Request for Letter of Intent

Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Funds Available for Multifamily Acquisition, Renovation, or Development
Requests for Letter of Intent 

Overview

The purpose of this request for Letters of Intent (LOI) is to solicit project proposals from eligible partners that will increase or preserve the supply of affordable housing rental properties in Arlington, Virginia.  Units within these properties must be affordable to households at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) and must remain affordable for a period of at least ten years. 

Developers interested in obtaining federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding from Arlington County for affordable housing projects must submit a Letter of Intent describing a project and amount of funds requested.  County staff will review the project and determine whether the applicant should submit a full application.  Not all applicants will be invited to submit a full application, and an invitation to submit a full application does not imply any commitment or that a project is on a definite path to funding.  Applicants will also be expected to participate in a public review process with the County’s Housing Commission and/or Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee.

Eligible Project Types/Activities

Up to $8 million in CDBG funding is available for the following eligible project types:

  1. Acquisition of real property (multifamily or single family);
  2. Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures; and
  3. Construction of public facilities and improvements, such as group homes for persons with disabilities. 

Please be aware of the following restrictions on CDBG-funded activities: 

  • Partners must be a nonprofit entity; however, CDBG can be used by for-profit entities in limited circumstances for certain eligible activities.
  • Operating costs of housing and public facilities are generally ineligible. 
  • Regular maintenance (repairing fixtures, landscaping, etc.) costs are generally ineligible. 
  • Costs for purchasing movable equipment, furnishings, and machinery are ineligible. 
  • Land banking or acquisition of newly constructed housing is ineligible. 
  • New construction of multifamily affordable housing is generally ineligible, but certain exceptions apply. 

Up to $5 million in HOME funding is available for the following eligible project types: 

  1. Acquisition of existing standard or substandard (in need of rehab) housing.  Acquisition of real property without the construction of a unit is not in and of itself an eligible activity under the HOME program.  Construction of a HOME unit must occur in order for the project to be an eligible use of HOME.
  2. New construction of housing; and
  3. Rehabilitation (alteration, improvement, conversion/adaptive reuse or modification) of existing housing.

Eligible types of housing include rental housing or group homes (housing occupied by two or more single persons or families consisting of common space and/or facilities for group use by the occupants of the unit, and (except in the case of shared one-bedroom units) separate private space for each family; or single room occupancy (SRO) consisting of single room dwelling units that are the primary residence of its occupant(s).

Please be aware of the following restrictions on HOME-funded activities: 

  • Applicants may be a for-profit or non-profit entity.
  • Operating costs of housing are generally ineligible.
  • HOME Program funds may not be used as the “nonfederal” match for most other Federal programs.
  • Funds may not be used to capitalize project reserve accounts.
  • Certain rent limits apply to HOME-assisted housing units based on Fair Market Rents.
  • Minimum and maximum per-unit subsidy limits apply as shown here.

Threshold Requirements

  • The proposed project must be located in Arlington County.
  • The County funds must be used for rental units affordable up to 80% Area Median Income (AMI) as published by HUD for the Washington, DC Metropolitan Statistical Area, adjusted for household size. If the development is mixed-income, funds will be applied only to the affordable portion of the development.
  • The units must retain affordability restrictions for no less than 10 years. Please note that the County may require an affordability period greater than 10 years depending on the recommended funding source and level of funding requested.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate site control at time of settlement. 
  • Proposed projects must not permanently displace current low- or moderate-income residents.
  • If staff determines Federal CDBG and/or HOME funds would be used, the project must meet certain compliance requirements (see below for more details).

Federal Compliance Requirements

Both Federal and local compliance requirements will be applicable to projects awarded federal CDBG and/or HOME funds. Projects that are awarded Federal CDBG and HOME funds must comply with certain cross-cutting Federal requirements.

Please note that the following is a list of all Federal requirements that may be applicable to the proposed project, depending on the scope of work and amount of funding awarded. Eligibility will be determined upon funding award, but applicants should be familiar with the following cross-cutting Federal requirements. Requirements that are applicable to all projects are marked as “Required” in the below list. 

  • Procurement 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart D - Procurement Standards – Uniform Administrative Requirements – Required
  • Conflict of Interest, (2 CFR 200.112 – Uniform Administrative Requirements) – Required 
  • Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended (Section 3)
  • Minority/Women’s Business Enterprises (M/WBE), (24 CFR 85.36I and Executive Orders 11625, 1232, 12138)
  • Labor Standards:
  • Davis Bacon and Related Acts (40 USC 276(A)‐277)
  • Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 USC 327‐333)
  • Copeland Anti‐Kickback Act (40 USC 276c)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (29 USC 201, et seq.)
  • Fair Housing:
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.)
  • Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-3620) – Required
  • Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity in Housing (24 CFR Part 107) – Required
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) – Required
  • Affirmative Marketing and Outreach – Required
  • Housing Accessibility:
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S. Code § 12101)
  • Fair Housing Act 42 U.S.C. 3601-19 (24 CFR 100.205)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
  • Uniform Relocation Act: Uniform Relocation and Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (URA) (42 U.S.C. 4601‐4655) – Required
  • Environmental Review: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), (24 CFR part 58, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA)) – Required
  • Site and Neighborhoods Standards, (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act and Executive Order 11063 (24 CFR 983.57(e)(2) and (3)))
  • Lead-Based Paint: Title X of the 1993 Housing and Community Development Act (24 CFR part 35)

The following guidebook is a resource with more information on CDBG and HOME program eligibility requirements: https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/HOME- CDBGGuidebook.pdf.  

The County will make every effort in assisting applicants with program compliance issues.  Please contact Andrew Hartsig at ahartsig@arlingtonva.us with any questions.

How to Apply

In making their determination of project eligibility and appropriateness staff will consider several factors including, but not limited to, project readiness to proceed in a timely manner to assist in meeting federal timeliness deadlines, organizational capacity, cost per unit, past successful projects utilizing federal funds, and compliance with any previous federal or local funding contracts/agreements.  

The LOI is generally 2-3 pages in length and shall include: 

  1. Brief description of the project:  location, type (e.g. rehab, acquisition, new construction), number of units by income and bedroom size, etc.
  2. Description of whether project is currently income-restricted and occupied.  If occupied, please explain whether residents will be displaced as a result of this project. 
  3. Description of the sponsoring agency including for-profit or nonprofit status and description of previous projects completed using CDBG or HOME funds. 
  4. Goals/ need for the project and anticipated community impact if funded.
  5. Status of site control.
  6. Land use and zoning considerations, including whether the site is already entitled for the proposed project.
  7. Development schedule (note that special consideration may be given to projects that can meet federal compliance and are ready to receive County funds by April 15, 2024).
  8. Budget and financing plan that discusses potential support from other public or private sources and explanation of why County funds/support are needed.
  9. Any special considerations.

Required attachments:

  • Preliminary sources and uses statement
  • Projected operating proforma (approximately 15 years)
  • Proposed rental unit mix and rents chart (see example below)
  • Documentation of site control (if available)

Please note that an invitation to submit a full application does not represent a commitment – financial or otherwise - from the County. Priority will be givento LOIs submitted by February 13, 2024.  After that, LOIs will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Proposed Rental Unit Mix and Rents

Unit Size Affordability Rent Level # of Units
Studio 40% AMI
50% AMI
60% AMI
80% AMI
Other (Specify)
1-bedroom 40% AMI
50% AMI
60% AMI
80% AMI
Other (Specify)
2-bedroom 40% AMI
50% AMI
60% AMI
80% AMI
Other (Specify)
3-bedroom 40% AMI
50% AMI
60% AMI
80% AMI
Other (Specify)
Total

For questions or to submit an LOI, please contact Andrew Hartsig at ahartsig@arlingtonva.us