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Human Service Agency Funding Program

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A division of Community Services

City of Longmont Community Services Department Seeks Requests for Proposals to Provide Housing Stabilization Services to Longmont Residents

The Community Services Department is soliciting Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from vendors who can provide support and services to assist Longmont residents who are struggling to retain their housing, at-risk of losing their housing, and/or who have temporarily lost their housing and need assistance to return to stable housing.

Scope of Services

The City is requiring vendors to offer a specific set of preventive services as it applies to housing loss. This includes short and long-term case management, subsidy allotment, landlord incentives, and conflict resolution. A detail summary of these services is included in the RFP.

Eligibility

Vendors with experience in providing housing stabilization and or related/similar services in the City of Longmont are eligible to submit responses to this RFP. Vendors must be based in the in City of Longmont or within Boulder County. They must demonstrate established relationships and knowledge of the local community, its clients, and its housing resources.

Deadline and Submittals

Interested entities should respond with a written proposal to include all information requested in the RFP. Complete proposals must be received or delivered by 5:00 p.m. on November 3, 2017 to:

Karen Roney, Community Services Director
City of Longmont
350 Kimbark Street
Longmont, CO 80501
[email protected]

Proposals must be received via mail, email, or delivered to the City of Longmont by the due date and time to be considered. Late proposals will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact Karen Roney at 303-651-8633 or by email: [email protected]

Download the RFP Documents

 

Overview

The City of Longmont is seeking services from an independent contractor(s) to assist Longmont residents who are struggling to retain their housing, at-risk of losing their housing, and/or who have temporarily lost their housing and need assistance to return to stable housing.

Recently released findings from the City’s 2016 Human Service Needs Assessment identified the most critical issue and service gap impacting Longmont residents was the lack of affordable housing. The market has driven housing costs upward, while some wages have stagnated and employers have downsized. About 13 percent of Longmont residents live in poverty. Sixty-two percent of low to moderate income households have high housing insecurity. In response, the City has designated a significant portion of its annual human service funding allocation in 2018 to address this most pressing concern.

Further investigation into the housing issues that Longmont residents are experiencing and what types of assistance would help residents stabilize their housing situation have also informed this Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Services to be provided with City funding include: case management; one-time and/or short-term financial assistance; outreach and early detection; landlord engagement; and mediation.

Background

In 2018, the City of Longmont is funding two initiatives, through an RFP process, to address these local housing challenges: 1) a county-wide initiative to address adult homelessness and 2) programs and subsidies to prevent it. The RFP to address adult homelessness has already been issued and a contract awarded. This RFP process is to select vendors to participate in the housing stabilization effort. Research repeatedly demonstrates that the cost to keep someone housed is far less than the high institutional cost surrounding people experiencing homelessness (i.e., shelter housing, emergency room visits, emergency medical service calls, police response, or jail).

As a follow-up to the City’s 2017 Human Services Needs Assessment Report, interviews were conducted with the non-profit providers regarding their clients’ housing needs. They were asked what burden housing costs were to their clients, the reasons that people lost their housing, and what might be done to prevent it. Providers identified the following reasons that housing is lost:

  • Housing is unaffordable: cost of living far outpace wages and there are too few quality income jobs available
  • Landlords are unwilling to take Housing Choice voucher clients and competition for rentals is fierce in the open market
  • Tenants are evicted for a variety of reasons
  • People don’t ask for help until it's too late; they are living one event away from catastrophe
  • People are denied housing for past behavior (felony conviction, bad credit history, previous eviction)

Providers indicated that prevention practices improve tenant retention. The reason someone loses housing is often due to factors beyond the failure to pay rent; local providers have found that clients face eviction or a non-renewal of a lease for a variety of non-financial reasons, including:

  • Landlord wants the tenant out so they can raise the rent to a new leasee
  • Non-compliance with lease agreement (e.g., sub-leasing without permission)
  • Lack of property upkeep, including hoarding
  • Too many family members in one household
  • Disruptive behavior, noise, fights, frequent police response
  • Contentious, belligerent behavior toward neighbors or management
  • Drug use
  • Domestic violence
  • Mental illness

Often, landlords’ unwillingness to take vouchers isn’t because of money (e.g. housing choice vouchers guarantee payment) but rather due to the undesirable behavior they’ve experienced with voucher holders. Non-profit providers have explained that if a landlord has an effective intermediary between them and a renter, they are more likely to retain the tenant. Various landlord incentives that address tenant behavior and property damage remediation may be effective. See Attachment A for a summary of data collected from providers and landlords.

Life challenges are often cumulative, and persons can face a number of barriers to housing stabilization. Case management can provide the necessary assessment and support that facilitates some improvement over life's domains. Without this support, rental subsidies may only be a Band-Aid solution. One-time (or limited) financial assistance may be more effective if flexible dollars are used to cover unanticipated or overdue bills, leaving the payment of rent the priority for the tenant.

 


General Notice: 2018 Human Service Agency Funding Cycle Begins August 10, 2017

The City of Longmont has opened its 2018 application process for human service grants to community agencies that assist our most vulnerable residents to meet their individual and family’s basic physical, social, economic and/or emotional needs.  Overall, funding will target a range of safety net services (that includes prevention, early invention and support services) that strengthen the following areas so individuals and families can stabilize and thrive:

Housing Stability: supporting a continuum of affordable housing options; helping people find and sustain stable housing.

Self-sufficiency and resilience: supporting households during tough economic times; helping households attain steady employment with livable wages and move toward self-sufficiency; and helping households remain as self-reliant as possible.

Food & Nutrition: helping households obtain adequate quantity and quality of food.

Health & Well-being: ensuring access to affordable medical, dental and mental health care.

Education & Skill Building: starting young and continuing throughout all stages of life, offering education, and skills training that are the building blocks of self-sufficiency. 

Safety and Justice: ensuring safe and supportive environments for vulnerable children and adults.

Eligibility:

The city will consider applications from private or public, not-for-profit or for-profit, non-governmental or governmental agencies that serve Longmont residents. All agencies must be legally incorporated entities in good standing.

Eligible agencies must primarily serve low and moderate-income Longmont residents, and must be able to document that their services benefit a significant number of Longmont residents.  Agencies that operate on a countywide or regional basis must also demonstrate how they successfully involve the Longmont community in planning and program development to most effectively address the needs of Longmont residents.

City of Longmont funding is intended to support direct service non-sectarian programs. These funds are not intended to be used as start-up money to establish a new human service agency or program, or for major capital purchases or facility improvements.

Important to Note:

The City of Longmont periodically conducts an assessment of its residents’ human service needs to determine any significant holes in our safety net and/or shifts in community trends. This assessment data is used to consider adjustments in funding strategies to address any significant imbalances in our safety net services, while still supporting a balanced array of services on which people rely today and the foreseeable future to achieve and/or maintain their health, well-being and self-reliance. 

The City completed its most recent assessment in 2017 and, as a result, it changed its focus areas for funding to the ones identified above (Housing Stability; Self-sufficiency & Resilience; Food & Nutrition; Health & Well-being; Education & Skill Building; and Safety and Justice).

Proposed programs must fall under one of these six impact areas to be considered for funding. However, making these modifications in the common grant application in e-CImpact required additional time and resources, and in order for staff to open the application process in early August, staff did not have adequate time to modify the Impact areas in the system for the 2018 funding cycle. Instead, staff has prepared an instructional document for applicant agencies to use as a guide for aligning City of Longmont’s new safety net pillars of individual and family stability with the existing impact areas, outcomes and indicators found on the 2018 Common Application form. This guide can be found in e-CImpact’s Resource Center.  Applicants can also contact Karen Roney or Lori Lucero for assistance.

Application Process

 All applicants must submit applications online using the city’s grant management system, e-CImpact, which is a collaborative application shared with the City of Boulder and Boulder County government.  

Agencies may submit a program application for more than one impact area, but can only submit one program application per impact area. 

For more information regarding the e-CImpact system or eligibility criteria, please contact:

Lori Lucero, City of Longmont, (303) 774-4339, [email protected]

Karen Roney, City of Longmont, (303) 651-8633, [email protected]

Review and Funding Process:

2018 application period closes at 4:30 pm, Friday, September 15, 2017.

All applications will be reviewed and considered by the Longmont Housing and Human Services Advisory Board (HHSAB), with recommendations presented to Longmont City Council for final approval.


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