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Jobs Plus Initiative

Grants to USA Public Housing Authorities to
Expand Employment Opportunities for Residents

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Public and Indian Housing (PIH)

Deadline Date:

08/14/18 11:59 PM ET Receipt

Description:

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Grants to USA public housing authorities to operate job programs in qualifying public housing developments. Applicants must verify or create the required registrations in advance of the deadline. This program seeks to address poverty affecting public housing residents by promoting, enabling, and facilitating employment.

Conditions for Eligibility of Public Housing Authorities:

Eligible applicants are PHAs that operate one or more public housing developments that meet the criteria outlined in this NOFA. A list of developments that meet the criteria is provided in Appendix B, however, the mere appearance of a development on this list does not mean that the development is appropriate for a Jobs Plus program.

Purpose:

The Jobs Plus program develops locally-based, job-driven approaches that increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The place-based Jobs Plus program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through earned income disregards for working residents and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling. Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working residents the norm.

The Jobs Plus program comprises these three core components (further described below):
-Employment-Related Services
-Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID)
-Community Supports for Work

Applicants are encouraged to develop key partnerships to connect participants with any other needed services to remove barriers to work. An Individualized Training and Services Plan (ITSP) should be developed for each participant to establish goals and service strategies, and to track progress.

Background:

HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, and MDRC, through a public-private partnership, designed and supported the Jobs Plus program model between 1998 and 2003. HUD has issued two separate evaluation reports on the demonstration, to identify and document the most promising approaches to increasing employment among families in public housing. Each evaluation showed ongoing positive effects for residents when the program was well-implemented and included the three core elements.

Employment-Related Services:

Successful applicants must partner with the local Workforce Development Boards (WDB) and American Job Center(s) (AJC/One-Stop) in their area to offer multiple employment-related services for residents with a range of employment needs. Local Labor Market Information (LMI) should be used both for initial planning and analysis of which employment opportunities are most available locally, and for monitoring ongoing trends.

Program services provided on-site should include, but need not be limited to, the following:
-Career exploration/job readiness workshops
-Job search and job placement assistance
-Entrepreneurship workshops
-Work experience including on-the-job training, internships, pre-apprenticeships and Registered Apprenticeships (HUD encourages opportunities for residents to be paid while training)
-Facilitated connections to education and training opportunities
-Rapid re-employment if job loss occurs
-Proactive post-placement job retention support and career advancement coaching
-Access to computers, phones, fax, and copy machines and other supplies for participants’ employment-related uses and adequate training on how to use these technologies

To facilitate these employment services, applicants may consider having dedicated on-site workforce system staff to perform job developer and case manager functions. Job developers work directly with the business community to identify and create employment opportunities and act as liaisons with local employment agencies. Case managers work one-on-one with participants to guide them through the employment process and help them achieve employment-related goals.

Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID):

Successful applicants must also implement a financial incentive for program participants, known as the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID). This component will neutralize any rent increase due to rising earned income for Jobs Plus participants, removing a major disincentive to employment. Rent incentives offered through JPEID will be reimbursed to the PHA via the awarded Jobs Plus grant and should be included in the program budget. Any other compensation to the PHA for lost rent revenues, such as by the standard Earned Income Disregard (EID) calculation in the Operating Fund, will be offset manually to prevent overpayment of HUD funds to grant recipients. Further guidance will be available at the time of the award.

All residents in a Jobs Plus development are eligible to receive the JPEID benefit, even if they do not actively participate in other Jobs Plus activities. But, to access JPEID, residents must sign up for the Jobs Plus program. Residents who previously used up some or all their lifetime EID eligibility are eligible to receive the full JPEID benefit. When the Jobs Plus program ends, all rent will return to regular income-based calculations at the time of the resident's next rent re-certification.

Disregarded Amount. The JPEID excludes from the Family Rent calculation 100 percent of a participating resident’s incremental earned income for a period of up to 48 months, beginning on the date on which a public housing resident enrolls in the Jobs Plus program, and ending in 48 months or at the end of the grant period, whichever is sooner.

Calculation of the JPEID. Once the JPEID is triggered for a resident their baseline income will not change for a period of up to 48 months or for the duration of the grant term, whichever is sooner. Participants who enroll early may benefit from the JPEID longer than residents who enroll later. To facilitate reimbursements for rent revenue losses due to the JPEID, grantees must calculate and document each participant’s Family Rent at the time of each rent re- certification, both before and after the inclusion of any participating resident's incremental earned income. The difference between these two rents is the amount to be reimbursed to the PHA through the JPEID (using the awarded Jobs Plus grant funds). These calculations must be provided to HUD when drawing the Jobs Plus funds.

As with any government benefit, an increase in earned income may cause the reduction or loss of other benefits that an individual was previously receiving. Grantees, through case management or other means, must be prepared to help residents understand the overall financial impact of an increase in earned income and the JPEID. It is also expected that grantees will encourage participants to take advantage of other financial work incentives they may be entitled to, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Community Supports for Work:

Community Support for Work (CSW) is a core component of the Jobs Plus program, reflecting the goal of building a caring and cohesive public housing community that is strongly committed to supporting residents’ progress towards economic security.

PHAs are expected to develop a strategy to promote CSW and include that strategy in its workplan. The strategy should include multiple intentional and complementary steps to build CSW falling into two main categories:

-Activities that build a caring and cohesive public housing community. For Jobs Plus to be successful, PHA staff members need to trust residents, residents need to trust PHA staff, and ultimately residents need to trust each other. Activities to build trust, create a sense of community, build a sense of shared purpose, train residents leaders, build resident self-confidence, and reduce the social isolation of individual residents are all important for achieving this goal. Social activities that focus primarily on getting residents out of their units are helpful but not sufficient to achieve this goal.

-Informal and nontraditional activities that support residents’ progress toward economic security. Through the Jobs Plus program, residents will have access to case management, job training, employment placement services, and the JPEID. This component of CSW focuses on steps that go above and beyond these formal Jobs Plus activities. Examples include residents helping other residents prepare their resumes and learn about new job openings, residents driving residents to job interviews and setting up carpooling arrangements, and residents providing residents with motivational support. Broadly communicated messages about the importance of work and how “work pays” also contribute to this component of CSW, as do motivational speakers, exposure to internal and external success stories, and the marketing of stories about residents’ success in finding a job and moving up the career ladder.

CSW is something that engages the entire public housing community and not merely the residents that choose to formally engage with the Jobs Plus program through the case management processes and job training programs. This includes not only residents but also PHA staff who are not otherwise involved in the Jobs Plus program, such as property management or maintenance staff who can also encourage residents to participate in Jobs Plus.

Successfully executing the formal parts of the Jobs Plus program will not, on its own, enable a PHA to achieve the full transformative potential of CSW. While the successful enrollment of a large share of residents in formal Jobs Plus activities will obviously be helpful in laying the groundwork for a broader sense of shared purpose, it is not enough. Intentional steps to foster community and encourage residents to help other residents are needed.

Successful applicants will incorporate a robust engagement strategy for involving the residents in the targeted development and creating a working community where there is effective collaboration between the PHA and the residents. Engagement is more than signing up – sustained involvement in the program through effective communication among the resident population, leading to residents' ownership of their own growth and experiences, and that of peers, will yield continued benefits for both participants and future residents of the development beyond the grant period.

Program outreach should be directed towards residents at all points along the employment spectrum – from unemployed individuals with no work history to working, underemployed families with substantial work history. The application narrative should include strategies to target this wide range of potential participants and any barriers they might face, as well as strategies for retention.

One key strategy for program retention should include the use of residents as Community Coaches. Community Coaches should be empowered to help shape program offerings and outreach efforts based on their intimate knowledge of the needs and strengths of the community, create programs and activities related to employment supports, collect feedback about the program and serve as the voice of the residents in governance meetings. Additionally, they can be used to market the various aspects of the Jobs Plus program, disseminate information about job opportunities and programs via resident social networks in the development, and mentor specific individuals or groups who enroll in Jobs Plus.

Partnerships with Local Agencies:

The comprehensive nature of the Jobs Plus program requires that PHAs establish partnerships with American Job Centers and other key social service agencies within the community. These partnerships will strengthen program planning and implementation and streamline access to services for participants. For each partner identified, applicants must describe the role of the partner agency and a description of the services to be provided by the partner agency, as well as any fees associated with those services. Applicants should demonstrate their ability to build collaboration among all partners, regardless of whether a partner will receive grant funding for their services or if the services will be provided in-kind.

Partners should include:
-Workforce Development Boards/American Job Centers
-Local social service agencies
-Employment and training organizations
-Vocational training providers
-Community colleges and four-year educational institutions
-Other supportive service agencies providing either direct services or referrals to services that are critical for supporting successful employment

Besides employment, training and educational supports, grantees will have the flexibility to provide other supportive services based on resident needs and local capacity. HUD expects that all services that are available to residents of the community will be provided in-kind from partners. Grant funds should only procure services that are not already available (by either service type or amount). Examples of the services that may be provided by grant funds, formal partners or the program’s referral network include but are not limited to:

-Child care services and/or after school programs
-Transportation assistance
-Financial literacy workshops
-Legal services (e.g. expungement)
-Domestic violence prevention services
-Services for formerly incarcerated/returning citizens
-Life skills
-Smoking cessation
-Other applicable local business support

Program Goals:

Overall goal – Each site is expected to support a culture of work that leads to sustainable career ladder employment at a living wage for all work-able eligible residents.

Outreach and Saturation – Each site is expected to contact 100% of work-able adults in the development, within the first year, to inform them about the Jobs Plus program and encourage them to be assessed for services and supports. Programs should aim for multiple contacts, continually marketing the program through a range of different outreach strategies.

The following are the minimum goals expected of each site by the end of the four-year program:

Minimum goal required by HUD by end of Year 4

1. Number of individuals enrolled in the Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard: 80% work-able adults in the development

2. Number of Individuals engaged with the Jobs Plus program as measured by the number of individuals completing an assessment at intake: 65% of work-able adults in the development

3. Number of individuals provided with one or more post-assessment services: 60% of work-able adults in the development

4. Employment rate of work-able adults: 110% of baseline employment rate

5. Average yearly earnings of work-able adults: 115% of baseline average earnings

6. Share of assessed residents continuously employed for at least 180 days: 25%

Criteria for Eligible Developments:

Size: Minimum development size of 200 households where at least one resident is non-elderly (under age 65).

Unemployment: At least 40 percent of the households (excluding households consisting only of elderly residents) that report no earned income in PIC.

Place: Units to be served must be contiguous unless good cause can be shown that the program will succeed in non-contiguous developments. A description of how the program will be run from one central location and remain accessible to residents of non-contiguous developments will be required. This requirement may disqualify developments on the Eligible Development list if the Asset Management Project (AMP) is for scattered sites.

PHAs that have more than one development already listed as eligible in Appendix B may apply to serve more than one of the eligible developments if they are contiguous or show in the application that they meet the required criteria for place. No Request for Review of Eligibility is required prior to submitting the application. PHAs with developments not listed on Appendix B that they believe, when combined, meet the criteria, may submit a request for review of eligibility. PHAs may propose to combine two or more developments to meet the criteria for eligible developments, subject to these conditions:

-Parts of developments cannot be combined. Only entire developments may be combined.
-The combined developments must meet the criteria for size.
-The combined developments must meet the criteria for unemployment.

Performance: Developments that belong to a non-performing PHA may be eligible to participate provided HUD has determined the PHA can implement and oversee the grant successfully. A “non-performing PHA” is defined as a PHA designated as a troubled performer under the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) as listed on HUD’s most recent official Troubled List or is designated a substandard performer based on its most recent published PHAS score.

Process for Request for Review of Eligibility. Before submitting this grant application, applicants whose developments are not on Appendix B but who believe a combination of developments will meet eligibility requirements, must submit a Request for Review of Eligibility of their target developments. HUD will review the request using the same query of PIC data on the proposed combined developments to determine if the proposed developments meet the criteria for size and unemployment (see above) that were used to generate Appendix B. HUD will respond within five working days of receipt of the request. That response will be an eligibility approval, eligibility disapproval, or a request for more information. If more information is requested, HUD will respond within five working days upon receipt of the additional information. All initial Requests for Review of Eligibility must be received no later than 20 calendar days prior to the due date of this NOFA.

Eligible Activities and Cost:

-Hiring and compensating staff such as Service Coordinators or other service-related personnel (salary and fringe benefits for either Jobs Plus-specific staff or partner staff dedicated in whole or in part to providing Jobs Plus-related services).
-Providing services, such as job development and placement services; work readiness, including health screening; assistance with purchasing books, training materials, uniforms, test fees, work-related tools, interview clothing, required immunizations or health testing (e.g. TB test) or other hiring pre-requisites, state-issued Picture ID; education, job training, job counseling, job search skills, tutoring, mentoring, literacy, financial literacy and/or coaching; computer and internet access/on-site computer labs, and training on computer use and online technologies; counseling; transportation; and child care. (Services may be provided by the PHA or any partner/sub-contractor.)
-Rent incentives.
-Technical assistance.
-Administrative costs, such as rental of office space and related utilities, office supplies, equipment, and postage.
-Lease or rental of private (non-public housing property) space for Jobs Plus activities is an eligible use of administrative funds, these conditions: the lease must be for existing facilities not requiring rehabilitation or construction except for minimal alterations to make the facilities accessible for a person with disabilities; no repairs or renovations of the property may be undertaken with Jobs Plus funds; and properties in the Coastal Barrier Resources System designated under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501) cannot be leased or rented with federal funds.
-Data collection/tracking and related software.
-Staff training/development/conferences/participating in learning networks and associated travel.
-NOTE: All program expenses must be approved by HUD and be within statutory and regulatory limitations (e.g., 2 CFR Part 200).
-NOTE: HUD reserves the right to approve or disapprove any activity and may adjust grant budget amounts accordingly within individual grants and across this grant program.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161900

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$15,000,000

Number of Grants:

HUD expects to make approximately 5 awards from the funds available under this NOFA.

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Minimum Award Amount: $1,000,000 Per Project Period
-Maximum Award Amount: $3,700,000 Per Project Period

Minimum award amounts are subject to budget request and maximum award amounts are $3.7 million.

Award funding for non-elderly households will be determined as follows:
-200-400: Maximum $2,300,000
-401-600: Maximum $3,000,000
-601 and Up: Maximum $3,700,000

Term of Contract:

The grant term is 4 years.The estimated project start date is 12/03/2018. The estimated project end date is 12/02/2022.

Eligibility:

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Conditions for Eligibility of Public Housing Authorities:

Eligible applicants are PHAs that operate one or more public housing developments that meet the criteria outlined in this NOFA. A list of developments that meet the criteria is provided in Appendix B, however, the mere appearance of a development on this list does not mean that the development is appropriate for a Jobs Plus program.

-PHAs that received a Jobs Plus program grant in 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017 are not eligible for 2018 grant funds.
-Federally designated tribes and tribally designated housing entities are not eligible entities under this award.

Successful applicants will be required to implement the full term of the grant at the public housing site(s) for which funds were awarded.

Successful applicants will be required to inform HUD of any planned Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions at the Jobs Plus site. RAD Conversion of Jobs Plus sites will be permitted if the planned conversion will take place post award. Pursuant to the RAD Notice (Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, PIH-2012-32 (HA), as amended from time to time), Jobs Plus grantees that convert Jobs Plus target project(s) to PBV or PBRA through RAD will be able to finish out their Jobs Plus period of performance unless significant relocation and/or change in building occupancy is planned. If either is planned at the Jobs Plus target project(s), HUD may allow for a modification of the Jobs Plus work plan or may, at the Secretary’s discretion, choose to end the Jobs Plus program at that project.

Pre-Application Information:

This Program requires cost sharing, matching or leveraging as described below. All applicants are required to have in place a firmly committed match contribution equivalent to at least 25 percent of their total grant amount requested. The match may be provided as a cash or in-kind donation. All agencies listed as providing match are required to provide a detailed letter on agency letterhead signed by a person authorized to make the commitment attesting to the match.

Applicants must be registered with SAM before submitting their application. In addition, applicants must maintain an active SAM registration with current information while they have an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by HUD.

Applicants must provide a valid DUNS number, registered and active at SAM, in the application. DUNS numbers may be obtained for free from Dun & Bradstreet.

The application deadline is 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern time on 08/14/2018. Applications must be received no later than the deadline.

Submit your application to Grants.gov unless a waiver has been issued allowing you to submit your application in paper form.

HUD strongly recommends applications be submitted at least 48 hours before the deadline and during regular business hours to allow enough time to correct errors or overcome other problems.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=FR-6200-N-14

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

JobsPlus@hud.gov

CFDA Number:

14.895

Funding or Pin Number:

FR-6200-N-14

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming