RFP for Project-Based Voucher Program AND Property-Based Subsidies
The Housing Authority of the City of Tacoma (THA) seeks competitive proposals for two types of THA rental assistance. The Tacoma housing market continues to see low vacancy rates and rising rents. Affordable housing options for low-income families continues to shrink. THA can use its federal funding to find creative ways to make units available to low-income households and to serve more households in the community.
Under this request for proposals THA will accept proposals for two types of rental assistance: Project-Based Voucher Assistance and Local Property-Based Subsidies.
THA will accept proposals for existing housing and the rent to owner must not exceed the lowest of the following:
- 110% of the applicable Fair Market Rent for the unit bedroom size minus any utility allowance;
- The reasonable rent; or
- The rent requested by the owner.
The Project-Based Voucher (PBV) is an existing federal housing subsidy program. These PBVs will enable low-income households to access affordable housing. Under this program, THA and a property owner will negotiate to place a long-term contract on a property to pay housing subsidies for units occupied by qualified tenants. THA regularly inspects units to ensure they are safe for occupancy. Tenant rents are based on tenant incomes and THA pays a subsidy to cover the remaining balance of the rent each month. The subsidy is “attached” to the unit and applies to each qualified tenant that moves into that unit.
For more details about the PBV program please refer to:
Local Property-Based Subsidy
The second offering is the Local Property-Based Subsidy. This program is different from THA’s Tenant- Based and Project-Based voucher programs. It is similar to the Project-Based voucher program in that the subsidy is tied to a property, as opposed to the tenant. Like the Project-Based voucher, THA also regularly inspects units to ensure they are safe for occupancy. The Local Property-Based Subsidy is different from the Project-Based voucher program in three primary ways:
- Like other programs, tenants must income qualify and have incomes below set standards, but the tenant rents are fixed regardless of the tenant’s actual income. This provides predictable rent amounts for tenants rather than rent going up or down based on their income. Fixed rents make the program easier to explain, understand and manage for both tenants and landlords. The fixed subsidy also removes a disincentive for tenants to increase their earned income because the tenant’s share of the rent will not increase if they earn more. On the other hand, it also means that a tenant’s rent share will not decrease if their income goes down. In this way, it is similar to THA’s HOP program except it’s tied to a property rather than a tenant.
- The subsidies to the owner would be set on an annual basis, subject to the property meeting negotiated minimum occupancy rates, rather than varying month-to-month based on tenant rent calculations. This provides a stable, predictable and easy to administer income stream for the owners and predictable expenses for the housing authority.
- The owner is responsible for advertising vacancies, screening its tenants and verifying the income of tenants. The tenants will not have a relationship with the housing authority. Tenants will just realize affordable rents at the property level based on the subsidy that is being provided to the owner. The arrangement offers tenants the tenant protections of THA’s other programs.
This Request for Proposals will remain open continuously until further notice. THA will notify the public once it has awarded all of the available vouchers and/or if THA decides to close the bid process. On a decision to close the bid process, THA will provide a 30-day notice for respondents to submit their final bids.
Completed applications for both programs will first be reviewed on December 15, 2022, and future reviews will occur every 30 days after that. For the first review, applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on December 15, 2022. Applications postmarked before the deadline but not received by the Tacoma Housing Authority will be held until the next review cycle.
An informational meeting was held on November 30, 2022. You can watch the recorded informational session here, and see the presentation and written Q&A below.
Q & A
Would the project-based subsidy referenced include the CHAP program?
The current proposal seeks units to serve low-income households, without a preference for students.
If we go with the 30% AMI set aside, are we limited to charge that rent or would it be that the resident’s portion cannot exceed the maximum allowable?
Please note the rent to owner (total rent) must not exceed the lowest of the following amounts:
- 110 percent of the applicable fair market rent
- The reasonable rent
- The rent requested by the owner
For the Property Based Subsidy program the tenant portion of the rent may not exceed the WSHFC maximum tenant rents found here: https://www.wshfc.org/Managers/Map.aspx
Are we applying for the current units as well? The owner seeks to add units to an existing contract, but I wasn’t sure if I am filling out the unit information for all the units or just the market rate units.
This solicitation is for new units. Any THA partner may reach out to THA to determine if changes to existing contracts can be made if you seek to add covered units to a property that already has some units subsidized. Any new application should be for new units that are not currently subsidized by THA.
Is there any disadvantage to applying for 50% AMI units?
30% units make your application more competitive as they receive more points.