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Rating & Ranking Process for the 2021 Continuum of Care Competition
Published: April 01, 2021
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that local CoC’s prioritize all renewal and new projects submitted in our consolidated application. As in past years, project priorities will be generated by a scoring system, site visits and interviews by the CoC Competition Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee, made up of impartial members of the Sonoma County Continuum of Care Board.
HUD has yet to release information on the opening of its application period but has indicated it would like to open the competition on a similar timeline to the opening in July 2019 for the previous CoC Competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HUD automatically renewed all projects in 2020. In order to more closely align with best practices from HUD, we will continue the process for rating and ranking slightly adjusted in 2019 in order to evaluate both renewal and new projects on a more equitable basis. Staff and CoC Competition Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee members will begin monitoring renewal projects April 2021 but will not finalize ranking of renewal projects until the Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) period opens.
Final funding decisions, including decisions about Tier 1 & 2 funding, will be made by the CoC Board.
Please read the following instructions carefully:
In the 2021 Continuum of Care competition, 17 projects with contract end dates in 2022 will be up for renewal. A list of renewal projects is attached. Project scoring will take place in three phases:
- Collection and Preliminary Scoring of performance data, background documents, project and agency monitoring questionnaires.
- Site Visits and Interviews will be scheduled for all CoC-funded agencies in 2021. In 2021, site visits will take place virtually. As in years past, focus will be based on:
- Concerns following review of documentation and scoring;
- Concerns or corrective action plans in 2018-2020; or
- Projects renewing for the first time.
Phase One: Collection and Preliminary Review of Renewal Evaluations — April 30-May 10
Please see the attached checklist of required documents to be submitted by April 30, 2021.
Scoring for 2021 renewal projects is subject to revision by the CoC Competition Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee in April 2021; the draft scoring schema is attached here and will also be utilized for new and renewal projects. Final scoring will not be completed until the Continuum of Care Competition opens. Projects are scored on:
- Performance on outcomes we report to HUD (54 points)
- Alignment with local priorities (10-Year Plan goals) (6 points)
- Agency Capacity (40 points)
Scores will be derived from the project’s most recent Annual Performance Report (APR), mid-year APRs where appropriate, review of HMIS and other compliance (including HUD monitoring or audits), and responses to monitoring questionnaires. New projects will be scored on proposed outcomes in the same areas. Agencies new to the Continuum of Care funding stream are highly encouraged to apply for new projects created through Bonus Projects or reallocation once the Notice of Available Funding (NOFA) period opens. In 2021, there are updated questionnaires for Housing First approach, cultural competency, and disability access.
The CoC Competition Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee will meet in April 2021 for a review of the CoC Evaluation Process and in May 2021 to review preliminary scoring for new projects and finalize the schedule of site visits. Final scoring will be compiled after the FY 2021 Continuum of Care NOFA is released; new project scoring will closely align with renewal project scoring and will be weighted equally.
Phase Two: Interviews and Site Visits to Selected Projects — May 17-May 28
All agencies will receive site visits in 2021; site visits will take place virtually.
You and your staff will be invited to an additional interview with the CoC Competition Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee to discuss concerns that may have arisen through the review process and site visits. Both interviews and site visits will enable providers to discuss project and agency monitoring forms and address any questions that have arisen with committee members. Please have the following staff present at site visits as well as any follow-up interviews:
- Program manager
- Direct service staff
- Staff in charge of financial and grants management
On April 28th the CoC Board will approve final scoring, receive an initial report on the renewal evaluation process and overall CoC NOFA process. The CoC Board will make final determinations at a meeting after the Continuum of Care NOFA has been released from HUD.
Conditional vs. Unconditional Renewal
Policies for conditional vs. unconditional renewal are as follows: once projects have been scored, a threshold for unconditional renewal will be established at 80% of the top score. Projects scoring below the threshold will be asked to develop a plan to address performance issues before the release of the 2021 Notice of Funding Availability, or to voluntarily give up award moneys to be reallocated to a new project. Determination of any conditions to renewal will be made during the first week of June 2021. Any required Corrective Action Plans must be submitted for approval by June 14, 2021 so that a final determination can be made as to whether the project goes forward for renewal, via the 2021 CoC Competition Ad Hoc Evaluation Committee and CoC Coordinator’s recommendation to the CoC Board.
Looking Forward to the 2021 CoC Application Period
We anticipate the 2021 application period may open as early as June 2021 and that the evaluation process could potentially overlap into the application period. If the application is delayed 30 days or more following completion of the evaluation process, staff will distribute a Reallocation Questionnaire by which CoC-funded agencies must inform the CoC if they do not intend to submit a project for renewal, or if they expect to reduce their request. We will also release a local RFP for possible new projects after the 2021 application is released.
All documents must be received by 5:00 pm, April 30, 2021. Points will be deducted for late submissions. Please read carefully for changes from the 2019 Competition.
- Most recent submitted APR with complete reported financials. If a new APR is in process, please submit the submitted one and a draft of the new one.
- 1-page letter, signed by the agency’s CEO, giving HUD staff consent to discuss its Continuum of Care projects with the Sonoma County Continuum of Care Coordinator. Each project should be named with the contract reference number for the current contract year.
- Completed Agency Monitoring Questionnaire (1 for the entire agency) and Project Monitoring Questionnaire (1 for each project), enclosed with this memo.
- Copies of any audit and monitoring communications received in the past 3 years from HUD, Department of Housing and Community Development, Cities, County, United Way, St. Joseph’s Community Benefit, or Community Foundation.
- Most recent agency financial audit including auditor’s management letter. Any concerns or findings must be included.
- Most recent Board of Directors packet (if your agency does not regularly copy the Continuum of Care Coordinator). Include agenda, minutes, and supplemental materials from the most recent Board meeting.
- Organizational charts for each renewal project, and for the agency.
- Completed Threshold Criteria Form, Housing First Questionnaire, Housing First Assessment Tool (electronic submission), Cultural Competency Questionnaire, and relevant attachments listed in questionnaires.
- Contact information for your agency’s 5 largest funders.
All documents must be received as individual electronic files. Individual documents may be scanned but must be submitted as individual files. If all documents are scanned together, they will be returned, with points deducted for late submission. The following are acceptable means of delivery:
- By e-mail to Karissa.White@sonoma-county.org (preferred); or
- A thumb drive, hand-delivered to Continuum of Care Coordinator, c/o Sonoma County Community Development Commission, 1440 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.