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RFA for 2015 Green Resident Engagement for Housing Sector

Friday, April 24, 2015

Request for Applications (“RFA”) for 2015 Green Resident Engagement for Housing Sector

The District Department of the Environment (“DDOE”) is seeking applications from eligible entities to meet the ambitious goals for recycling and energy and water efficiency set out in the District’s Sustainable DC Plan. The total amount of funding available for the two projects in this RFA is approximately $100,000.00. This amount is subject to availability of funding and approval by the appropriate agencies.

An Informational Conference Call and opportunity for Questions and Answers was held on 5/5/2015, at 3:00 p.m. Please see the document “Green Resident Engagement Q&A” (attached below) for an archive of the questions and answers.

The full text of this Request for Applications (RFA), and the three required attachments, are available as links at the bottom of this page.  Additionally, a person may obtain a copy of this RFA by any of the following methods:

Email a request to [email protected] with “Request copy of RFA 2015-1512-USA” in the subject line;

Pick up a copy in person from the DDOE reception desk, located at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.  Call Molly Simpson at (202) 834-0557 to make an appointment and mention this RFA by name; or

Write DDOE at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attn: Molly Simpson RE:2015-1512-USA” on the outside of the letter.

The deadline for application submissions is 5/29/2015, at 4:30 p.m.  Five hard copies must be submitted to the above address and a complete electronic copy must be e-mailed to [email protected]

For additional information regarding this RFA, please contact DDOE as instructed in the RFA document, at [email protected]

Questions and Answers:

  1. Q:  Are condominiums and cooperatives eligible residential building types for the Energy and Water Efficiency Competition for Multifamily Rental Housing project?
    A:  Condominiums and cooperatives are not eligible residential building types for this project which focuses specifically on multifamily rental housing. 
  1. Q: Is there an opportunity for a food waste hauler to participate in these opportunities?
    A: Nonprofit organizations, government agencies, universities, educational institutions, and private enterprises are all eligible to apply for funding (Section1.6). To determine applicability, interested entities should review Project Description (Section 7).
  2. Q: How many scoring criteria are included for each project within the RFA?
    A: Project #1 Recycling Education for Public Housing Residents will be evaluated against eight (8) scoring criteria and offers additional points for active District based-businesses or District-based non-profit partners (Section 4.2). Project #2 Energy and Water Efficiency Competition for Multifamily Rental Housing will be evaluated against seven (7) scoring criteria, with no additional points. Please note that there is a formatting error in Section 7.1 on Page 29 and the numerical “7” is missing from scoring criteria 7.

  3. Q: On page 4, Section 1.3 Source of Funds lists “Green Building Fund” and “Local District Funds,” yet the May 5 call appeared to indicate that applicants for either grant must register with the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM).  Is this correct?
    A: There are no federal sources of funding for this grant. You do not need to open a SAM account for this grant.

  4. Q: On page 23, how is a “representative sample” determined?  Are we speaking of buildings deemed “representative” in conference with DCHA/DDOE staff, or an amount of “representative” materials up to a certain weight or volume?
    A: Waste audit sites will be determined by DDOE staff and their intermediary, DCHA staff, and will consist of a minimum of three properties—one multifamily high-rise, one family garden-style or townhome property, and one senior property.

  5. Q: At what point are you asking the grantee to actually train-the-trainer in using the materials developed, or are we simply generating such materials?
    A:  The grantee will not be required to train trainers within this project. The grantee will develop train-the-trainer materials as part of the recycling education and training toolkit. Examples of train-the-trainer materials can be found in the “Resident Engagement Training in a Box” developed for Enterprise Green Communities. See the Training Notes and Resources for an example.

  6. Q: With regard to delivery of education, it appears that the demands of the pilot only stipulate presentations to the residents, is this correct or are there other trainees (e.g. DCHA personnel) or workshops to which grantees are obliged, and under what parameters?
    A: The pilot will train residents. There is not a specific workshop for trainers within the Project Outputs.

  7. Q: If DCHA or DDOE employees will be assigned to maintain this program in the future, is it appropriate to focus the train-the-trainer materials assuming DC employees will be implementing them versus site residents?
    A: DCHA and DDOE will work together in the future to implement this training as part of broader resident engagement and sustainability programming at DCHA.

  8. Q: Due to the timing of the award, should we assume that there will be a quarterly report due on July 15th or only on October 15th?
    A: Quarterly reports will depend on the timing of the award. Please note that the project period ends on September 30, 2015 and will require a final report as well.

  9. Q: When asking for salaries, is it because there is a set multiplier you will approve for billing rates?  Can you explain your expectations or parameters for justifying labor costs?
    A: Applicants should submit a proposed budget with budget narrative, including staff time if deemed necessary to complete the projects. Refer to the scoring criteria included in Section 7.1.

  10. Q: In regards to the waste audit referenced in Project #1- Recycling Education for Public Housing Residents, are there any pre-determinations affecting the type, volume, weight of materials? For example: Will  the grantee be auditing a full day of waste?  A week of waste?  Will the grantee be intercepting waste as it’s delivered from residents or will we be removing waste only from dumpsters and carts?  Can we assume the grantee can coordinate this to begin with empty/serviced equipment?  Will the grantee perform this work indoors or out?  
    A: Applicants should recommend a waste audit approach within their application along with a budget for this task. DDOE is interested in approaches that will provide an accurate snapshot of the properties’ recycling diversion rates that are cost-effective and replicable.

  11. As referenced in the Promises, Certifications, and Assurances document, in Section VI.7. Insurance, page 25:
    Unless DDOE waives in writing, the following are conditions to receipt of funds under the grant: a. Except as provided below, the Grantee shall obtain the minimum insurance coverage set forth below and keep such insurance in force  throughout the grant period: (7) Sexual/Physical Abuse and Molestation insurance if minors are involved in the services provided, and no other policy covers the matter, in the amount of one million dollars ($1 million) per occurrence and two million dollars ($2 million) aggregate, with the District as an additional insured;

    12. a)    Q:  Is interaction or proximity to minors a concern during waste audits and/or the pilot?
    A: Not if you can exclude unaccompanied minors. Grantees will not have access to individual residential units and minors would not ordinarily be involved in the services provided. Thus, if you wish to avoid purchasing this special insurance, you may provide in your application for the grant that the pilot would be invite-only to adults over the age of 18 and/or advertised to the community with written communication clearly stating that unaccompanied minors are not able to attend.   Then you will need to enforce the restrictions.  DDOE will work with the selected grantee to develop an acceptable solution.
    12. b)    Q: Does no other policy cover this matter, from DDOE’s point of view.
    A: No. No other policy explicitly covers the matter that we are aware of.  The insurance requirement is a District concern, focused on programs that are designed to interact with children.
    12. c)    Q: Assuming the cost of the coverage is high to a grant applicant organization (e.g. in excess of 10 k), is this an acceptable budget line item expense?
    A: Yes. Refer to RFA Section 5.2 (a) Certificate of insurance, on page 18 for more detail. However, please note the answer to 12.a), addressing how minors would not be involved in the services provided.
    Note also that competing grant applications are compared and scored by a criterion that addresses budget amount.
    12. d)    Q: Under what circumstances is a waiver granted?
    A: No waivers will be granted. However, please note the answer to 12.a), addressing how minors would not be involved in the services provided.

  12. Q: On page 9 of the RFA, it states that proposals should be formatted as follows: (b) Applications should be double-sided if possible; (c) Limit each project description to 15 double-spaced pages. Does that mean that you would like the proposal to be no more than 15 pages of double-sided for a total of 30 sheet faces -or- 15 sheet faces in total, so double-sided would be approximately 7.5 pages?
    A: Limit each project description to 15 double-spaced pages. If an applicant submits their application double-sided, the project description should use no more than 15 sheet faces.

  13. Q: If an applicant decides to pursue both Project 1 and Project 2, can the applicant complete one proposal with different sections for each project or does the applicant need to submit two proposals, one for each project?
    A: Organizations interested in applying for both projects must submit two separate and complete applications.  
  14. Q: In the RFA on page 16, Section 5.1 (e) Applicants current fiscal year budget, the RFA states: The Applicant must submit its full budget, including projected income, for the organization’s current fiscal year, using a format at least as detailed as that presented in Appendix 2. Also, the Applicant should submit a comparison of the budgeted versus actual income and expenses to date. Is DDOE suggesting that the applicant’s current fiscal year budget need only contain information at the depth of the Excel spreadsheet Appendix 2 Grant Budget Template or is there an attachment missing from the RFA?
    A: There is no attachment missing from the RFA. DDOE is not suggesting that applicants’ fiscal year budgets contain only the information inside the Appendix 2 sample. On page 16 of the RFA, DDOE instructs applicants to submit an organizational budget for the current fiscal year that uses a format that is at least as detailed as the sample provided in Appendix 2. The applicant should also submit a comparison of budgeted versus actual income, expenses to date, and a detailed project budget.
  15. Q: As a private enterprise, we develop fiscal year projections for revenue and profit.  In addition we maintain an income statement.  We are capable of providing these projections for fiscal year 2015 and the associated income statement year to date.  As these are the limitations in our current fiscal tracking, are we capable of assuming that this submission will meet the requirements listed in Section 5.1 (e) Applicant’s current fiscal year budget on page 16 of the RFA.
    A: Yes, the information listed will meet the requirements of the RFA. 

  16. Q: Do the partnering companies need to provide all the disclosure information that the main applicant needs to provide? Specifically, items referenced  in Section 5.1 Documents to file as part of the proposal. As it reads, the applicant needs to file the documents listed in Section 5.1 a - g.  As a partner organization to a primary applicant, we will obviously provide a letter of support, but do the partner organizations need to provide a-g?
    A: No, partnering organizations do not need to provide a-g. Partnering organizations should only give a letter of support to the applicant to include in the application package. 

  17. Q: The Project #1 Recycling Education for Public Housing Residents specifically asks for Spanish and English materials. Is there any chance of using the DC language access program to help with translation?  Or is each team expected to have the capability of that independently?
    A: For the purpose of this RFA, the grantee for Project #1 should have the independent capability to create bilingual – Spanish and English – recycling education training materials.

UPDATE 5-1-2015:  Please download and sign the updated PCA document found below .  No material changes have been made from the previous version.