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Funding Opportunity: The Community Services Block Grant Program Community Economic Development Discretionary Grant Program-Priority Area: Planning Projects

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services.

Announcement Type: Initial.

Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2004-ACF-OCS-ED-0026.

CFDA Number: 93.570.

Due Date for Applications: The due date for receipt of applications is July 19, 2004.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of 1981, as amended, (Section 680 of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998), authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make grants to provide technical and financial assistance for economic development activities designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families by creating employment and business development opportunities. Pursuant to this Announcement OCS will award planning grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) that are less than three years old or inexperienced in implementing economic development projects. The primary purpose of this Priority Area is to assist eligible CDCs in planning, developing organizational capacity, identifying potential projects, mobilizing resources and developing a business plan to implement a project. Low-income beneficiaries of such projects include those who are determined to be living in poverty as determined by the HHS Guidelines on Poverty (See Appendix A). They may be unemployed, on public assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), are at risk teenagers, custodial and non-custodial parents, public housing residents, persons with disabilities and persons who are homeless.

Definitions of Terms

The following definitions apply:

Budget Period—The time interval into which a grant period is divided for budgetary and funding purposes.

Business Start-up Period—Time interval within which the grantee completes preliminary project tasks. These tasks include but are not limited to assembling key staff, executing contracts, administering lease out or build-out of space for occupancy, purchasing plant and equipment and other similar activities. The Business Start-Up Period typically takes three to six months from the time OCS awards the grant or cooperative agreement.

Cash contributions—The recipient's cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the recipient by the third parties.

Community Development Corporation (CDC)—A private non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders, which has as a principal purpose planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development activities.

Community Economic Development (CED)—A process by which a community uses resources to attract capital and increase physical, commercial, and business development, as well as job opportunities for its residents.

Construction projects—Projects that involve land improvements and development or major renovation of (new or existing) facilities and buildings, fixtures, and permanent attachments.

Developmental/Research Phase—The time interval during the Project Period that precedes the Operational Phase. Grantees accomplish preliminary activities during this phase including establishing third party agreements, mobilizing monetary funds and other resources, assembling, rezoning, and leasing of properties, conducting architectural and engineering studies, constructing facilities, etc.

Displaced worker—An individual in the labor market who has been unemployed for six months or longer.

Distressed community—A geographic urban neighborhood or rural community of high unemployment and pervasive poverty.

Employment education and training program—A program that provides education and/or training to welfare recipients, at-risk youth, public housing tenants, displaced workers, homeless and low-income individuals and that has demonstrated organizational experience in education and training for these populations.

Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community Project Areas (EZ/EC)—Urban neighborhoods and rural areas designated as such by the Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture.Start Printed Page 28920

Equity investment—The provision of capital to a business entity for some specified purpose in return for a portion of ownership using a third party agreement as the contractual instrument.

Faith-Based Community Development Corporation—A community development corporation that has a religious character.

Hypothesis—An assumption made in order to test a theory. It should assert a cause-and-effect relationship between a program intervention and its expected result. Both the intervention and its result must be measured in order to confirm the hypothesis. The following is a hypothesis: “Eighty hours of classroom training will be sufficient for participants to prepare a successful loan application.” In this example, data would be obtained on the number of hours of training actually received by participants (the intervention), and the quality of loan applications (the result), to determine the validity of the hypothesis (that eighty hours of training is sufficient to produce the result).

Intervention—Any planned activity within a project that is intended to produce changes in the target population and/or the environment and that can be formally evaluated. For example, assistance in the preparation of a business plan is an intervention.

Job creation—New jobs, i.e., jobs not in existence prior to the start of the project, that result from new business startups, business expansion, development of new services industries, and/or other newly-undertaken physical or commercial activities.

Job placement—Placing a person in an existing vacant job of a business, service, or commercial activity not related to new development or expansion activity.

Letter of commitment—A signed letter or agreement from a third party to the applicant that pledges financial or other support for the grant activities contingent only on OCS accepting the applicant's project proposal.

Loan—Money lent to a borrower under a binding pledge for a given purpose to be repaid, usually at a stated rate of interest and within a specified period.

Non-profit Organization—An organization, including faith-based and community-based, that provides proof of non-profit status described in the “Additional Information on Eligibility” section of this announcement.

Operational Phase—The time interval during the Project Period when businesses, commercial development or other activities are in operation, and employment, business development assistance, and so forth are provided.

Outcome evaluation—An assessment of project results as measured by collected data that define the net effects of the interventions applied in the project. An outcome evaluation will produce and interpret findings related to whether the interventions produced desirable changes and their potential for being replicated. It should answer the question: Did this program work?

Poverty Income Guidelines—Guidelines published annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that establish the level of poverty defined as low-income for individuals and their families. The guideline information is posted on the Internet at the following address: http://www.hhs.aspe.gov/​poverty/​

Process evaluation—The ongoing examination of the implementation of a program. It focuses on the effectiveness and efficiency of the program's activities and interventions (for example, methods of recruiting participants, quality of training activities, or usefulness of follow-up procedures). It should answer the questions such as: Who is receiving what services and are the services being delivered as planned? It is also known as formative evaluation, because it gathers information that can be used as a management tool to improve the way a program operates while the program is in progress. It should also identify problems that occurred, how the problems were resolved and what recommendations are needed for future implementation.

Pre-Development Phase—The time interval during the Project Period when an applicant or grantee plans a project, conducts feasibility studies, prepares a business or work plan and mobilizes non-OCS funding.

Program income—Gross income earned by the grant recipient that is directly generated by an activity supported with grant funds.

Project Period—The total time for which a project is approved for OCS support, including any approved extensions.

Revolving loan fund—A capital fund established to make loans whereby repayments are re-lent to other borrowers.

Self-employment—The employment status of an individual who engages in self-directed economic activities.

Self-sufficiency—The economic status of a person who does not require public assistance to provide for his/her needs and that of his/her immediate family.

Sub-award—An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible sub-recipient or by a sub-recipient to a lower tier sub-recipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of “award” in 45 CFR Part 74. (Note: Equity investments and loan transactions are not sub-awards.)

Technical assistance—A problem-solving event generally using the services of a specialist. Such services may be provided on-site, by telephone or by other communications. These services address specific problems and are intended to assist with immediate resolution of a given problem or set of problems.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—The Federal block grant program authorized in Title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193). The TANF program transformed “welfare” into a system that requires work in exchange for time-limited assistance.

Third party—Any individual, organization or business entity that is not the direct recipient of grant funds.

Third party agreement—A written agreement entered into by the grantee and an organization, individual or business entity (including a wholly owned subsidiary), by which the grantee makes an equity investment or a loan in support of grant purposes.

Third party in-kind contributions—Non-cash contributions provided by non-Federal third parties. These contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and especially identifiable to the project or program.

Project Goals

CED projects should further HHS goals of strengthening American families and promoting their self-sufficiency, and OCS goals of promoting healthy families in healthy communities. The CED Program is particularly directed toward public-private partnerships that develop employment and business opportunities for low-income people and revitalize distressed communities.

Project Scope

Planning grants may include three to five feasibility studies covering business startups, business expansions, development of new products and services, and other newly-undertaken Start Printed Page 28921physical and commercial activities. Projects must result in a business plan that will provide for employment and business opportunities for low-income individuals. Each applicant must describe the project scope including the low-income community to be served, and capacity building activities to be undertaken.

Priority Area: Community Economic Development Program (CED)

Priority Area: Planning Projects (PP)

Pursuant to this Program Announcement, OCS will award grants to CDCs that are inexperienced in implementing economic development projects. The primary purpose of this priority area is to assist eligible CDCs in planning, developing organizational capacity, identifying potential projects, mobilizing resources and developing a business plan to implement a project.

Eligible applicants cannot be more than three years old, or if more than three years old, have no experience in implementing economic development projects. (For the latter type of applicant, a written assurance must be provided in the project narrative that states “The applicant has no previous participation in economic development projects.”) The phrase “no previous participation in economic development projects” means an eligible applicant has not sponsored nor had any significant participation in projects that have provided employment or business development opportunities through business startups, expansions or development provision of financial services. In addition, applicants with housing experience must not have had primary responsibility in planning, developing, and managing housing projects.

Under this priority area, applicants may incur costs to: (a) Evaluate the feasibility of potential economic development projects (b) Develop a business plan related to a chosen project; (c) Mobilize resources for the chosen project; and (d) Develop organizational capacity. Examples of activities under item (d) are hiring staff, training board members and staff, recruiting community volunteers and developing management information systems.

The maximum CED award for a Planning Project cannot exceed $75,000, including the cost of travel for the program director to attend a two-day workshop in Washington, DC. The project and budget period can be no longer than 12 months. The result of a planning project is a business and work plan for a specific project for which the applicant may seek other Priority Area funds.

II. Award Information

Funding Instrument Type: Grants.

Anticipated total Priority Area Funding: $750,000 in FY 2004.

Anticipated Number of Awards: 10-12.

Ceiling on amount of individual Awards: $75,000 per budget/project period.

An application that exceeds the upper value of the dollar range specified will be considered “non-responsive” and will be returned to the applicant without further review.

Floor of Individual Award Amounts: None.

Average projected Award Amount: $75,000 per budget/project period.

Project Periods for Awards: 12 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Other Faith-based Organizations

An applicant must be a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC) less than three years old or inexperienced in developing and managing economic development projects. For purposes of this grant program, the CDC must be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders. The CDC must have as a principal purpose: planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development activities.

Additional Information on Eligibility: Applicants that do not include proof of nonprofit status in the application will be disqualified.

Any non-profit organization submitting an application must submit proof of its non-profit status in its application at the time of submission. The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing a reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code; a copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate; a statement from a State taxing body, State attorney general, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals; a certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status; or any of the items referenced above for a State or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

Private, non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants” at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm. Participation or lack of participation with this survey will not affect your application score nor your chance of receiving an award.

Applications that do not include proof of CDC status in the application will be disqualified.

An applicant must be a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation. For purposes of this grant program, the CDC must be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of residents of the community and business and civic leaders. The CDC must have as a principal purpose, planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development projects.

Applicants must document their eligibility as a CDC for the purposes of this grant program. The application must include a list of governing board members along with their designation as a community resident, or business or civic leader. In addition, the application must include documentation that the organization has as a primary purpose planning, developing or managing low income housing or community development activities. This documentation may include incorporation documents or other official documents that identify the organization.

Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:

(a) A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS code.

(b) A copy of a currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate.

(c) A statement from a State taxing body, State Attorney General, or other appropriate State official certifying that the applicant organization has a non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.Start Printed Page 28922

(d) A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.

(e) Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a State or national parent organization and a statement singed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

None.

3. Other

On June 27, 2003, the Office of Management and Budget published in the Federal Register a new Federal policy applicable to all Federal grant applicants. The policy requires all Federal grant applicants to provide a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. The DUNS number will be required whether an applicant is submitting a paper application or using the government-wide electronic portal (http://www.Grants.gov). A DUNS number will be required for every application for a new award or renewal/continuation of an award, including applications or plans under formula, entitlement and block grant programs, submitted on or after October 1, 2003.

Please ensure that your organization has a DUNS number. You may acquire a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNS number request line on 1-866-705-5711 or you may request a number on-line at http://www.dnb.com.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

Office of Community Services, Operations Center, 1815 North Fort Meyer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22209, Email: OCS@lcgnet.com, Telephone: (800) 281-9519.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

1. Application Content

Each application must include the following components:

1. Table of Contents.

2. Abstract of the Proposed Project—one or two paragraphs, not to exceed 350 words, that describe the community in which the project will be implemented, beneficiaries to be served, type(s) of business(es) to be developed, type(s) of jobs to be created, projected cost-per-job, any land or building to be purchased or building constructed, resources leveraged and intended impact on the community.

3. Completed Standard Form 424—that has been signed by an official of the organization applying for the grant who has legal authority to obligate the organization. Under Box 11. indicate the Priority Area for which the application is written.

4. Standard Form 424A—Budget Information-Non-Construction Programs.

5. Standard Form 424B—Assurances-Non-Construction Programs.

6. Narrative Budget Justification—for each object class category required under Section B, Standard Form 424A.

Applicants are encouraged to use job titles and not specific names in developing the application budget. However, the specific salary rates or amounts for staff positions identified must be included in the application budget.

7. Project Narrative—A narrative that addresses issues described in the “Application Review Information” and the “Review and Selection Criteria” sections of this announcement.

2. Application Format

Submit application materials on white 81/2 x 11 inch paper only. Do not use colored, oversized or folded materials.

Do not include organizational brochures or other promotional materials, slides, films, clips, etc.

The font size may be no smaller than 12 pitch and the margins must be at least one inch on all sides.

Number all application pages sequentially throughout the package, beginning with the abstract of the proposed project as page number one.

Present application materials either in loose-leaf notebooks or in folders with pages two-hole punched at the top center and fastened separately with a slide paper fastener.

Each application should include one signed original and two additional copies.

3. Page Limitation

The application package including sections for the Table of Contents, Project Abstract, Project and Budget Narratives, business and work plans must not exceed 60 pages. The page limitation does not include Standard Forms and Assurances, Certifications, Disclosures, appendices and any supplemental documents as required in this announcement.

An application that exceeds the page limitation specified will be considered “non-responsive” and be returned to the applicant without further review.

4. Required Standard Forms

Applicants must submit completed and signed SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance, SF 424A Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs, and Standard Form 424B, Assurances: Non-Construction Programs.

Applicants must provide a certification regarding lobbying when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants must sign and return the certification with their applications.

Applicants must disclose lobbying activities on the Standard Form LLL when applying for an award in excess of $100,000. Applicants who have used non-Federal funds for lobbying activities in connection with receiving assistance under this announcement shall complete a disclosure form to report lobbying. Applicants must sign and return the disclosure form, if applicable, with their applications.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. Applicants provide certification by signing the SF 424 and need not mail back the certification with the application.

Applicants must make the appropriate certification of their compliance with the requirements of the Pro-Children Act of 1994 as outlined in Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Applicants provide certification by signing the SF 424 and need not mail the application back with the application.

You may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format.

To submit an application electronically, please use the http://www.Grants.gov apply site. If you use Grants.gov, you will be able to download a coy of the application package, complete it off-line, and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov site. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following if you plan to submit your application electronically via Grants.gov.

  • Electronic submission is voluntary.
  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.
  • To use Grants.gov, you, as the applicant, must have a DUNS Number and register in the Central Contractor Start Printed Page 28923Registry (CCR). You should allow a minimum of five days to complete the CCR registration.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the SF 424 and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your application must comply with any page limitation requirements described in this program announcement.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The Administration for Children and Families will retrieve your application from Grants.
  • We may request that you provide original signatures on forms at a later date.
  • You may access the electronic application for this program on http://www.Grants.gov.
  • You must search for the downloadable application package by the CFDA number.

Private non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants” at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htm.

3. Submission Date and Times

The closing time and date for receipt of applications is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 19, 2004. Mailed or hand carried applications received after 4:30 p.m. on the closing date will be classified as late.

Deadline: Mailed applications shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline time and date at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services' Operations Center, 1815 Fort Meyer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22209 Attention: Operations Center. Applicants are responsible for mailing applications well in advance, when using all mail services, to ensure that the applications are received on or before the deadline time and date.

Applications hand carried by applicants, applicant couriers, other representatives of the applicant, or by overnight/express mail couriers shall be considered as meeting an announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline date, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., EST, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services' Operations Center, 1815 Fort Meyer Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22209 Attention: Operations Center, between Monday and Friday (excluding Federal holidays). This address must appear on the envelope/package containing the application with the note: “Attention: Operations Center”. Applicants are cautioned that express/overnight mail services do not always deliver as agreed.

Late applications: Applications which do not meet the criteria above are considered late applications and will not be considered. ACF shall notify each late applicant that its application will not be considered in the current competition.

Extension of deadlines: ACF may extend application deadlines when circumstances such as acts of God (floods, hurricanes, etc.) occur, or when there are widespread disruptions of mails service. Determinations to extend or waive deadline requirements rest with the Chief Grants Management Officer.

Required Forms

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Table of contentsAs described aboveConsistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcementBy application due date.
Abstract of Proposed ProjectIdentifies project, the target population and the major elements of the proposed projectConsistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcementBy application due date.
Completed Standard Form 424As described above and per required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
Completed Standard Form 424AAs described above and per required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
Completed Standard Form 424BAs described above and per required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
Narrative Budget JustificationAs described aboveConsistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcementBy application due date.
Project NarrativeA narrative that addresses issues described in the “Application Review Information” and the “Review and Selection Criteria” sections of this announcementConsistent with guidance in “Application Format” section of this announcementBy application due date.
Certification regarding lobbyingAs described above and per required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
Certification regarding environmental tobacco smokeAs described above and per required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​forms.htmBy application due date.
1. SF424Per required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
2. SF424APer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
Start Printed Page 28924
3.a. SF424BPer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
3.b. Certification regarding lobbyingPer required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
3.c. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL)Per required formMay be found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmSee application due date.
4. Project Summary/AbstractSummary of application requestSee instructions in this funding opportunity announcementSee application due date.
5. Project DescriptionResponsiveness to evaluation criteriaSee instructions in this funding opportunity announcementSee application due date.
6. Proof of non-profit statusSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
7. Indirect cost rate agreementSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
8. Letters of agreement & MOUsSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
9. Letters of supportSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
10. Sole source justificationSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
11. Non-Federal share letterSee aboveSee aboveSee application due date.
Total applicationSee aboveApplication limit 90 pages total including all forms and attachments. Submit one original and two copiesSee application due date.

Additional Forms: Private-non-profit organizations are encouraged to submit with their applications the additional survey located under “Grant Related Documents and Forms” titled “Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant Applicants.”

What to submitRequired contentRequired form or formatWhen to submit
Survey for Private, Non-Profit Grant ApplicantsPer required formMay be found on http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ofs/​grants/​form.htmBy application due date.

4. Intergovernmental Review

State Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

This program is covered under Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” and 45 CFR Part 100, “Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities.” Under the Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs. As of October 1, 2003, the following jurisdictions have elected not to participate in the Executive Order process. Applicants from these jurisdictions or for projects administered by federally-recognized Indian Tribes need take no action in regard to E.O. 12372:

All States and Territories except Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and Palau have elected to participate in the Executive Order process and have established Single Points of Contact (SPOCs). Applicants from these twenty-six jurisdictions need take no action.

Although the jurisdictions listed above no longer participate in the process, entities which have met the eligibility requirements of the program are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory, Commonwealth, etc. does not have a SPOC. All remaining jurisdictions participate in the Executive Order process and have established SPOCs. Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOCs as soon as possible to alert them of the prospective applications and receive instructions. Applicants must submit any required material to the SPOCs as soon as possible so that the program office can obtain and review SPOC comments as part of the award process. The applicant must submit all required materials, if any, to the SPOC and indicate the date of this submittal (or the date of contact if no submittal is required) on the Standard Form 424, item 16a. Under 45 CFR 100.8(a) (2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application deadline to comment on proposed new or competing continuation awards.

SPOCs are encouraged to eliminate the submission of routine endorsements as official recommendations. Additionally, SPOCs are requested to clearly differentiate between mere advisory comments and those official State process recommendations which may trigger the “accommodate or explain” rule.

When comments are submitted directly to ACF, they should be addressed to: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Mail Stop 6C-462, Washington, DC 20447.

A list of the Single Points of Contact for each State and Territory is included with the application materials for this announcement.Start Printed Page 28925

5. Funding Restrictions

Sub-Contracting or Delegating Projects

OCS will not fund project where the role of the applicant is primarily to serve as a conduit for funds to organizations other than the applicant. The applicant must have a substantive role in the implement of the project for which funding is requested. This prohibition does not bar the making of sub-grants or sub-contracting for specific services or activities needed to conduct the project.

Prohibited Activities

OCS will not consider applications that propose to establish Small Business Investment Corporations or Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Corporations.

OCS will not fund projects that are primarily education and training projects. In projects where participants must be trained, any funds proposed for training must be limited to specific job-related training to those individuals who have been selected for employment in the grant supported project. Projects involving training and placement for existing vacant positions will be disqualified from competition.

OCS will not fund projects that would result in the relocation of a business from one geographic area to another resulting in job displacement.

Pre-award costs will not be covered by an award.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Private Nonprofit Community Development Corporation

Applicants must provide proof of nonprofit status and proof of status as a community development corporation as required by statute and as described under “Additional Information on Eligibility.”

Sufficiency of Financial Management System

Because CED funds are Federal, all grantees must be capable of meeting the requirements of 45 CFR Part 74 concerning their financial management system. To assure that the applicant has such capability, applications must include a signed statement from a Certified or Licensed Public Accountant as to the sufficiency of the CDCs financial management system in accordance with 45 CFR 74 and financial statements for the CDC for the prior three years. If such statements are not available because the CDC is a newly formed entity, the application must include a statement to this effect. The CDC grantee is responsible for ensuring that grant funds expended by it and the third party are expended in compliance with Federal regulations of 45 CFR, Part 74 and OMB Circular A-122.

Work Plan

An applicant must include a detailed work plan covering the activities to be undertaken and benchmarks that demonstrate progress toward stated goals and measurable objectives.

Evaluation

Applications must include provision for an independent, methodologically sound evaluation of the effectiveness of the activities carried out with the grant and their efficacy in creating new jobs and business ownership opportunities. There must be a well-defined process evaluation, and an outcome evaluation whose design will permit tracking of project participants throughout the proposed project period. The evaluation must be conducted by an independent evaluator, i.e., a person with recognized evaluation skills who is organizationally distinct from, and not under the control of, the applicant. It is important that each successful applicant have a third-party evaluator selected, and implement their role at the very latest by the time the work program of the project is begun, and if possible before that time so that he or she can participate in the design of the program, in order to assure that data necessary for the evaluation will be collected and available.

V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-13)

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection of information.

The following information collections are included in the program announcement: The project description is approved under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 0970-0139.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Purpose

The project description provides a major means by which an application is evaluated and ranked to compete with other applications for available assistance. The project description should be concise and complete and should address the activity for which Federal funds are being requested. Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly. In preparing your project description, all information requested through each specific evaluation criteria should be provided. Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations. It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application.

Introduction

Applicants required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The instructions give a broad overview of what your project description should include while the evaluation criteria expands and clarifies more program-specific information that is needed.

Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the project description (a page or less) with reference to the funding request.

Objectives and Need for Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance must be demonstrated and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included. Any relevant data based on planning studies should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes. Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as needed. In developing the project description, the applicant may volunteer or be requested to provide information on the total range of projects currently being conducted and supported (or to be initiated), some of which may be outside the scope of the program announcement.

Results or Benefits Expected

Identify the results and benefits to be derived. For example, describe the population to be served by the program and the number of new jobs that will be targeted to the target population. Explain how the project will reach the targeted population, how it will benefit participants including how it will Start Printed Page 28926support individuals to become more economically self-sufficient.

Approach

Outline a plan of action which describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors which might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reasons for taking the proposed approach rather than others. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technical innovations, reductions in cost or time or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in, for example such terms as the “number of people served.” When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

If any data is to be collected, maintained, and/or disseminated, clearance may be required from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This clearance pertains to any “collection of information that is conducted or sponsored by ACF.”

List organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Evaluation

Provide a narrative addressing how the results of the project and the conduct of the project will be evaluated. In addressing the evaluation of results, state how you will determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated objectives and the extent to which the accomplishment of objectives can be attributed to the project. Discuss the criteria to be used to evaluate results, and explain the methodology that will be used to determine if the needs identified and discussed are being met and if the project results and benefits are being achieved. With respect to the conduct of the project, define the procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted in a manner consistent with the work plan presented and discuss the impact of the project's various activities on the project's effectiveness.

Organizational Profiles

Provide information on the applicant organization(s) and cooperating partners such as organizational charts, financial statements, audit reports or statements from CPAs/Licensed Public Accountants, Employer Identification Numbers, names of bond carriers, contact persons and telephone numbers, child care licenses and other documentation of professional accreditation, information on compliance with Federal/State/local government standards, documentation of experience in the program area, and other pertinent information. Any non-profit organization submitting an application must submit proof of its non-profit status in its application at the time of submission.

The non-profit agency can accomplish this by providing a copy of the applicant's listing in the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, or by providing a copy of the currently valid IRS tax exemption certificate, or by providing a copy of the articles of incorporation bearing the seal of the State in which the corporation or association is domiciled.

Budget and Budget Justification

Provide line item detail and detailed calculations for each budget object class identified on the Budget Information form. Detailed calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. The detailed budget must also include a breakout by the funding sources identified in Block 15 of the SF-424.

Provide a narrative budget justification that describes how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocability of the proposed costs.

1. Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria for Review and Evaluation of Applications Submitted Under Priority Area 4—Planning Projects

Evaluation Criterion I: Approach (Maximum: 35 Points)

The application describes the project, feasibility studies it proposes to conduct and organizational capacity building it proposes to undertake. (0-5 Points)

The work plan is results-oriented and related to conducting feasibility studies that address job creation and business development opportunities for low-income individuals. The applicant addresses the following: Specific outcomes to be achieved; performance targets that the project is committed to achieving, including a discussion of how project will verify the achievement of these targets; critical milestones which must be achieved if results are to be gained; organizational support, the level of support from the applicant organization; past performance in similar work; and specific resources contributed to the project that are critical to success. The planning project is able to be implemented soon after a grant award is made. (0-15 Points)

The work plan outlines realistic quarterly time schedules of work tasks by which the objectives (including the development of organizational capacity, a business plan and mobilization of resources) will be accomplished not withstanding any such potential problems. (0-5 Points)

The narrative describes the basis on which the applicant will determine the feasibility of a project and the determination of whether to pursue a business plan. (0-5 points)

The work plan describes critical issues or potential problems that might impact negatively on the project and it indicates how the project objectives will be attained despite these issues or problems. (0-5 points)

Evaluation Criterion II: Results and Benefits Expected (Maximum: 25 Points)

The applicant will conduct three to five feasibility studies of business development opportunities that may result in viable, full time permanent jobs. (0-5 points)

The proposed businesses are in stable or growth industries that can be sustained over the long term in the community. (0-5 points)

The business plan expected as a result of this project looks to be feasible based on the organizational capability and experience of the applicant's Start Printed Page 28927organization, management and/or staff. (0-5 points)

The applicant demonstrates capacity to mobilize resources from the private sector, public resources, corporations and foundations, if the proposed project is implemented. (0-10 points)

Evaluation Criterion III: Objectives and Need for Assistance (Maximum: 10 Points)

The applicant documents that the project addresses a vital need in a distressed community. “Distressed community” is defined as a geographic urban neighborhood or rural community with high unemployment and pervasive poverty. The application documents that both the unemployment rate and poverty level for the targeted neighborhood of community are equal to or greater than the state or national level. The applications cites the most recent available statistics from published sources, e.g. the recent U.S. Census or updates, the State, County, City election district and other information provided in support of its contention. (0-7 points)

The applicant documents that it is an active partner in either a new or on-going comprehensive community revitalization project such as: A federally designated Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community or Renewal Community project that has clear goals of strengthening economic and human development in target neighborhoods; a State or local-government supported comprehensive neighborhood revitalization project; or a privately supported community revitalization initiative. (0-3 points)

Evaluation Criterion IV: Objectives and Need for Assistance (Maximum: 15 Points)

a. Organizational Profiles

The applicant demonstrates that it has the management capacity, organizational structure and successful record of accomplishment relevant to community development and that it has the ability to mobilize other financial and in-kind resources. (0-10 points)

b. Staff Skills and Resources

The application describes in brief resume form the experience and skills of the project director who is not only well qualified, but whose professional capabilities are relevant to the successful implementation of the project. If the key staff person has not yet been identified, the application contains a comprehensive position description that indicates that the responsibilities to be assigned to the project director are relevant to the successful implementation of the project. (0-5 points)

Evaluation Criterion V: Evaluation (Maximum: 10 Points)

The application includes a self-evaluation component that describes criteria to be used to evaluate project results and explain the methodology to be used to determine whether criteria are met. (0-5 points)

The application defines procedures to be employed to determine whether the project is being conducted consistent with the work plans. (0-5 points)

Evaluation Criterion VI: Budget and Budget Justification (Maximum: 5 Points)

Funds requested are commensurate with the level of effort necessary to accomplish the goals and the objectives of the project. (0-5 Points)

2. Review and Selection Process

Initial OCS Screening

Each application submitted to OCS will be screened to determine whether it was received by the closing date and time.

Applications received by the closing date and time will be screened for completeness and conformity with the following requirements. Only complete applications that meet the requirements listed below will be reviewed and evaluated competitively. Other applications will be returned to the applicants with a notation that they were unacceptable and will not be reviewed.

All applications must comply with the following requirements except as noted:

(a) The application must contain a signed Standard Form 424 Application for Federal Assistance “SF-424”, a Standard Form 424-A Budget Information “SF-424A” and signed Standard Form 424B Assurance— Non-Construction Programs “SF-424B” completed according to instructions provided in this Program Announcement. The forms SF-424 and the SF-424B must be signed by an official of the organization applying for the grant who has authority to obligate the organization legally. The applicant's legal name as required on the SF-424 (Item 5) must match that listed as corresponding to the Employer Identification Number (Item 6);

(b) The application must include a project narrative that meets requirements set for in this announcement.

(c) The application must contain documentation of the applicant's tax-exempt and CDC statuses as indicated in the “Additional Information on Eligibility” section of this announcement.

OCS Evaluation of Applications

Applications that pass the initial OCS screening will be reviewed and rated by a panel based on the program elements and review criteria presented in relevant sections of this program announcement.

The review criteria are designed to enable the review panel to assess the quality of a proposed project and determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related to each other and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. The review panel awards points only to applications that are responsive to the program elements and relevant review criteria within the context of this program announcement.

The OCS Director and the program staff use the reviewer scores when considering competing applications. Reviewer scores will weigh heavily in funding decisions, but will not be the only factors considered.

Applications generally will be considered in order of the average scores assigned by the review panel. Because other important factors are taken into consideration, highly ranked applications are not guaranteed funding. These other considerations include, for example: the timely and proper completion by the applicant of projects funded with OCS funds granted in the last five (5) years; comments of reviewers and government officials; staff evaluation and input; amount and duration of the grant requested and the proposed project's consistency and harmony with OCS goals and policy; geographic distribution of applications; previous program performance of applicants; compliance with grant terms under previous HHS grants, including the actual dedication to program of mobilized resources as set forth in project applications; audit reports; investigative reports; and applicant's progress in resolving any final audit disallowance on previous OCS or other Federal agency grants.

In cases where more applications are approved for funding than ACF can fund with the money available, the Grants Officer shall fund applications in their order of approval until funds run out. In this case, ACF has the option of carrying over the approved applications up to a year for funding consideration in a later competition of the same program. These applications need not be reviewed and scored again if the program's evaluation criteria have not changed. However, they must then be Start Printed Page 28928placed in rank order along with other applications in the later competition.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: 90 days after the due date of applications.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: 45 CFR Part 74.

3. Reporting.

Programmatic Reports: Semi-annually with final report due 90 days after project end date.

Financial Reports: Semi-annually with final report due 90 days after project end date.

Special Reporting Requirements: None.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact: Debbie Brown, Office of Community Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, Aerospace Building 5th Floor West, Washington, DC 20447, Email: dbrown@acf.hhs.gov. Telephone: (202) 401-3446.

Grants Management Office Contact: Barbara Ziegler Johnson, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Aerospace Building 4th Floor West, Washington, DC 20447-0002. Email: bziegler-johns1@acf.hhs.gov. Telephone: (202) 401-4646.

VIII. Other Information

Additional Information about this program and its purpose can be located on the following Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/​programs/​ocs.

Start Signature

Dated: May 11, 2004.

Clarence H. Carter,

Director, Office of Community Services.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 04-11237 Filed 5-18-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-P