[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 41 (Thursday, March 1, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12647-12650]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4880]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


Fund Availability Under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per 
Diem Program

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the 
availability of funds for applications for assistance under the Per 
Diem Only component of VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem 
Program. This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) includes funding 
priorities for those applicants who will serve specific homeless 
veteran populations that are identified in this NOFA, or implement a 
new ``transition in place'' housing model to facilitate housing 
stabilization. This Notice contains information concerning the program, 
funding priorities, application process, and amount of funding 
available.

DATES: Applications must be received in accordance with this NOFA no 
later than 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chelsea Watson, VA's Homeless 
Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
10770 North 46th Street, Suite C-200, Tampa, Florida, 33617; (toll-
free) (877) 332-0334.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Notice announces the availability of 
per diem funds for assistance under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and 
Per Diem Program for eligible entities. VA will award only one 
application for funding per nonprofit organization per state. For 
example: If a nonprofit organization has several entities in a state 
that are a part of their overall organization, whether or not those 
entities are separately incorporated, only one of these entities would 
be eligible for a grant award. Please refer to 38 CFR part 61 for 
detailed program information.

A. Purpose

    VA is pleased to issue this NOFA for VA's Homeless Providers Grant 
and Per Diem Program as a part of the effort to end homelessness among 
our Nation's veterans. VA expects to fund approximately 450 beds over a 
3-year period under this NOFA for Funding Priority 1 (see section E., 
below, for explanation of funding priorities). The maximum award of 
$1.2 million will support an average of 25 beds per night, per project, 
at the current maximum per diem rate of $38.90; taking into 
consideration that the maximum per diem rate may increase in future 
years. VA expects to fund approximately 150 beds under Funding 
Priorities 2-4 for as long as the grantee meets the program 
requirements under 38 CFR part 61.

B. Definitions, Regulations, and Authority

    Funding applied for under this NOFA is authorized by 38 U.S.C. 
2011, 2012, 2013, 2061, and 2064. For definitions of terms that appear 
in this NOFA, and regulations governing VA's Homeless Providers Grant 
and Per Diem Program, see 38 CFR part 61.

C. Submission of Application

    No later than 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 
applicant must either:
    1. Submit complete application to www.Grants.gov by 4 p.m. Eastern 
Time on Wednesday, May 30, 2012; or
    2. Submit an original, completed, and collated grant application 
(plus three completed collated copies) to the VA Homeless Providers 
Grant and Per Diem Program Office, 10770 North 46th Street, Suite C-
200, Tampa, Florida, 33617.
    Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX). In the interest of 
fairness to all competing applicants, this deadline is firm as to date 
and hour, and VA will not consider any application that is received 
after the deadline. Applicants should consider submitting early to 
avoid any risk of loss of eligibility brought about by unanticipated 
delays, computer service outages (in the case of Grants.gov), or other 
delivery-related problems.
    For a copy of the application package: Download directly from VA's 
Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program Web site at http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/GPD.asp; or obtain a copy from http://www.grants.gov. Questions should be referred to the Grant and Per Diem 
Program at (toll-free) (877) 332-0334. For additional information on 
VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, see 38 CFR part 61.
    Applications must arrive as a complete package. Materials arriving 
separately will not be included in the application package for 
consideration and may result in the application being rejected or not 
funded. Applicants should ensure that the items listed in the 
``application requirements'' section K of this NOFA are addressed in 
their application.

D. Allocation

    Under funding priority 1 approximately $20 million is available for 
per diem only awards under this NOFA for a period beginning on the date 
that the grant is awarded and ending on or about September 30, 2015. 
The maximum amount of the per diem award under Funding Priority 1 for 
any awardee may not exceed $1.2 million for the entire grant period. 
Funding for the entire grant period will be obligated at the time of 
the award and available for draw down by the grantee over the grant 
period. Monthly reimbursements will be issued for bed days of care 
provided based upon the project's approved per diem rate. VA will not 
award more than $48,000.00 per bed over the entire grant period based 
on the average number of beds to be provided as stated in the grant 
application. VA payment is limited to the applicant's cost of care per 
eligible veteran minus other sources of payments to the applicant for 
furnishing services to homeless veterans up to the per day rate 
established by the Grant and Per Diem Program Office, which is 
currently $38.90 per occupied bed day of care provided. Grantees will 
be required to

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support their request for per diem payment with adequate fiscal 
documentation as to program income and expenses.
    Under funding priorities 2 through 4 approximately $2 million 
dollars per year is available for funding in the form of per diem 
payments issued to the grantee subject to availability of funds and the 
grantee's compliance with 38 CFR 61.1-61.82.

E. Award Period

    For the purposes of this NOFA under Funding Priority 1, the award 
period will end on or about September 30, 2015, a period of at least 3 
years depending on the exact date of the award. By way of example, a 
grant awarded on August 1, 2012, and ending on September 30, 2015, 
would constitute an award lasting 3 years and 2 months. The final award 
period will be established in the award letter. For the purpose of this 
NOFA under Funding Priorities 2 through 4, the award period will be 
from the date of award and will continue subject to availability of 
funds and the grantee's compliance with 38 CFR 61.1-61.82.

F. Implementation Timeline

    All projects within all funding priorities are expected to pass 
inspection and become operational within 90 days from the date of 
award. Failure to meet the 90-day milestone may result in the per diem 
award being terminated.

G. Funding Priorities

    All applicants must submit a cover letter with their application 
indicating under which funding priority the application is to be 
considered. Applicants may not request more than one funding priority 
per application. Failure to identify a funding priority in a cover 
letter or requesting more than one funding priority will result in the 
application being placed in Funding Priority 4. Funding priorities for 
this NOFA are as follows:
    1. Funding Priority 1--In an effort to promote increased housing 
stabilization VA is encouraging eligible entities to use the following 
``Transition in Place'' housing model to aid in VA's efforts to end 
homelessness among veterans.
    The ``Transition in Place'' housing model offers residents housing 
in which support services transition out of the residence over time, 
rather than the resident. This leaves the resident in place at the 
residence and not forced to find other housing in 24 months or less. 
This model does not support discharge planning that would have the 
veteran transition in place to HUD-VASH as the HUD-VASH program targets 
a veteran population in need of specialized case management. The 
concept of ``Transition in Place'' under this NOFA is for eligible 
entities to identify or convert existing suitable apartment-style 
housing where homeless veteran participants would receive time-limited 
supportive services optimally for a period of 6-12 months, but not to 
exceed 24 months. Upon completion, the veteran must be able to 
``transition in place'' by assuming the lease or other long-term 
agreement which enables the unit in which he or she resides to be 
considered the veteran's permanent housing.
    Grantees are expected to replace units as they are converted to 
permanent housing in order to maintain the average number of bed days 
as stated in the application during the entire grant period. Once the 
veteran assumes the lease or other long-term agreement, VA will no 
longer provide funding for the unit under this NOFA. For example, each 
time a veteran assumes the lease or other long-term agreement for the 
apartment, the grantee must identify a new unit in which to place 
another veteran. By program design, transition to permanent housing 
should occur as rapidly as possible, and grantees should continually be 
acquiring and coordinating with VA on the inspection of new units so as 
to maintain a steady number of veterans served.
    Applicants applying under Funding Priority 1 must own or lease 
apartments intended as permanent housing for an individual or single 
family. Apartments must meet the inspection standards outlined at 38 
CFR 61.80, and have the following characteristics:
    i. Private access without unauthorized passage through another 
dwelling unit or private property;
    ii. Sanitary facilities within the unit;
    iii. Basic furnishings; and
    iv. Suitable space and equipment within the unit to store, prepare, 
and serve food in a sanitary manner (including, at a minimum, a 
refrigerator, freezer, sink, and stove). Note: Microwave ovens, hot 
plates, or similar items are not suitable substitutes for an 
operational stove.
    VA offers current grantees the ability to convert existing per diem 
only projects to this model. Current capital grantees should contact 
the GPD Program Office to determine eligibility due to recapture and 
disposition requirements that may apply to their capital grants.
    Of those eligible entities that are legally fundable in Funding 
Priority 1, the highest-ranked applications for which funding is 
available will be conditionally selected for eligibility to receive a 
per diem only award in accordance with their ranked order until funding 
is expended (approximately $20 million). The Department places special 
emphasis on addressing the needs of underserved populations, including 
homeless women veterans with or without the care of dependent children.
    2. Funding Priority 2--VA is offering the opportunity to rural 
applicants whose project sites have a Rural-Urban Commuting Area Code 
(RUCA) of 10.0 to 10.6, to apply for funding under this NOFA to create 
transitional housing and services for homeless veterans not to exceed 
20 beds per project. To determine if your project's RUCA code qualifies 
for this priority, potential applicants should go to www.va.gov/homeless/gpd.asp.
    If your project has more than one location, all must have a RUCA 
code of 10.0 to 10.6.
    The project site address(es) and zip code(s) must be clearly stated 
in the application in order to determine eligibility under this funding 
priority. If eligibility cannot be determined, the application will be 
placed in Funding Priority 4.
    Of those eligible entities in the second funding priority that are 
legally fundable, the highest scoring applicants will be funded first 
until approximately 50 beds are awarded.
    3. Funding Priority 3--VA is offering the opportunity to Indian 
Tribal Governments or non-profit agencies that will provide 
transitional housing and services on Indian Tribal Property to apply 
for funding under this NOFA to create transitional housing and services 
for homeless veterans not to exceed 20 beds per project. Eligible 
entities that are Indian Tribal Governments or non-profit agencies 
willing to provide transitional housing and services on Indian Tribal 
Property will be considered in the third funding priority. Of those 
eligible entities in the third funding priority that are legally 
fundable, the highest-scoring applicants will be funded first until 
approximately 50 beds are awarded. Note: Non-profit agencies that apply 
under this priority will be required to provide a letter of assurance 
from the Indian Tribal Government that, if funded, the provision of 
service will occur on Indian Tribal Property.
    4. Funding Priority 4--VA is encouraging interested state and local 
governments, faith-based and community-based organizations, as well as 
eligible entities located in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth 
of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States, to 
apply

[[Page 12649]]

for funding under this NOFA to create transitional housing and services 
not to exceed 20 beds per project. Applicants should be aware of the 
needs of justice-involved homeless veterans (i.e., veterans who are not 
incarcerated but are involved in the criminal justice system). Eligible 
entities will be considered in the fourth funding priority as 
applicable. Of those eligible entities that are legally fundable, the 
highest-ranked application for which funding is available will be 
conditionally selected for eligibility to receive a per diem only award 
in accordance with their ranked order until approximately 50 beds are 
awarded.

H. Inspections and Monitoring Requirements

    VA places a great deal of emphasis on the responsibility and 
accountability of grantees. VA has procedures in place to monitor 
services provided to homeless veterans and outcomes associated with the 
services provided in grant and per diem-funded programs. VA is also 
implementing new procedures to further this effort. Applicants should 
be aware of the following:
    1. All grantees are required to ensure that facilities used under 
this NOFA meet the Life Safety Code of the National Fire and Protection 
Association. Please note, typically the Life Safety Code is more 
stringent than local or state codes. No additional funds will be made 
available for capital improvements under this per diem only NOFA. 
Applicants also should note that all facilities, unless they are 
specifically exempted under the Life Safety Code, are required to have 
an operational sprinkler system. VA will conduct an inspection that 
grantee sites must pass prior to grantees being able to submit a 
request for per diem payment to ensure this requirement is met. 
Applicants should take into consideration the logistics associated with 
conducting inspections and providing regular case management involved 
with numerous site locations and/or sites that are significantly 
dispersed from each other.
    2. Each per diem-funded program will have a liaison appointed from 
a nearby VA medical facility to provide oversight and monitor services 
provided to homeless veterans in the per diem-funded program. 
Monitoring will include at least an annual review of each per diem 
program's progress toward meeting internal goals and objectives in 
helping veterans attain housing stability, adequate income support, and 
self-sufficiency as identified in each per diem program's original 
application. Monitoring will also include a review of the agency's 
income and expenses as they relate to this project to ensure per diem 
payment is accurate.
    3. Each per diem-funded program will participate in VA's national 
program monitoring and evaluation system. It is the intent of VA to 
develop specific performance targets with respect to housing for 
homeless veterans. VA's monitoring procedures will be used to determine 
successful accomplishment of these housing outcomes for each per diem-
funded program.
    4. Grantees will be expected to enter data into a Homeless 
Management Information System (HMIS) web-based software application and 
bed totals in the Homeless Inventory Count. This data will consist of 
information on the veterans served and types of supportive services 
provided by grantees. Grantees must treat the data for activities 
funded by the Grant and Per Diem Program separate from that of 
activities funded by other programs. Grantees will be required to 
export client-level data for activities funded by the Grant and Per 
Diem Program to VA on a regular basis.

I. Payments

    Under this NOFA, VA will make per diem payments in a method 
consistent with VA policy. Per diem will be paid only for eligible 
veterans (i.e., Veterans whom VA refers to the grantee, or for whom VA 
authorizes the provision of services) and will be available for the 
periods of awards specified in Section E of this NOFA. All payment 
specifics will be given to the grantee at the time of award. At no time 
may grantees draw more than the maximum approved per diem rate as 
authorized by VA's Grant and Per Diem Program Office. All costs charged 
to the per diem grant must be allowable under the applicable OMB 
Circulars for Grants Management (codified at 2 CFR parts 225 and 230).

J. Application Selection

    VA will review all per diem only grant applications in response to 
this NOFA. Applicants will then be ranked based on score and any 
ranking criteria set forth in this NOFA only if the applicant scores at 
least 500 cumulative points from paragraphs (b) (c) (d) (e) and (i) of 
38 CFR 61.13. The highest-ranked application for which funding is 
available, within the highest funding priority, will be selected for 
eligibility to receive per diem payment in accordance with their ranked 
order until VA expends all the funds.

K. Application Requirements

    Applicants must address the following within the application:
    Targeting--Section 6, Question C1, pg. 10: Describe your agency's 
admission criteria for veterans that would be appropriate for this 
project.
    Targeting--Section 6, question C3, pg. 11: VA is placing emphasis 
on serving those homeless veterans who do not currently have a stable 
housing situation (i.e., not currently in another Grant and Per Diem 
Program or VA-sponsored housing program). In this section, please 
identify where your organization will target its outreach efforts to 
identify appropriate veterans for this program.
    Project Plan--Section 7, area 1 (1a), pg. 15: What is the 
percentage of veterans that will successfully transition to permanent 
housing?
    Project Plan--Section 7, area 1 (2a), pg. 17: What is the 
percentage of veterans served that will be employed or receiving 
benefits at the conclusion of the transitional housing?
    Project Plan--Section 7, area 2, pg. 21: Address how your agency 
will facilitate the provision of nutritional meals for the veterans. Be 
sure to describe how veterans with little or no income will be 
assisted.
    Project Plan--Section 7, area 6, pg. 25: VA places great emphasis 
on placing veterans in the most appropriate housing situation as 
rapidly as possible. In this section, provide a timetable and the 
specific services to include follow-up that supports housing 
stabilization. Include evidence of coordination of transition services 
with which your agency expects to have for veterans.
    Project Plan--Section 7, area 7, pg. 26: For Funding Priority 1 
applicants only, describe in this section how your agency will manage 
the conversion of the dwelling unit and the services provided to the 
participant from transitional phase to permanent housing and what 
follow-up services will be provided to the veteran once converted to 
permanent housing. Additionally, describe the instrument that will be 
used (lease, program agreement, memorandum of understanding, etc) to 
ensure the veteran's permanent occupancy once unit has converted. 
Moreover, include how this will enhance housing outcomes leading to 
more timely access to permanent housing.
    Ability--Section 8, question A, pg. 28: In addition to the one page 
resume and/or job description for key personnel, provide a staffing 
plan that outlines how your organization will carry out this proposal 
(i.e., a full-time housing specialist).
    Site Description--Section 10, question C, pg. 34: For Funding 
Priority 1 applicants only, describe the availability of current 
housing stock in

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your community that would be appropriate for this program and would 
meet the standards required by Life Safety Code and 38 CFR 61.1--61.82.
    Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424)--Applicants for Funding 
Priority 1--in block 15a, Federal; identify the total amount of per 
diem funding your agency is requesting for operation under the entire 
grant award period of this NOFA (this number may not exceed $48,000 per 
bed over the entire grant period or $1.2 million total).
    Applicants should be careful to complete the proper application 
package. Submission of an incorrect or incomplete application package 
will result in the application being rejected at threshold. Application 
packages must include all required forms and certifications. Selections 
will be made based on criteria described in the application, Final 
Rule, and NOFA. Applicants who are conditionally selected will be 
notified of any additional information needed to confirm or clarify 
information provided in the application. Applicants will then be 
notified of the deadline to submit such information. If an applicant is 
unable to meet any conditions for grant award within the specified time 
frame, VA reserves the right to not award funds and to use the funds 
available for other grant and per diem applicants.

    Dated: February 16, 2012.
John R. Gingrich,
Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-4880 Filed 2-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P