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Pre-Application Best Practices Training

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Presentation on theme: "Pre-Application Best Practices Training"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pre-Application Best Practices Training
Prepared by NCALL Research, Inc. Updated February 2009

2 Throughout this slide presentation, NCALL’s recommended “best practices” will be denoted with a *BP.

3 Introduction

4 Pre-Application’s purpose, to demonstrate:
What’s the Difference Between a Pre-Application and a Final Application? Pre-Application’s purpose, to demonstrate: Need for the self-help program in an area(s) Organizational capability Organizational eligibility If approved, organization can begin working on the 523 Application Preparing the 523 Pre-Application can take up to one year *BP RD does not reimburse for funds expended before the grant period begins!

5 Organizations must pay for:
The cost of developing the 523 Pre-Application Feasibility study Program and organizational development Preparing the 523 Pre-Application *BP Seek other funds or raise funds from other sources

6 Rural Development Four office levels National Office State Office
Develops policy, interacts with Congress, approves applications State Office Allocates 502 funds based on a state formula, approves smaller grants Area Office Responsible for the 523 grant Local Office Makes and monitors the 502 loans, co-signer for checking accounts, construction inspections

7 RD provides administrative and loan funds
Expects grantees to carry out grant agreement *BP A grantees working relationship with RD is critical to the success of the program

8 NCALL and You NCALL is available throughout the application process and in administering the self-help program *BP Use us as a resource anytime assistance is needed

9 B. Pre-Application Format

10 Required Format The pre-application:
Format is very important Is required by RD to be in a specified order Must be submitted in a three-ring binder with table of contents and tabbed sections *BP Use NCALL’s Pre-App checklist as your guide

11 1a. Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance, Version 2”
First form that the reviewer of your application will see It should provide RD with: How many homes to be built During what period of time In what areas With what funds

12 These blank forms can be obtained from:
State or Area RD office NCALL Research, Inc. *BP Want it fillable? Go to

13 1b. Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants
This survey helps to ensure that the government is fairly distributing grant funds See Guide for sample

14 2. Intergovernmental Review Submittal
Intergovernmental Review, State Point of Contact (SPOC) List fosters intergovernmental partnership and strengthens federalism For list of appropriate contacts, see Guide or visit

15 3. Previous Experience RD requires that the organization have the financial, legal, and administrative capacity to carry out the responsibilities of the Grant Agreement vs.

16 *BP A narrative statement about the organization’s previous experience and capacity to carry out the Grant Agreement is required. It may include: Summaries of previous and current RD funded programs Summaries of previous and current other programs Description of current capabilities Experience or capability of relevant staff and Board members Objectives of the organization One must be “Production of affordable housing”

17 4. Evidence of Organization
A copy of the provisions of state law under which the corporation was organized, or an accurate reference to the provisions organized under Articles of Incorporation (certified, signed and dated) Bylaws (certified, signed and dated) Board list (5+, names, addresses, titles) Certificate of Incorporation 501(c)(3) certificate Evidence of good standing from Secretary of State If another organization is a member of your organization – its name, address and principal business If not formally organized, submit proposed documents

18 5. Authorized Representative of Applicant
Provide the name, address and official position of the applicant’s representative that is authorized to act for the applicant and work with RD

19 6. Information About Sponsor
A sponsor is an organization that must have the background, experience and financial ability to help your organization in applying for the 523 Grant and in carrying out the responsibilities of the Grant Agreement A written agreement must be shown to RD A narrative of sponsor’s experience and capabilities is required (same organizational information as required in Section 3) If no sponsor, indicate “Not Applicable”

20 7. Current Financial Statement
A financial statement is required and should be prepared by an accountant (or sponsor’s accountant), and must be no more than 12 months old It must be dated and signed by the Executive Director or Board President Specific nature of assets and liabilities must be identified An audit may be used in lieu of financial statement

21 8. Narrative Statement The narrative statement should begin with a short paragraph that summarizes: How many homes are being planned What area they will be built How much grant funds are being requested What time period is planned (usually 24 months but can be less) NARRATIVE STATEMENT

22 A description of the area to be served is needed
*BP Include maps, population and housing statistics *BP Collect current data, include only what supports the need Sources: U.S. Census, State Housing Finance Authority, local government housing plan, area housing authorities, area Board of Realtors

23 Include housing conditions and why families need self-help housing
*BP Analyze your data for comprehension. What does it show? Growth? Substandard housing? Income qualifications? Vacant rentals? Cost of housing? A need occurs when very low and low income families want their own homes but adequate, affordable housing is not available to them!

24 *BP Prove affordability!
Estimate the cost of the self-help homes to the participants Give estimate of monthly principle, interest, taxes, insurance (PITI) payments and total debt ratios Compare this figure to the cost of homes in the area

25 Provide evidence of low-income families willing to contribute labor
Document names, addresses, number in household, total annual incomes and date of contact *BP NCALL recommends that organizations obtain at least twice as many potential participants and would be needed to complete the grant *BP Include a statement on the list that the participants have had the program explained to them and are interested in participation and providing required own labor See sample form in Guide

26 Evidence of community support is required
Include letters of support from local officials, individuals and community organizations *BP Develop and distribute brochures or fact sheets. Develop a relationship with the media. Know the benefits and drawbacks of the program. You will be asked!

27 Benefits of community support:
Help organization with leveraging additional dollars for incorporation and start up Provide needed political support from town and county governments Help create a positive self-help housing image

28 Sources of community support:
Those in need of improved housing Town and county governments Churches/religious groups Civic organizations Social service agencies Other nonprofits General public Business/industry sectors Media

29 9. Outreach Plan for Very Low Income
A plan is required of how you propose to reach the very low income families It is important to reach families that are living in housing that is deteriorated, dilapidate, over crowded or lacking in adequate plumbing VLI- Minimum of 40% of total families building in program must be VLI Develop a marketing strategy that will reach and recruit the families needed for your program Very Low Income (VLI) – 50% of area median income or below Low Income (LI) – Between 51 – 80% of area median income

30 10. Budget Information – Non Construction
SF – 424A Budget Narrative Method of TA Costs

31 *BP Also include a detailed budget and a budget narrative
Proposed budget must be on form SF-424A, “Budget Information (Non-Construction Programs)” Use the example in Guide to complete this form or go to *BP Also include a detailed budget and a budget narrative This will come in handy when completing the Final Application

32 Prohibited use of funds:
Authorized expenses: Personnel salaries Reasonable office expenses and supplies Employment benefit costs Purchase or lease of power tools Insurance Reasonable fees for training Consultant and legal fees Annual audits Prohibited use of funds: Paying for labor on the houses Purchasing real estate or building materials for the families Paying any debts, expenses or costs to the participants Any lobbying activities prohibited in OMB Circular A-122

33 See Guide for: SF 424A (rev. 7/97) and instructions
*BP Preliminary Budget Preparation Guide *BP Budget Worksheet *BP Sample Budget Narrative

34 National Self-Help Housing Directors Association (NSHHDA)
An organization consisting of self-help housing grantees across the nation unified by voice and cause Annual dues are required to join the association and are allowable under the Section 523 Self-Help Housing Grant Dues help to lobby Congress for increased funding and improved laws to assist the cause of rural housing

35 Current annual dues for NSHHDA:
523 Grant Amount Dues 0 - $200, $200 $200,001 - $500,000 $300 $500,001 - $1,000,000 $400 Over $1 million $500 *BP Don’t forget to add this expense into your budget!

36 11. Determination of TA Grant Amount
Maximum TA Amount Calculation is required A letter from RD identifying what the EVMH is for proposed counties TA Cost is the technical assistance (TA) cost per house and is a guide that RD uses to estimate reasonable cost of a self-help program TA cost = Total grant amount / # of houses organization proposes to build Example: $228,000 / 12 homes = $19,000 maximum TA cost per house

37 Method A: The Equivalent Value of Modest Housing (EVMH) x 15% x Number of Homes Proposed = Maximum TA Budget $________ x .15 x _____ = $_____________ Example: EVMH = $115,500 x .15 = $17,325 (TA per home) x 12 homes = $207,900 (amount of grant request)

38 *BP Use worksheet on page 83 to calculate maximum per unit TA amount
Method B: EVMH – Average mortgage - $1,000 = Maximum TA cost per house (This can only be used by experienced grantees or those who know what their mortgages will be.) Example: $128,000-$105,000-$1,000=$22,000 Method C: Amount established by the State Director to accomplish a particular goal *BP Use worksheet on page 83 to calculate maximum per unit TA amount

39 *BP Do a realistic budget before determining your TA grant amount to see if your budget is truly realistic and falls within RD’s guidelines The TA Grant amount depends on organization’s experience and capacity Maximum amount for any grant period will be limited to a certain TA cost per house

40 12. Preliminary Land Survey
Proof of available lots *BP Include at least the minimum amount of lots for the Pre-Application Use MLS listings or deeds if the land is already owned *BP Include narrative detailing expected cost and anticipated development Maps showing local and regional area are also required

41 During Final Application, you will need to show RD proof of control of lots or access to suitable building sites as defined by RD The more work that you do now, the less that you will have to do later *BP Land is a scarce resource; suitable land even more scarce. Many programs have failed or gotten off to a rough start due to land delays. Work closely with RD to find possible lots.

42 *BP Subdivisions are time consuming, come with many delays and have too many unknown variables. If possible, find developed lots for your first grant.

43 13. Other Applicant Activities & Indirect/Direct Cost
List all of the other activities that the organization is engaged in and expects to continue Include brief description of the programs and organizations role in them Indirect cost rate or direct cost allocation plan required Document the indirect cost rate or the lack thereof If an organization has never obtained an indirect cost rate, grantee must submit the indirect or direct cost policy with the 523 pre-application Prepare proposal for submission to DOI for approval DOI will not review proposal until grant is approved

44 Direct Cost Allocation
Indirect Cost Mechanism used by federal government Recommended when shared costs become impractical to be charged directly to various funding sources Direct Cost Allocation Used by single funded organizations or those which can track costs consistently RD has a contract with Department of Interior’s National Business Center to approve cost policies

45 Cognizant agency Usually the largest federal funding source of an organization Acts on behalf of all other federal agencies in approving an organization’s indirect cost rate or direct cost allocation plan RD has contracted with the Department of Interior’s National Business Center (DOI) DOI may help design and will have to approve the cost plan Indirect cost rate is proposed to the cognizant agency and then an agreement is reached If the USDA RD 523 grant is the largest federal funding source, the indirect cost rate proposal and/or cost allocation plan needs to be submitted to DOI

46 *BP Expedite application processing by:
*BP When comparing which method to use, consider the time and money required to achieve the greater degree of accuracy, avoiding inconsistent costing *BP Expedite application processing by: Including a cover letter stating that your organization currently receives funds from USDA RD Include the most recent audited financial statements Need more information or sample forms? Go to:

47 *BP Remember teamwork, if assistance is needed in developing a plan, contact NCALL, RD or the DOI for help See Guide for Sample Allocation of Shared Costs Using a Direct Cost Allocation System See Guide for Sample Allocation of Shared Costs Using a Indirect Cost Rate System

48 14. Pre-Development Grant Assistance Request
Pre-Development Funds Purpose is to provide funds to develop a 523 final grant application Available once for a defined area (for existing or potential grantees) Requesting organization must lack the financial resources necessary to develop the final application Grants are for up to $10,000 for up to six months

49 If requesting pre-development funds include:
Brief narrative identifying the need, amount of funds needed and projected time period Budget You may request up to $10,000 for up to 6 months If not requesting pre-developing funds include: Include a sentence to that effect in the pre-application

50 If funding is available and the pre-application is reviewed and approved, the RD State Director may approve the request Pre-development grant is not figured in the TA cost per unit Detailed accounting records of these funds must be maintained Authorized and prohibited uses of pre-development funds same as those of 523 grant *BP See Guide for sample request

51 15. HUD Fair Housing Marketing Plan 935.2B (8/2006)
Affirmative Far Housing Marketing Plan HUD Form 935.2b, required for self-help program Follow instructions Use accurate information Marketing plan designed to attract those “least likely to apply” Special outreach for those groups required Plan approved and monitored by Rural Development See Form in Guide

52 16. Civil Rights Impact Analysis Certification, Form RD 2006-38
2006-P, (b) Complete this form and include it in the application

53 17. Compliance Review (Pre-award)
Form RD 400-8 Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

54 18. Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant Pre-Development Agreement
1944-I, Exhibit D Sign and include this form if requesting Pre-Development Grant Do not date Will be dated when executed by RD See Guide for Agreement If not requesting Pre-Development Grant, include this section but write “Not Applicable”

55 19. Authorizing Resolution
A resolution must be adopted by the Board of Directors: Authorizing one or more specified persons are authorized to act on organization’s behalf It must state that they are able to: Sign the Grant Agreement, 1994-I, Exhibit A Sign Form RD “Assurance Agreement” Work with RD on the self-help program Must include authorized person’s name, title, address

56 20. RD Managers’ or Area Managers’ Recommendation
Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

57 21. T&MA Contractor’s Review and Recommendation
Hold a section for this to be added later by RD Required under National Office Contract

58 22. OGC Review (if necessary)
If necessary, RD may send organizational documents for OGC for their review Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

59 23. Review Action and Letter of Conditions
Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

60 24. Request for Obligation of Funds Form RD
Include this completed form, RD At item 45, on the back, have the authorized representative sign and date two copies of the form See Guide for sample

61 C. Putting the Pre-Application Together

62 Putting the Pre-Application Together
*BP Use the RD Checklist for order and format *BP Include Table of Contents and tab the sections to make the information easier to locate *BP Check every page for completeness, signatures and dates (RD will return the pre-application if it is not complete and in order of the Table of Contents) REJECTED PRE-APPLICATION!

63 *BP NCALL recommends that organizations send their pre-application to us first
This is considered a “DRAFT” We perform a “DRAFT” review that will give you feedback on content and completion Make adjustments “Draft” is now an “Official” Pre-Application

64 *BP Make three copies of the “Official” Pre-Application
Official and two copies goes to RD office designated to receive the grant application You keep a copy! RD will keep a copy and send NCALL a copy for review NCALL’s review must be completed within 15 calendar days NCALL’s review letter goes to the State Director You cannot send or give NCALL a copy!

65 The review process should take 60 days or less
RD does their review only if the application is complete! RD verifies that a need exists and that adequate resources will be available for the program

66 Approval If complete, State Director requests approval from National Office Once obligated, AD-622 and Letter of Conditions issued *BP When you receive notice, notify NCALL so we can set up future training (forward to us a copy of the grant agreement)

67 D. Developing a Self-Help Housing Program / Know the Program

68 Developing a Self-Help Housing Program
*BP Be realistic. Go into the process with your eyes open *BP Know that this is a lengthy process *BP Recognize the commitment of staff and board time *BP Be aware that housing is a political animal and requires community support *BP Don’t expect overnight success *BP Set realistic expectations

69 *BP Be committed and serious about developing a self-help program
Housing will need to be a priority for you Accountabilities are high Strive to meet time frames set Recognize fiscal responsibilities and advantages of self-help housing for your organization

70 *BP Other ingredients to develop a successful self-help housing program include:
Obtain all applicable housing regulations Subscribe to or request housing publications such as HAC News, NRHC Legislative Update, NCALL’s Self-Helper Have access to federal and state registers Join the mailing list of your state housing finance agency

71 Build a housing resource library
Join your state housing coalitions Join local and state chapters of NAHRO, CHRB, etc. Know your local housing market Provide proper orientations and training of the program for board and staff Visit another self-help housing organization

72 Program Decisions *BP Determine the number of homes to build
Be very realistic! Consider availability of suitable building sites Consider need for housing in your selected area Consider number of persons eligible to participate

73 *BP Determine ways in which to reach very-low income
Know your target market This will help you determine methods of outreach, time needed, manpower necessary and cost There is more on recruitment later in the training

74 *BP Determine staff needs and size
Should correlate with number of homes to be built Traditionally, staff consists of ¾ people: Executive Director/Project Director Group Coordinator/Loan Packager Secretary/Bookkeeper Construction Supervisor

75 Know the Program *BP RD instructions provide policy, guide, and basis for the program operations. Be familiar with them. Use the internet as needed to look up regulations and information, /regs/ *BP Know 1944-I! Please refer to the manual for a list of other regulations to become familiar with

76 *BP You can print out the 1944-I and HB but these instructions change often, so we encourage the use of the internet

77 Project Planning and Management
SH project have a beginning and an end Should be carried out with the intent of meeting established program goals Costs, time schedule, and objectives are predetermined Project vs. Organizational Project decisions approached differently than organizational Project focuses on specific time and results vs. organizations plan to exist indefinitely Projects need part-time resources vs. organizations need resources full-time

78 *BP Four phases of project management
Conceiving and defining – feasibility and pre-application Planning – final application stage Implementing – grant closing to grant close out (1-2 years) Completing and evaluating – happens internally by management and the Board and externally by RD with Final Evaluation

79 Planning the Project Planning is crucial in project management
Not a to do list Plan transforms work from a series of steps into a bundle of responsibilities for results A good plan tells you where you are going, how to get there and how you know that you have arrived

80 Planning the Project Planning Steps Establish project objectives
Choose basic strategy for achieving the objective Subdivide project into subunits or steps Design necessary staffing pattern Design cost for each subunit A good budget’s main function is to monitor the cost and to avoid overruns You cannot estimate cost until you break down the budget into line-items. Determine what training is needed for team members Develop necessary policies and procedures Develop a plan of action

81 Participant Recruitment & Program Marketing

82 Introduction *BP No matter what happens, remember these three rules:
Do not get discouraged Try something new Plan ahead

83 Developing a Recruitment Plan
Step 1 - Know Your Target Market Where is your targeted market located? Work, church, home, clubs, PTA, etc. What media reaches them? Radio, TV, newspaper, etc. Where do they go and when? Laundromats, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, daycare, community events Who are your community partners? Social service agencies, lenders, rental agencies, realtors

84 Step Two – Analyze the Information
Ask the people who respond to recruitment efforts Ask social service agencies Step Two – Analyze the Information Review the data collected to determine where and how to reach most families

85 Step Three – Investigate
Contact organizations, employers, churches, radio stations, newspapers, etc. Get the word out about your program! What are your costs? Are there other FREE methods available?

86 Step Four – Plan and Make Decisions
Can you delegate tasks? Do you have to do everything yourself? What are your time frames and dates for objectives? Cost is also very important. What does your marketing and advertising budget look like? How can you make your program its most effective? Refer back to “Recruitment Methods” for some ideas

87 Step Five – Develop a Message
Before contacting the media or producing brochures, know what you want to say The message is not and should not be intended to tell everything about the program. All advertisements must have the equal housing opportunity logotype or slogan on them

88 Five elements of a good message: Attract Attention – Create interest
Stress Advantages & Benefits of the Self-Help Housing Program Prove What you Say is True Persuade Ask for Action 88

89 An “Attention Getter” is needed to create interest Could be a photo
Attract Attention An “Attention Getter” is needed to create interest Could be a photo Use of color Exciting statement or question 89

90 Stress Advantages and Benefits
Product – the home itself Price – Low cost of the home, Low interest rate, Families save money Self - Learning skills, improving their life, becoming independent Make a list and prioritize the benefits for your potential participants 90

91 Benefits of Self-Help Housing
Means different things to different people Decide which aspects are important to your targeted market Incorporate these aspects into the message Do not incorporate too many benefits

92 Sample Chart of Potential Benefits
Self – Stress Improvements Sense of accomplishment Independence Improving yourself Doing better for yourself Security. Happiness. Better, safer environment for family Develop construction/maintenance skills Product – Stress Advantage Modern convenient, well built Energy-efficient Quality materials Maintenance free Designed to meet your needs Modern appliances Price – Stress Value House payments based on ability to pay No down payment Save money Affordable financing Best financing in the country for new construction 92

93 *BP Prove What You Say Is True
Four tactics can be used: 1. Testimonials – Past client speaks of benefits 2. Comparative quality – Comparison between self-help home vs. contractor built home 3. Reputation - If your organization has a good reputation in the community, use it 4. Successful Performance – After 1st group is complete, potential families and community members see successful program and nice homes 93

94 Many think that they cannot be a homeowner
Persuade Get the potential participants to grasp that they can enjoy the benefits and rewards of becoming a successful homeowner Many think that they cannot be a homeowner 94

95 Attending the community meeting Mail in a coupon, etc. Make it easy
Ask for Action Call today Coming by our office Attending the community meeting Mail in a coupon, etc. Make it easy Always be prepared 95

96 Recruitment Methods to Try
Newspapers – Both daily and weekly, try free and paid advertising, featured article, ad positioning is critical, classified adds great in some areas, activities announcements Radio - paid ads, PSAs, talk shows, interviews Television - featured on the local news, local community forum programs or PSAs 96

97 Flyers, Posters, Handouts - simple, easy to read, attractive flyers for public distribution in RD offices, stores, laundromats, CAP agencies, social service agencies, community bulletin boards, restaurant, etc. Brochures – can be the best marketing tool used, place in supermarkets, laundromats, restaurants, waiting areas, public service facilities Direct Mailings - can be expensive, may be more rewarding, church mailings, waiting lists for subsidized rental housing, enlist assistance of social service agencies, AFDC agencies and local employers 97

98 *BP Community Meetings
Trade Shows, Human Service Fairs, Mall Exhibits, Community Fairs - consider time and effort needed Organizations, Colleges, Trade Schools, Headstart, Migrant Education Centers Community Action Agencies (CAA) Churches 98

99 Local governments – referrals for families, land, grants
Local employees - post brochures on their bulletin board, stuff employee paycheck envelopes, or set up a table in the break/lunch area Contact members of low-income apartment complexes Host a tenants’ meeting Ask to distribute letters to persons on waiting lists for subsidized rental housing Meet with a core group of social service repr., brainstorm on how to reach families 99

100 Try many options to determine what works best for you
*BP Recruitment Methods Try many options to determine what works best for you Stay in contact with the local media Try the classified ads! Radio stations – morning program usually have a larger target listening area TV – try to get a local featured interview. Public service announcements (PSA) are free – use them! Paper distribution - Flyers, posters, handouts, brochures

101 Market Research Eliminates trial and error in recruitment
Know which methods worked best and are reaching target market Survey those who have responded to recruitment efforts (See sample in Guide) Continuously review and revise strategies to keep activities alive Your goal should be to have “word of mouth” work for you 101

102 The News Release Major vehicle for communicating with the media
Knowing the purpose, design and uses for them can improve your chances of getting published *BP Send a “thank you” note for any publicity your agency receives 102

103 The following guidelines should be useful:
Decide on the message – must be interesting to target market Select the media – message and intended audience usually drives which media to use Put it in writing – prepare a properly written release Mail to the right person Mail by the deadline 103

104 Familiarize yourself with chosen publication
Content of the Release Familiarize yourself with chosen publication Select information of interest Remember the 5 “W”s – Who, what, when, where, why …and sometimes how Be sure that they are all in the story 104

105 Write in a simple, factual style Avoid opinions Don’t make assumptions
News Release Tips Keep it brief Write in a simple, factual style Avoid opinions Don’t make assumptions Be accurate Make the story interesting 105

106 Structure of a News Release Rule #1 - Keep sentences and paragraphs short and clear Rule #2 – Place all facts at the beginning of the story with quotes *BP News story sentences should be words long. Paragraphs rarely should consist of more than three sentences. FACTS DETAILS END 106

107 Other Media Tips When the media calls:
Be certain of who is calling and from where Know the reason for the interview Know your facts or refer him/her to the right person It is ok to get back with them on information 107

108 Develop a list of key points
Make time for the interview or arrange to call them back Do not answer questions that would violate confidentiality rules, legal restrictions, or agency policy Do not say “no comment”, explain why you cannot comment Be clear and polite 108

109 During the Interview Say things that the interviewer will remember
Always tell the truth If you do not know the answer, say so...Offer to get back with them the answer and do so ASAP Personalize your answers Avoid jargon Only state your agency’s position Rephrase negative or objective questions 109

110 Your voice becomes your image Your appearance is still important
On the Radio Your voice becomes your image Your appearance is still important Maintain good posture, it aids your voice and appearance Don’t let the microphone intimidate you Practice enunciating your words Practice answering anticipated questions 110

111 Television Appearance
Your appearance – Look in the mirror first, practice minimizing jesters Your attire – Be clean and professionally dressed Avoid certain colors – Ask host what is appropriate Speak conversationally Follow direction on where to look when responding to questions Thank the host Ask for a copy 111

112 Land

113 Finding the Right Site Undesirable features: Site in flood plain
Steep terrain Forested lands or prime farm lands Site adjacent to or near airports, railroads, major highways factories, landfills, etc. Soil unsuitable for on-site septic systems Current industrial use Existing easements which would interfere or restrict the proposed building

114 Desirable features: Flat or mildly sloped land
Shape and size of land lends itself to housing Existing water and sewer Existing paved roads Correct zoning Accessible to services and public facilities Soil suitable for on-site septic system if necessary Adequate ground water supply for wells Uses of adjacent sites compatible to proposed project

115 Land Survey Criteria Land must be in a rural area
Lot size – can not be subdivided Roads – contiguous to and must have direct access to a street, maintained road or driveway, must be paved or all weather Water – approved well or public central water system *BP Public water is preferable Sewer – approved public sewer or septic system *BP Public sewer is preferable Site approval – State Director delegate site approval responsibility to appropriate person

116 Land Development Key ingredient to the program
Approach the search in an organized and systematic manner Controlling land is critical Many other activities depend on it Interim financing may be necessary 523 funds may not be used to option or purchase land *BP Contact RD for ideas on where to look

117 Land Survey Resources 7CFR Part 3550 1924-A 1924-C
RD Community Development Manager Health Department County or City planner, engineer, or city planner Soil Conservation Service Soils Book County Court House, Tax Office, Recorder of Deeds Utility Companies

118 Land Survey Process Preparing a site search map
Identify land that is completely ineligible Identify and plot locations with desirable features Plot drawbacks Talk to county governments or local universities to help with survey process Windshield survey – review sites for: Topography, flood plains, erosion Access to public roads, vegetation, existing structures Unique features

119 Land analysis form Selecting the site Investigate ownership
Check into tax records Assume that every parcel is for sale Complete form, Attachment 6 Selecting the site Assess suitability of the location Check zoning Look for community facilities Make sure it fits RD guidelines Would you want to live there? Why or why not? Assess physical characteristics Determine acquisition and development costs

120 Optioning vs. Purchasing
Option agreements Contract between seller and potential buyer Buyer not obligated to buy, seller obligated to sell Options should be between seller and participant See sample Option in Guide See Option language in Guide Purchasing land Grantees can purchase land for later resale to participants Can be beneficial when purchasing multiple lots 523 funds cannot be spent for this purpose Interim financing necessary

121 Interim financing No single pot of money available
Seller financing may be an option AHP, CRA, CDBG, HOME, Housing Trust Funds HAC Other private corporations or foundations See NCALL’s Funding Sources Guide for more information

122 E. Monthly Activities Schedule

123 E. Monthly Activities Schedule
*BP See Guide for recommended schedule of activities for preparing the pre-application

124 Personnel

125 Salary Ranges and Fringe Benefits
Develop salary ranges and fringe benefits for each position Both must be justified as being reasonable in the proposed area (OMB Circular A-112, Attachment B, Paragraph 6(2)) A good salary survey can help establish fair and competitive rates *BP See Guide for sample survey

126 Developing Job Descriptions
See Guide for sample job descriptions *BP We recommend that new grantees use the traditional SH positions Rural Development needs to be notified for prior approval prior to hiring changes occurring

127 Job descriptions are required, typical staffing for the self-help program are:
Executive Director/Project Director: Responsible for running and managing the self-help housing program Group Coordinator/Loan Packager: Works directly with the participants, screens, counseling, training, helping them fill out the required forms, etc. Secretary/Bookkeeper: Keeps records for 523 grant funds and 502 participant loan accounts Construction Supervisor: Responsible for construction

128 Salary Range and Fringe Benefit Areas of Concern
Job descriptions In order to get a comparable survey, review job description, not title Concentrate on duties Suitable agencies Consider size of organization and one with a similar operation Consider geographic and economic similarities Consider budgetary limitations No matter what the salary survey indicates, the budget may not be able to afford that amount Consider hiring some part-time staff Mutual benefit Have personal contact Offer to share results

129 Building Standards

130 Dwellings financed must provide modest, decent, and sanitary housing
The home must be affordable to the family Cost cannot exceed RD’s area loan limit Cannot have swimming pool or income producing facilities Construction must meet the requirements in 1924-A

131 House Plans Certified house plans will be required, during the final application stage, for EVERY model that will be built during the grant period A complete set consists of plans and blueprints which have been certified by an architect or engineer licensed in your state Blueprints need to include the following views with mechanicals noted: Foundation plan Floor plan Cross section Front and rear elevations Right and left side elevations CERTIFIED!

132 Codes and Standards Local and state building codes set the minimum standards Local authorities can require additional standards All house plans must be approved by RD Research building codes for each location since requirements may vary Each plan must conform to state and local codes and comply with RD’s standards The dwelling must also be affordable to the applicant

133 There are several ways to obtain house plans:
Local Building Supplier House Plan Book Rural Development NCALL Other Self-Help Providers Software – Cheap Architect

134 Cost of Obtaining House Plans
Take into consideration cost before committing to the house plans Remember, it costs on average $500 - $700 per set of plans You owe me $4,200! YOU

135 Standardize Plans Limit selections to three basic plans
Plans can have varying living areas and varying number of rooms Cost estimate and use of materials will remain the same Construction Supervisor and participants will become familiar with plans Try to standardize the cabinet and kitchen arrangement House plans should be prepared in advance of the formation of the first group of participants Only one set needs to be certified original, the rest can be copies

136 *BP Choose plans based on what is in demand by surveying the target area and participants’ affordability!!

137 Fair Housing

138 Introduction The right to fair housing is set by law
Training in this area is crucial Effects every staff person in the self-help program Right to fair housing enforced by formal complaint process, litigation, testing and monitoring Lack of knowledge is no excuse

139 The Fair Housing Act Prohibits discrimination because of:
Race or color National origin Religion Sex Familial status Handicap / Disability Covers most housing, definitely federally financed Law effects sale and mortgage

140 Other Applicable Laws Know that housing laws exist and must be enforced. Such laws include: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Age Discrimination Act of 1975 Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 Title VIII, Title VI Record keeping requirements: racial & ethnic data (( (g)) Helpful Websites: HUD: USDA:

141 Fair Housing Marketing
Affirmative Far Housing Marketing Plan HUD Form 935.2b, required for self-help program Follow instructions Use accurate information Marketing plan designed to attract those “least likely to apply” Special outreach for those groups required Plan approved and monitored by Rural Development

142 Fair Housing Advertising
To comply with Fair Housing Act requirements must be met No discriminatory or limiting words or phrases allowed No selective use of media and models which can lead to discriminatory results Use fair housing policies and practices All advertising for real estate must contain the equal housing opportunity logotype, statement or slogan For further details, see Guide

143 Equal Housing Opportunity Logotype - Equal Housing Opportunity Slogan
Equal Housing Opportunity Statement “We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support affirmative fair housing advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.”

144 Participant Selection and the Membership Agreement
*BP Two ways to ensure that all fair housing laws are being followed Consistency Documentation A person with a disability cannot be denied the right to participate in the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program RD and grantees are to make reasonable accommodations which allow someone with a disability to participate

145 “Participating family” definition allows substitute labor with prior approval by State Director
In reward and corrective action, participants should be treated equally *BP Follow rules in Membership Agreement, always

146 Identifying and Solving Potential Fair Housing Problems
Contact Rural Development or HUD immediately Use mediation and all available resources Understand the complaint process Complaints must be filled within one year Either HUD or RD may investigate Try to reach a conciliation agreement If agreement breached, further legal action taken

147 Additional Resources Various fair housing training materials exist
HUD’s Fair Housing Information Clearinghouse has brochures, videos, PSAs, posters Rural Development can also provide materials and training

148 Stay in Compliance *BP Review the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan every quarter to insure compliance Enforce Fair Housing Advertising requirements Display Fair Housing Posters as required by RD Questions should be addressed to State Civil Right’s Coordinator

149 The End

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