econometrica assists HUD with the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grantee Conference

Through Econometrica’s cooperative agreement work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), we once again provided conference planning and support services to the Choice Neighborhoods program in the Office of Public and Indian Housing.

Representatives from 17 implementation grantees gathered at the Crystal City Marriott in Crystal City, VA, on November 2–3, 2017. With approximately 100 people in attendance, the Econometrica three-person team provided onsite registration, presentation and related logistical support. Project Manager Doray Sitko also helped secure a professional facilitator to guide the event; supported the selection of presenters and content; and conducted a competitive procurement of the conference site and videographer services.

The conference topics included neighborhood transformation; public safety; employment; school readiness; Critical Community Improvements; placemaking; housing development; and case management for relocated residents. Conference materials, including videos and handouts, are now available at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/cn/cntechnicalassistance/convenings/fy17pgc.

With approximately 100 people in attendance, the Econometrica three-person team provided onsite registration, presentation and related logistical support.

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