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REVISED: FY 2009 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Refugee Emergency Housing Assistance Funding


Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
April 21, 2009

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Announcement issuance date: Monday, April 20, 2009

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12:00 (noon) p.m. (EDT).
Proposals must be submitted through Grants.gov. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: Grants.gov is expected to experience higher than normal volume of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to avoid submission delays.

Proposed Program Start Date: July 1, 2009.

Duration of Activity: An initial period beginning July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009 subject to the availability of funds.

This document contains the following sections:

I. Purpose and Background of Refugee Emergency Housing Assistance (REHA)
II. Program Objectives
III. Funding and Funding Procedures
IV. Eligible Applicants
V. Application Procedures
VI. Submission Procedures
VII. Proposal Evaluation Process
VIII. PRM Point of Contact


Appendix: Proposal Submission Instructions

I. Purpose and Background of Refugee Emergency Housing Assistance
The Bureau is providing refugee emergency housing assistance (REHA) to assist the most vulnerable refugees that have extreme unmet housing needs in paying rent and other associated housing costs during their first 90 days in the U.S.

The purpose of REHA is to provide approximately $5 million in emergency housing assistance to refugees (defined as persons admitted to the United States under section 207(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, or persons to whom eligibility for the resettlement assistance available to individuals admitted under section 207(c) has been extended by statute (hereinafter collectively referred to as “refugees”)), which were admitted to the U.S. in fiscal year (FY) 2009.

In response to this request for proposals (REHA) will be provided through a one-time assistance award to public or private non-profit agencies (hereinafter referred to as “Recipients”) currently participating in the Reception and Placement Program (R&P) managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State (hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”). This funding serves to complement the U.S. Reception and Placement Program, the purpose of which is to promote the effective resettlement of all persons who are admitted to the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as quickly as possible.

II. Program Objectives

 

  • Proposals should focus on unmet needs and not duplicate or supplant programs available under any other Federal source of funding.

 

  • Proposals should provide a plan for determining refugee eligibility for direct emergency housing assistance and a reporting format outlining how and on behalf of which refugees these funds have been utilized.

 

  • Budgets should reflect a plan for allocation and implementation through existing Recipient structures.

 

  • In addition to distributing these funds, affiliates of successful Recipients should also be working to develop long-term housing solutions by creating linkages with both national and local housing assistance programs and other sources of funding. The Bureau is particularly interested in proposals that demonstrate local collaboration and a focus on long-term solutions.

 

  • Recipients must demonstrate that refugees receiving REHA are actively participating in R&P activities or required activities in any other benefit program in which they are enrolled or have documented extenuating circumstances that prevent them from actively participating. This funding should be administered in a manner that would not adversely affect refugee eligibility for other programs and benefits.

III. Funding and Funding Procedures

The Bureau plans to enter into up to ten cooperative agreements for a period beginning July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, subject to the availability of funds. Through the assistance award, the Bureau will provide funding to the selected organizations, based on proposals submitted in response to this request. This financial support is a one-time emergency allocation and will not be renewable.

Funds awarded in response to this announcement shall be for reimbursement of direct emergency housing assistance cost incurred only. No indirect costs will be reimbursed under these awards.

IV. Eligibility

To be considered for participation, applicants must:

a. Have a current cooperative agreement for participation in the Department of State’s FY 2009 Reception and Placement Program;
b. Describe, in detail, how funding will be distributed through their existing network and how eligibility for receipt of housing assistance will be determined;
c. Demonstrate financial stability and ability to administer this one-time assistance award.
Failure to satisfy any of the three required qualifications above will preclude further consideration for participation. Note: Receipt of prior funding from the Bureau does not guarantee participation for this funding opportunity.

V. Application Procedures

Each organization applying for funding in response to this announcement must submit all information as requested. (Note: All pages of the proposal, including appendices, should be numbered in a single, consecutive numbering system.)

Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this funding announcement will not be considered for funding. If the Bureau requests clarification regarding information included in a proposal, failure to provide this information by the date specified on what may also preclude further consideration of the proposal.

If your application consists of multiple files refer to Grants.gov guidance for file naming conventions: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/submit_application_faqs.jsp#6

A few tips:

  • Limit file attachment name. File attachment names longer than approximately 50 characters can cause problems to Grants.gov processing the application package.
  • Use numbers to indicate correct sequence. ( example, 1_proposal.doc; 2_budgetnarrative.doc)
  • Do not use any special characters (example: %, /, #) or spacing in the file name or for word separation. The exception is an underscore which Grants.gov says can be used in naming attachments. (example: my Attached_File.pdf)

Note: If these guidelines are not followed, Grants.gov may reject your proposal.

VI. Submission Procedures:

Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience high than normal volume of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to avoid submission delays. We recommend that organizations submit applications via Grants.gov at least one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in your application not being considered.

If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officer Irving Jones at (202) 736-9250 or JonesJI2@state.gov immediately to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

The Bureau will fax each agency a letter confirming receipt of the documents. An agency not receiving this acknowledgement within five days after submitting its request should immediately notify Irving Jones at (202) 736-9250.
 

VII. Proposal Evaluation Process

PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions to determine the extent to which an organization’s capacity meets the Bureau’s goals and objectives for REHA as mentioned above and in accordance with factors listed below.

The Bureau may request revisions before a cooperative agreement is finalized. If the Bureau requests revisions or amendments to the proposal post-submission, these re-submitted or revised documents will become part of the Cooperative Agreement.

The panel will evaluate eligible proposals according to the following ranking factors (100 points possible):

  1. Proposed plan for distribution of housing assistance funds through existing Reception and Placement network and a plan for determining refugee eligibility for REHA. (35 points)
  2. Documented organizational capacity to manage and administer funds including demonstrated knowledge, experience, and fiscal responsibility. (25 points)
  3. Detailed and cost-effective budget. (15 points)
  4. Proposed reporting format outlining how and on behalf of which refugees these funds have been utilized. (25 points)

The panel will present its recommendations to the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, who will make the final award determinations.

VIII. PRM Point of Contact:

Should organizations have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Informal feedback from PRM does not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.):

PRM/Admissions Program Officer: Irving Jones at (202) 736-9250 or JonesJI2@state.gov, Washington, D.C.

Appendix: Proposal Submission Instructions

Applicants should adhere to the following guidelines when preparing proposals:

  • All documents in the proposal should be submitted electronically on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages with one-inch margins.
  • All documents in the proposal must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • All pages of the proposal must be numbered. Page numbers should restart at “page 1” for each separate file/attachment (Excel or Word Document) that is submitted. Applicants must adhere to page limitations as described in the detailed instructions below.
  • Sections within each narrative should be sequential as directed in the detailed instructions below.

Required Information
Required Forms (Instructions accompany each form in the electronic Grant Application Package):

  1. OMB Standard Form 424 (Version 02)-- Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 02 form can be found at: http://www.grants.gov/techlib/424_20090131.doc)
  2. OMB Standard Form 424 A -- Budget Information - Non Construction Programs
  3. OMB Standard Form 424 B -- Assurances - Non Construction Programs

Other Required Information (Instructions detailed below):


  • Project Narrative
  • Budget
  • Budget Narrative
  • Organization and Program Key Staff

 

A. PROJECT NARRATIVE

Organizations applying for funding in response to this announcement must submit a Project Narrative containing the information specified below. Each section I – II of the Project Narrative should be subtitled and numbered to correspond with the required information sections below. Each portion of the narrative should not exceed the number of pages indicated in the corresponding parentheses below. Please note that page numbers should be sequential for the entirety of the Project Narrative and should not restart with each section of required information. Submit the Project Narrative as an attachment by selecting the “Project Narrative Attachment Form” in the Grant Application Package.

I. Approach (Maximum 4 pages)

Each applicant should fully and clearly describe (a) the need for refugee housing assistance; (b) a plan for distribution of housing assistance funds through existing Reception and Placement networks and (c) a plan for determining refugee eligibility for funds. Applicants must ensure that:
• Housing assistance is provided only to refugees that arrive in FY2009 and are still within 90 days of their arrival date.
• Recipients must demonstrate that refugees receiving REHA are actively participating in R&P activities or required activities in any other benefit program in which they are enrolled or have documented extenuating circumstances that prevent them from actively participating.
• Funding is focused on unmet needs and does not duplicate or supplant programs available under any other Federal source of funding.
• This funding does not prevent refugees from eligibility for other programs and benefits.

II. Reporting (Maximum 2 pages)

Applicant fully and clearly describes a reporting format that includes (a) the number of refugees receiving assistance by case size, case number, amount of funds spent for each case, length of time the finding covers, how needs will be met for each case in the future and (b) how affiliates are working to develop long term housing solutions by creating linkages with national and/or local housing assistance programs and other sources of funding.

B. BUDGET
The budget should include columns reflecting the Bureau (federal) and other (non-federal) funding sources as well as the total funding need. Each applicant should provide a breakdown of sources of any non-federal funding and the amounts. This breakdown should correspond to the amount of non-federal funding included in the budget.
The following provides guidance for the preparation of budget submission.

Personnel and Fringe Benefits
N/A

Travel
N/A

Equipment/Furniture
N/A

Office Supplies
N/A

Professional Fees
N/A

Space/Utilities
N/A

Other

Include estimate of REHA requirements including number of assistance awards, average assistance amount, and range of assistance amounts to be provided.

Overhead
N/A

C. BUDGET NARRATIVE (Maximum 3 pages.)

The Budget Narrative should describe in full detail the applicant’s experience and capacity to provide funding to affiliates under the terms and conditions of this funding announcement. The Budget Narrative should thoroughly and clearly describe each item, correspond with the information and figures provided on an accompanying Excel budget format, be easy to follow and understand, demonstrate cost reasonableness and that calculations are mathematically correct, and comply with guidelines and limitations.

B. ORGANIZATION AND PROGRAM KEY STAFF

Applicants should refer to the detailed organizational staffing plan from the current R&P cooperative agreement and should demonstrate how that staffing plan will allow the applicant to administer REHA. List on this attachment all staff members that will be associated with REHA, including the hours per week each will spend performing these tasks, and a description of the duties performed.
 



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