CITY OF NORTHAMPTON: Request for Expressions of Interest

Administration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s McKinney Vento Supportive Housing Program and Lead Agent for the Three County Continuum of Care.

Background:    HUD McKinney Vento funds to assist and house people experiencing homelessness are channeled to the local level through regional planning bodies called Continuum’s of Care (CoC’s). The City of Northampton has served as the lead agent for the Three County Continuum of Care since 1997. The CoC is composed of Franklin County, Hampshire County and Hampden County with the exception of the City of Springfield. There are 20 CoC’s statewide.

Lead agency functions primarily consist of:

  • the operation of the Continuum of Care as a regional planning and implementation body focused on ending homelessness, and;
  • the administration and fiscal management of a Federal grant program

Due to a municipal department and staffing reconfiguration, the City of Northampton will no longer perform these functions.  The purpose of this RFI is to identify entities interested in continuing this work with vigor and serve what will be a newly configured Continuum of Care catchment area.

Status:   The City of Northampton will continue in its current capacity until a new entity can be named. Through a community dialogue, it has been determined that incorporating Hampden County geography and programming into the City of Springfield’s existing Continuum of Care is prudent and feasible. Therefore, this RFI will not include programs currently operating in Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield and the remainder of Hampden County. Those project sponsors (current vendors receiving McKinney Program funds) and Hampden County as a geographic area will be formally merged with the Springfield Continuum of Care. The administration of the existing Berkshire County Continuum of Care is also in flux. As a result, the geographic area addressed in this RFI is inclusive of Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties and the programming within.

Continuum of Care Lead Agent Responsibilities


Facilitate planning, implementation and coordination of services to at-risk and homeless individuals, families and unaccompanied youth within the region, as part of the Federal McKinney Vento Act and Hearth Amendment.

  • Implement the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness ( Berkshire & Pioneer Valley)
  • Work in coordination with the State initiated Western Massachusetts Regional Coordinating Network
  •  Play a leadership role with the Western MA Network (Leadership Council, Management Team, Steering Committee) and represent the Continuum at the Western Massachusetts Inter-Agency Council on Housing and Homelessness
  •  Coordinate activities with and provide information to the local jurisdictions  for HUD mandated Consolidated Plans to achieve goals to end homelessness

Specific Tasks

  • Prepare and electronically submit the annual application for funds
  • Participate in HUD sponsored CoC trainings to insure contract compliance
  • Oversee the CoC’s Homeless Management Information System to insure compliance with HUD requirements and regulations
  • Conduct annual Point in Time counts of those experiencing homelessness and their characteristics for HUD reporting and program planning
  • Update Housing Inventory Chart (HIC) annually to reflect current bed capacity and type; determine unmet need for HUD reporting and program planning
  • Utilize the HMIS system for program planning and assessment purposes and to track and quantify CoC progress towards ending homelessness
  • Submit Annual AHAR (Annual Homelessness Assessment Report)
  • Plan and facilitate monthly CoC meetings
  • Attend and participate in statewide  CoC meetings as needed
  • Facilitate State Department of Housing and Community Development CoC implementation requirements for the Emergency Solutions Grant
  • Pursue CoC Self-Assessment/Check-Up tool requirement from to receive technical assistance from HUD and prepare for future funding applications

Continuum of Care Grants Administration Responsibilities:


Responsible for financial management of the McKinney Vento Supportive Housing Program, insuring compliance with all Federal grant recipient and reporting requirements. Requires sound financial management system and trained personnel.

Specific Tasks

  • Prepare and monitor annual sub-recipient new project and renewal contracts
  • Monitor expenditures to guarantee consistency with grant contracts and federal regulations regarding eligible expenses
  • Prepare and draw HUD funds in compliance with timeliness requirements
  • Prepare and submit all required HUD financial reports relating to project close out at fiscal year-end and other reports as required
  • Prepare budget and contract amendments
  • Review invoices for accuracy and prepare monthly bill warrant(s)
  • Responsible for periodic reconciliation with HUD and agency to ensure accounts are in balance
  • Maintain records needed for agency and HUD audits


Franklin and Hampshire Counties

HMIS Data Collection Project/ $68,080 annually from HUD; $84,289 with required cash match (cash match contributed annually by McKinney grantees).

Silver Street Inn/ Transitional housing for 11 homeless individuals in recovery in Greenfield.  ServiceNet/   $200,529 annually.

Franklin/Hampshire Permanent Housing/ Funds 9 permanent housing units for formerly homeless.  ServiceNet/  $100,527 annually.

Franklin/Hampshire Transitional Housing and Mobile Outreach Team/ Funds 9 scattered transitional housing sites with support services and mobile outreach.  ServiceNet/  $242,300 annually.

* Shelter Plus Care North/ 22 units of scattered site housing for homeless. Mental Health Association. Franklin and Hampshire counties. $726,240 for rental subsidies for 5 years.

United Veterans of America Housing Program/ Soldier On: Operating costs for TH program at VA Campus in Northampton.     $72,450 annually.

Vets Village/ Soldier On: Permanent housing for formerly homeless Veterans.   $51,675

Paradise Pond Apartments/ 12 units of affordable family housing with 4 earmarked for formerly homeless in Northampton. HAP/  $22,312 annually for operations.

Go West SRO/ Rehab of 19 SRO units/ 7 for homeless at the Go West property in Northampton. Valley Community Development Corporation/  $331,800 for 10 years of rental subsidies administered by the Northampton Housing Authority.

AidsCare of Hampshire County/ new project starting July 1, 2012. 10 units of permanent housing with support services. $111,348 annually.

Berkshire County

HMIS Data Collection Project/ $12,000. Serving all of Berkshire County.

Louison House/Transitional housing for 10 homeless individuals and 3 families in North Adams.  Family Life Support Center. Target Area: Northern Berkshire County. $136,491 annually.

Adult Independent Living Program/Transitional housing for 10 homeless individuals in Great Barrington.  Construct/ Target Area: South Berkshire County. $41,200 annually.

Barton’s Crossing/Transitional housing for 13 homeless individuals in Pittsfield.

Berkshire Community Action Council/ $133,190 annually.

Our Friends House/Transitional Housing for 2 families in Pittsfield. Berkshire Community Action Council. $34,988 annually.

Summer Street I/Permanent supportive housing for 3 individuals. Berkshire Community Action Council.   $26,700 annually.

Summer Street II/Permanent supportive housing for 3 individuals. Berkshire Community Action Council.   $26,700 annually (under development).

Project Reach/Permanent supportive housing for 3 individuals in Great Barrington.   Construct.  Target Area: South Berkshire County $26,397 annually.

Family Life Support Permanent Housing/ Permanent supportive housing for 3 homeless individuals in North Adams.  Family Life Support Center. Target Area: Northern  Berkshire County. $26,833 annually.

Family Life Support Permanent Housing/ Permanent housing for 3 families in North Adams. Family Life Support Center. Target area: Northern Berkshire County.

$27,650 annually.

* Note: HUD requires the Shelter Plus Care projects to be administered by

municipalities or housing authorities. Such an arrangement may need to be

made depending on the type of entity selected.

Grant Administration Fees Available from HUD

Most grants allow 5% for administration fees. The current arrangement for Hampshire Franklin (Three County Continuum) splits the fee;  2.5% each for the City of Northampton and the project sponsor. Berkshire project sponsors currently receive the entire 5%. HUD requires that at least half of the fee be passed on to the project sponsor.

Based on the current inventory of projects, the administration fee that will come to the new entity is:

$ 22,261 for Franklin Hampshire projects in FY 13

$   2,287 admin. In HMIS grant for City

$ 24,548 for Franklin Hampshire

$ 11,068 for Berkshire County Projects

Therefore, the current amount of administration fees available from HUD

for Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire projects is       $ 35,616.00

Between the two HUD HMIS annual project awards (one for Berkshire and one for Franklin/Hampshire) there are sufficient funds ($96,289) to carry out the HMIS program component and satisfy HUD requirements. However, the remaining funds may not be adequate to address the grants administration and planning functions. An effort will be made to work with the selected entity to establish a broader base of annual support by engaging area stakeholders.

Selection Criteria

  • Dedication to pursuing and implementing a regional solution for ending homelessness
  • History of engaging in regional planning processes, building consensus and constituencies to achieve goals
  • Successful experience with Federal and State grants administration (no audit findings)

Submission Process

Please submit a 3-5 page response addressing the following:

Reason for submission

  • Agency experience in areas of housing and homelessness
  • Experience with strategic planning/ implementation
  • Experience with grants administration, fiscal capacity

Please submit the response, either via hard copy or electronically, to:

Peg Keller, Housing and Community Development Planner
City of Northampton
210 Main Street
Northampton MA 01060
or [email protected]

By noon on June 22nd, 2012.

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