Q: What is the process for applying for NHTF funding? How do you access local municipal HTF, or state, or National HTF to build and operate housing for special needs population? Can you very briefly outline the process for NHTF; for example, could a project apply for LIHTC, their state’s HTF, and then also NHTF, or is that known yet? And, when will NHTF dollars be available?
A: Each year, your state’s designated HTF agency (found on HUD’s HTF webpage, https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/htf/grantees, as well as on NLIHC’s HTF webpage, https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/htf/grantees) must prepare a draft HTF Allocation Plan, which is subject to the Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) public participation process.
The statute and regulations specify what must be in an HTF Allocation Plan. The Allocation Plan must:
1. Explain how it will distribute HTF money, based on the priority housing needs in the state ConPlan.
2. Describe the requirements that “recipients” must meet when applying to the state for HTF funds. (Recipients can be nonprofits, for-profits, public entities, and public housing agencies – but in general PHAs cannot use HTF for regular public housing.)
3. Describe the criteria the state will use for selecting applications from potential recipients. The Allocation Plan must give priority in awarding money to projects based on six factors. The three most important factors are:
· The extent to which rents are affordable, especially for extremely low income households.
· The length of time that units will remain affordable.
· The “merit” of a project.
The Allocation Plan should indicate the process for applying. Most states seem to be using request for proposal (RFP) processes already in use in the state for the HOME program, LIHTC program, state HTF program, or special needs housing programs.
So in response to the third question, the respective state agencies (all programs are probably administered by the same agency) will have their own processes.
Once HUD approves a state’s HTF Allocation Plan, HUD and the state enter into a grant agreement. From there the state can issue (or at least formally issue) an RFP for use of the funds.
More information about the HTF Allocation Plan is on NLIHC’s HTF webpage:
· How Can I Influence Where the Money Goes?, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/04_NHTF_Influence-the-Money_0615.pdf
· Public Participation Requirements of the Consolidated Plan Process, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/05_NHTF_Public-Participation_0615.pdf
· NLIHC’s Model NHTF Allocation Plan, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/NHTF_Model-Allocation-Plan.pdf
· A video presentation of “How Will NHTF Be Distributed Within States?”, http://nlihc.org/issues/nhtf/videos
· Find your state’s draft HTF Allocation Plan (and soon its final HTF Allocation Plan) at http://nlihc.org/issues/nhtf/state-allocation-plans
· HUD CPD Notice 2016-7, Guidance for HTF Grantees on Fiscal Year 2016 Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Allocation Plans
· HUD’s HTF Grantee Allocation Plan Sample Form
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