Pre-Application Best Practices Training - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 149
About This Presentation

Pre-Application Best Practices Training


Title: Pre-Application Manual Last modified by: Jill Lordan Created Date: 3/9/1999 3:21:06 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show Company – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:1921
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 150
Provided by: ncallOrg
Learn more at:


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Pre-Application Best Practices Training

Pre-Application Best Practices Training
  • Prepared by NCALL Research, Inc.
  • Updated February 2009

  • Throughout this slide presentation, NCALLs
    recommended best practices will be denoted with
    a BP.

Whats the Difference Between a Pre-Application
and a Final Application?
  • Pre-Applications purpose, to demonstrate
  • Need for the self-help program in an area(s)
  • Organizational capability
  • Organizational eligibility
  • If approved, organization can begin working on
    the 523 Application
  • Preparing the 523 Pre-Application can take up to
    one year
  • BP RD does not reimburse for funds expended
    before the grant period begins!

  • Organizations must pay for
  • The cost of developing the 523 Pre-Application
  • Feasibility study
  • Program and organizational development
  • Preparing the 523 Pre-Application
  • BP Seek other funds or raise funds from other

Rural Development
  • Four office levels
  • National Office
  • Develops policy, interacts with Congress,
    approves applications
  • State Office
  • Allocates 502 funds based on a state formula,
    approves smaller grants
  • Area Office
  • Responsible for the 523 grant
  • Local Office
  • Makes and monitors the 502 loans, co-signer for
    checking accounts, construction inspections

  • RD provides administrative and loan funds
  • Expects grantees to carry out grant agreement
  • BP A grantees working relationship with RD is
    critical to the success of the program

NCALL and You
  • NCALL is available throughout the application
    process and in administering the self-help
  • BP Use us as a resource anytime assistance is

B. Pre-Application Format
Required Format
  • The pre-application
  • Format is very important
  • Is required by RD to be in a specified order
  • Must be submitted in a three-ring binder with
    table of contents and tabbed sections
  • BP Use NCALLs Pre-App checklist as your guide

1a. Standard Form 424, Application for Federal
Assistance, Version 2
  • First form that the reviewer of your application
    will see
  • It should provide RD with
  • How many homes to be built
  • During what period of time
  • In what areas
  • With what funds

  • These blank forms can be obtained from
  • State or Area RD office
  • NCALL Research, Inc.
  • BP Want it fillable? Go to

1b. Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for
  • This survey helps to ensure that the government
    is fairly distributing grant funds
  • See Guide for sample

2. Intergovernmental Review Submittal
  • Intergovernmental Review, State Point of Contact
    (SPOC) List fosters intergovernmental partnership
    and strengthens federalism
  • For list of appropriate contacts, see Guide or

3. Previous Experience
  • RD requires that the organization have the
    financial, legal, and administrative capacity to
    carry out the responsibilities of the Grant
  • vs.

  • BP A narrative statement about the
    organizations previous experience and capacity
    to carry out the Grant Agreement is required. It
    may include
  • Summaries of previous and current RD funded
  • Summaries of previous and current other programs
  • Description of current capabilities
  • Experience or capability of relevant staff and
    Board members
  • Objectives of the organization
  • One must be Production of affordable housing

4. Evidence of Organization
  • A copy of the provisions of state law under which
    the corporation was organized, or an accurate
    reference to the provisions organized under
  • Articles of Incorporation (certified, signed and
  • Bylaws (certified, signed and dated)
  • Board list (5, names, addresses, titles)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • 501(c)(3) certificate
  • Evidence of good standing from Secretary of State
  • If another organization is a member of your
    organization its name, address and principal
  • If not formally organized, submit proposed

5. Authorized Representative of Applicant
  • Provide the name, address and official position
    of the applicants representative that is
    authorized to act for the applicant and work with

6. Information About Sponsor
  • A sponsor is an organization that must have the
    background, experience and financial ability to
    help your organization in applying for the 523
    Grant and in carrying out the responsibilities of
    the Grant Agreement
  • A written agreement must be shown to RD
  • A narrative of sponsors experience and
    capabilities is required (same organizational
    information as required in Section 3)
  • If no sponsor, indicate Not Applicable

7. Current Financial Statement
  • A financial statement is required and should be
    prepared by an accountant (or sponsors
    accountant), and must be no more than 12 months
  • It must be dated and signed by the Executive
    Director or Board President
  • Specific nature of assets and liabilities must be
  • An audit may be used in lieu of financial

8. Narrative Statement
  • The narrative statement should begin with a short
    paragraph that summarizes
  • How many homes are being planned
  • What area they will be built
  • How much grant funds are being requested
  • What time period is planned (usually 24 months
    but can be less)

  • A description of the area to be served is needed
  • BP Include maps, population and housing
  • BP Collect current data, include only what
    supports the need
  • Sources U.S. Census, State Housing Finance
    Authority, local government housing plan, area
    housing authorities, area Board of Realtors

  • Include housing conditions and why families need
    self-help housing
  • BP Analyze your data for comprehension. What
    does it show? Growth? Substandard housing? Income
    qualifications? Vacant rentals? Cost of housing?
  • A need occurs when very low and low income
    families want their own homes but adequate,
    affordable housing is not available to them!

  • BP Prove affordability!
  • Estimate the cost of the self-help homes to the
  • Give estimate of monthly principle, interest,
    taxes, insurance (PITI) payments and total debt
  • Compare this figure to the cost of homes in the

  • Provide evidence of low-income families willing
    to contribute labor
  • Document names, addresses, number in household,
    total annual incomes and date of contact
  • BP NCALL recommends that organizations obtain at
    least twice as many potential participants and
    would be needed to complete the grant
  • BP Include a statement on the list that the
    participants have had the program explained to
    them and are interested in participation and
    providing required own labor
  • See sample form in Guide

  • Evidence of community support is required
  • Include letters of support from local officials,
    individuals and community organizations
  • BP Develop and distribute brochures or fact
    sheets. Develop a relationship with the media.
    Know the benefits and drawbacks of the program.
    You will be asked!

  • Benefits of community support
  • Help organization with leveraging additional
    dollars for incorporation and start up
  • Provide needed political support from town and
    county governments
  • Help create a positive self-help housing image

  • Sources of community support
  • Those in need of improved housing
  • Town and county governments
  • Churches/religious groups
  • Civic organizations
  • Social service agencies
  • Other nonprofits
  • General public
  • Business/industry sectors
  • Media

9. Outreach Plan for Very Low Income
  • A plan is required of how you propose to reach
    the very low income families
  • It is important to reach families that are living
    in housing that is deteriorated, dilapidate, over
    crowded or lacking in adequate plumbing
  • VLI- Minimum of 40 of total families building in
    program must be VLI
  • Develop a marketing strategy that will reach and
    recruit the families needed for your program
  • Very Low Income (VLI) 50 of area median income
    or below
  • Low Income (LI) Between 51 80 of area median

10. Budget Information Non Construction
  • SF 424A
  • Budget Narrative
  • Method of TA Costs

  • Proposed budget must be on form SF-424A, Budget
    Information (Non-Construction Programs)
  • Use the example in Guide to complete this form or
    go to
  • BP Also include a detailed budget and a budget
  • This will come in handy when completing the Final

  • Authorized expenses
  • Personnel salaries
  • Reasonable office expenses and supplies
  • Employment benefit costs
  • Purchase or lease of power tools
  • Insurance
  • Reasonable fees for training
  • Consultant and legal fees
  • Annual audits
  • Prohibited use of funds
  • Paying for labor on the houses
  • Purchasing real estate or building materials for
    the families
  • Paying any debts, expenses or costs to the
  • Any lobbying activities prohibited in OMB
    Circular A-122

  • See Guide for
  • SF 424A (rev. 7/97) and instructions
  • BP Preliminary Budget Preparation Guide
  • BP Budget Worksheet
  • BP Sample Budget Narrative

  • National Self-Help Housing Directors Association
  • An organization consisting of self-help housing
    grantees across the nation unified by voice and
  • Annual dues are required to join the association
    and are allowable under the Section 523 Self-Help
    Housing Grant
  • Dues help to lobby Congress for increased funding
    and improved laws to assist the cause of rural

  • Current annual dues for NSHHDA
  • 523 Grant Amount Dues
  • 0 - 200,000 200
  • 200,001 - 500,000 300
  • 500,001 - 1,000,000 400
  • Over 1 million 500
  • BP Dont forget to add this expense into your

11. Determination of TA Grant Amount
  • Maximum TA Amount Calculation is required
  • A letter from RD identifying what the EVMH is for
    proposed counties
  • TA Cost is the technical assistance (TA) cost per
    house and is a guide that RD uses to estimate
    reasonable cost of a self-help program
  • TA cost Total grant amount / of houses
    organization proposes to build
  • Example 228,000 / 12 homes 19,000 maximum TA
    cost per house

  • Method A The Equivalent Value of Modest Housing
    (EVMH) x 15 x Number of Homes Proposed Maximum
    TA Budget
  • ________ x .15 x _____ _____________
  • Example
  • EVMH 115,500 x .15 17,325 (TA per home) x
    12 homes 207,900 (amount of grant request)

  • Method B EVMH Average mortgage - 1,000
    Maximum TA cost per house (This can only be used
    by experienced grantees or those who know what
    their mortgages will be.)
  • Example 128,000-105,000-1,00022,000
  • Method C Amount established by the State
    Director to accomplish a particular goal
  • BP Use worksheet on page 83 to calculate maximum
    per unit TA amount

  • BP Do a realistic budget before determining your
    TA grant amount to see if your budget is truly
    realistic and falls within RDs guidelines
  • The TA Grant amount depends on organizations
    experience and capacity
  • Maximum amount for any grant period will be
    limited to a certain TA cost per house

12. Preliminary Land Survey
  • Proof of available lots
  • BP Include at least the minimum amount of lots
    for the Pre-Application
  • Use MLS listings or deeds if the land is already
  • BP Include narrative detailing expected cost and
    anticipated development
  • Maps showing local and regional area are also

  • During Final Application, you will need to show
    RD proof of control of lots or access to suitable
    building sites as defined by RD
  • The more work that you do now, the less that you
    will have to do later
  • BP Land is a scarce resource suitable land even
    more scarce. Many programs have failed or gotten
    off to a rough start due to land delays. Work
    closely with RD to find possible lots.

  • BP Subdivisions are time consuming, come with
    many delays and have too many unknown variables.
    If possible, find developed lots for your first

13. Other Applicant Activities Indirect/Direct
  • List all of the other activities that the
    organization is engaged in and expects to
  • Include brief description of the programs and
    organizations role in them
  • Indirect cost rate or direct cost allocation plan
  • Document the indirect cost rate or the lack
  • If an organization has never obtained an indirect
    cost rate, grantee must submit the indirect or
    direct cost policy with the 523 pre-application
  • Prepare proposal for submission to DOI for
  • DOI will not review proposal until grant is

  • Indirect Cost
  • Mechanism used by federal government
  • Recommended when shared costs become impractical
    to be charged directly to various funding sources
  • Direct Cost Allocation
  • Used by single funded organizations or those
    which can track costs consistently
  • RD has a contract with Department of Interiors
    National Business Center to approve cost policies

  • Cognizant agency
  • Usually the largest federal funding source of an
  • Acts on behalf of all other federal agencies in
    approving an organizations indirect cost rate or
    direct cost allocation plan
  • RD has contracted with the Department of
    Interiors National Business Center (DOI)
  • DOI may help design and will have to approve the
    cost plan
  • Indirect cost rate is proposed to the cognizant
    agency and then an agreement is reached
  • If the USDA RD 523 grant is the largest federal
    funding source, the indirect cost rate proposal
    and/or cost allocation plan needs to be submitted
    to DOI

  • BP When comparing which method to use, consider
    the time and money required to achieve the
    greater degree of accuracy, avoiding inconsistent
  • BP Expedite application processing by
  • Including a cover letter stating that your
    organization currently receives funds from USDA
  • Include the most recent audited financial
  • Need more information or sample forms? Go to

  • BP Remember teamwork, if assistance is needed in
    developing a plan, contact NCALL, RD or the DOI
    for help
  • See Guide for Sample Allocation of Shared Costs
    Using a Direct Cost Allocation System
  • See Guide for Sample Allocation of Shared Costs
    Using a Indirect Cost Rate System

14. Pre-Development Grant Assistance Request
  • Pre-Development Funds
  • Purpose is to provide funds to develop a 523
    final grant application
  • Available once for a defined area (for existing
    or potential grantees)
  • Requesting organization must lack the financial
    resources necessary to develop the final
  • Grants are for up to 10,000 for up to six months

  • If requesting pre-development funds include
  • Brief narrative identifying the need, amount of
    funds needed and projected time period
  • Budget
  • You may request up to 10,000 for up to 6 months
  • If not requesting pre-developing funds include
  • Include a sentence to that effect in the

  • If funding is available and the pre-application
    is reviewed and approved, the RD State Director
    may approve the request
  • Pre-development grant is not figured in the TA
    cost per unit
  • Detailed accounting records of these funds must
    be maintained
  • Authorized and prohibited uses of pre-development
    funds same as those of 523 grant
  • BP See Guide for sample request

15. HUD Fair Housing Marketing Plan 935.2B
  • Affirmative Far Housing Marketing Plan
  • HUD Form 935.2b, required for self-help program
  • Follow instructions
  • Use accurate information
  • Marketing plan designed to attract those least
    likely to apply
  • Special outreach for those groups required
  • Plan approved and monitored by Rural Development
  • See Form in Guide

16. Civil Rights Impact Analysis Certification,
Form RD 2006-38
  • 2006-P, 2006.754(b)
  • Complete this form and include it in the

17. Compliance Review (Pre-award)
  • Form RD 400-8
  • Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

18. Self-Help Technical Assistance Grant
Pre-Development Agreement
  • 1944-I, Exhibit D
  • Sign and include this form if requesting
    Pre-Development Grant
  • Do not date
  • Will be dated when executed by RD
  • See Guide for Agreement
  • If not requesting Pre-Development Grant, include
    this section but write Not Applicable

19. Authorizing Resolution
  • A resolution must be adopted by the Board of
  • Authorizing one or more specified persons are
    authorized to act on organizations behalf
  • It must state that they are able to
  • Sign the Grant Agreement, 1994-I, Exhibit A
  • Sign Form RD 400-4 Assurance Agreement
  • Work with RD on the self-help program
  • Must include authorized persons name, title,

20. RD Managers or Area Managers Recommendation
  • Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

21. TMA Contractors Review and Recommendation
  • Hold a section for this to be added later by RD
  • Required under National Office Contract

22. OGC Review (if necessary)
  • If necessary, RD may send organizational
    documents for OGC for their review
  • Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

23. Review Action and Letter of Conditions
  • Hold a section for this to be added later by RD

24. Request for Obligation of Funds Form RD
  • Include this completed form, RD 1940-1
  • At item 45, on the back, have the authorized
    representative sign and date two copies of the
  • See Guide for sample

C. Putting the Pre-Application Together
Putting the Pre-Application Together
  • BP Use the RD Checklist for order and format
  • BP Include Table of Contents and tab the
    sections to make the information easier to locate
  • BP Check every page for completeness, signatures
    and dates (RD will return the pre-application if
    it is not complete and in order of the Table of

  • BP NCALL recommends that organizations send
    their pre-application to us first
  • This is considered a DRAFT
  • We perform a DRAFT review that will give you
    feedback on content and completion
  • Make adjustments
  • Draft is now an Official Pre-Application

  • BP Make three copies of the Official
  • Official and two copies goes to RD office
    designated to receive the grant application
  • You keep a copy!
  • RD will keep a copy and send NCALL a copy for
  • NCALLs review must be completed within 15
    calendar days
  • NCALLs review letter goes to the State Director
  • You cannot send or give NCALL a copy!

  • Review Process
  • The review process should take 60 days or less
  • RD does their review only if the application is
  • RD verifies that a need exists and that adequate
    resources will be available for the program

  • Approval
  • If complete, State Director requests approval
    from National Office
  • Once obligated, AD-622 and Letter of Conditions
  • BP When you receive notice, notify NCALL so we
    can set up future training (forward to us a copy
    of the grant agreement)

D. Developing a Self-Help Housing Program / Know
the Program
Developing a Self-Help Housing Program
  • BP Be realistic. Go into the process with your
    eyes open
  • BP Know that this is a lengthy process
  • BP Recognize the commitment of staff and board
  • BP Be aware that housing is a political animal
    and requires community support
  • BP Dont expect overnight success
  • BP Set realistic expectations

  • BP Be committed and serious about developing a
    self-help program
  • Housing will need to be a priority for you
  • Accountabilities are high
  • Strive to meet time frames set
  • Recognize fiscal responsibilities and advantages
    of self-help housing for your organization

  • BP Other ingredients to develop a successful
    self-help housing program include
  • Obtain all applicable housing regulations
  • Subscribe to or request housing publications such
    as HAC News, NRHC Legislative Update, NCALLs
  • Have access to federal and state registers
  • Join the mailing list of your state housing
    finance agency

  • Build a housing resource library
  • Join your state housing coalitions
  • Join local and state chapters of NAHRO, CHRB,
  • Know your local housing market
  • Provide proper orientations and training of the
    program for board and staff
  • Visit another self-help housing organization

Program Decisions
  • BP Determine the number of homes to build
  • Be very realistic!
  • Consider availability of suitable building sites
  • Consider need for housing in your selected area
  • Consider number of persons eligible to participate

  • BP Determine ways in which to reach very-low
  • Know your target market
  • This will help you determine methods of outreach,
    time needed, manpower necessary and cost
  • There is more on recruitment later in the training

  • BP Determine staff needs and size
  • Should correlate with number of homes to be built
  • Traditionally, staff consists of ¾ people
  • Executive Director/Project Director
  • Group Coordinator/Loan Packager
  • Secretary/Bookkeeper
  • Construction Supervisor

Know the Program
  • BP RD instructions provide policy, guide, and
    basis for the program operations. Be familiar
    with them.
  • Use the internet as needed to look up regulations
    and information, /regs/
  • BP Know 1944-I!
  • Please refer to the manual for a list of other
    regulations to become familiar with

  • BP You can print out the 1944-I and HB-1 3550
    but these instructions change often, so we
    encourage the use of the internet

Project Planning and Management
  • Project
  • SH project have a beginning and an end
  • Should be carried out with the intent of meeting
    established program goals
  • Costs, time schedule, and objectives are
  • Project vs. Organizational
  • Project decisions approached differently than
  • Project focuses on specific time and results vs.
    organizations plan to exist indefinitely
  • Projects need part-time resources vs.
    organizations need resources full-time

  • BP Four phases of project management
  • Conceiving and defining feasibility and
  • Planning final application stage
  • Implementing grant closing to grant close out
    (1-2 years)
  • Completing and evaluating happens internally by
    management and the Board and externally by RD
    with Final Evaluation

  • Planning the Project
  • Planning is crucial in project management
  • Not a to do list
  • Plan transforms work from a series of steps into
    a bundle of responsibilities for results
  • A good plan tells you where you are going, how to
    get there and how you know that you have arrived

Planning the Project
  • Planning Steps
  • Establish project objectives
  • Choose basic strategy for achieving the objective
  • Subdivide project into subunits or steps
  • Design necessary staffing pattern
  • Design cost for each subunit
  • A good budgets main function is to monitor the
    cost and to avoid overruns
  • You cannot estimate cost until you break down the
    budget into line-items.
  • Determine what training is needed for team
  • Develop necessary policies and procedures
  • Develop a plan of action

Participant Recruitment Program Marketing
  • BP No matter what happens, remember these three
  • Do not get discouraged
  • Try something new
  • Plan ahead

Developing a Recruitment Plan
  • Step 1 - Know Your Target Market
  • Where is your targeted market located? Work,
    church, home, clubs, PTA, etc.
  • What media reaches them? Radio, TV, newspaper,
  • Where do they go and when? Laundromats, gas
    stations, grocery stores, restaurants, daycare,
    community events
  • Who are your community partners? Social service
    agencies, lenders, rental agencies, realtors

  • Ask the people who respond to recruitment efforts
  • Ask social service agencies
  • Step Two Analyze the Information
  • Review the data collected to determine where and
    how to reach most families

  • Step Three Investigate
  • Contact organizations, employers, churches, radio
    stations, newspapers, etc.
  • Get the word out about your program!
  • What are your costs? Are there other FREE methods

  • Step Four Plan and Make Decisions
  • Can you delegate tasks?
  • Do you have to do everything yourself?
  • What are your time frames and dates for
  • Cost is also very important. What does your
    marketing and advertising budget look like?
  • How can you make your program its most effective?
  • Refer back to Recruitment Methods for some ideas

  • Step Five Develop a Message
  • Before contacting the media or producing
    brochures, know what you want to say
  • The message is not and should not be intended to
    tell everything about the program.
  • All advertisements must have the equal housing
    opportunity logotype or slogan on them

  • Five elements of a good message
  • Attract Attention Create interest
  • Stress Advantages Benefits of the Self-Help
    Housing Program
  • Prove What you Say is True
  • Persuade
  • Ask for Action

  • Attract Attention
  • An Attention Getter is needed to create
  • Could be a photo
  • Use of color
  • Exciting statement or question

  • Stress Advantages and Benefits
  • Product the home itself
  • Price Low cost of the home, Low interest rate,
    Families save money
  • Self - Learning skills, improving their life,
    becoming independent
  • Make a list and prioritize the benefits for your
    potential participants

  • Benefits of Self-Help Housing
  • Means different things to different people
  • Decide which aspects are important to your
    targeted market
  • Incorporate these aspects into the message
  • Do not incorporate too many benefits

Sample Chart of Potential Benefits
  • Self Stress Improvements
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Independence
  • Improving yourself
  • Doing better for yourself
  • Security. Happiness.
  • Better, safer environment for family
  • Develop construction/maintenance skills
  • Product Stress Advantage
  • Modern convenient,
  • well built
  • Energy-efficient
  • Quality materials
  • Maintenance free
  • Designed to meet your needs
  • Modern appliances
  • Price Stress Value
  • House payments based on ability to pay
  • No down payment
  • Save money
  • Affordable financing
  • Best financing in the country for new

  • BP Prove What You Say Is True
  • Four tactics can be used
  • 1. Testimonials Past client speaks of benefits
  • 2. Comparative quality Comparison between
    self-help home vs. contractor built home
  • 3. Reputation - If your organization has a good
    reputation in the community, use it
  • 4. Successful Performance After 1st group is
    complete, potential families and community
    members see successful program and nice homes

  • Persuade
  • Get the potential participants to grasp that they
    can enjoy the benefits and rewards of becoming a
    successful homeowner
  • Many think that they cannot be a homeowner

  • Ask for Action
  • Call today
  • Coming by our office
  • Attending the community meeting
  • Mail in a coupon, etc.
  • Make it easy
  • Always be prepared

Recruitment Methods to Try
  • Newspapers Both daily and weekly, try free and
    paid advertising, featured article, ad
    positioning is critical, classified adds great in
    some areas, activities announcements
  • Radio - paid ads, PSAs, talk shows, interviews
  • Television - featured on the local news, local
    community forum programs or PSAs

  • Flyers, Posters, Handouts - simple, easy to read,
    attractive flyers for public distribution in RD
    offices, stores, laundromats, CAP agencies,
    social service agencies, community bulletin
    boards, restaurant, etc.
  • Brochures can be the best marketing tool used,
    place in supermarkets, laundromats, restaurants,
    waiting areas, public service facilities
  • Direct Mailings - can be expensive, may be more
    rewarding, church mailings, waiting lists for
    subsidized rental housing, enlist assistance of
    social service agencies, AFDC agencies and local

  • BP Community Meetings
  • Trade Shows, Human Service Fairs, Mall Exhibits,
    Community Fairs - consider time and effort needed
  • Organizations, Colleges, Trade Schools,
    Headstart, Migrant Education Centers
  • Community Action Agencies (CAA)
  • Churches

  • Local governments referrals for families, land,
  • Local employees - post brochures on their
    bulletin board, stuff employee paycheck
    envelopes, or set up a table in the break/lunch
  • Contact members of low-income apartment complexes
  • Host a tenants meeting
  • Ask to distribute letters to persons on waiting
    lists for subsidized rental housing
  • Meet with a core group of social service repr.,
    brainstorm on how to reach families

  • BP Recruitment Methods
  • Try many options to determine what works best for
  • Stay in contact with the local media
  • Try the classified ads!
  • Radio stations morning program usually have a
    larger target listening area
  • TV try to get a local featured interview.
    Public service announcements (PSA) are free use
  • Paper distribution - Flyers, posters, handouts,

Market Research
  • Eliminates trial and error in recruitment
  • Know which methods worked best and are reaching
    target market
  • Survey those who have responded to recruitment
    efforts (See sample in Guide)
  • Continuously review and revise strategies to keep
    activities alive
  • Your goal should be to have word of mouth work
    for you

The News Release
  • Major vehicle for communicating with the media
  • Knowing the purpose, design and uses for them can
    improve your chances of getting published
  • BP Send a thank you note for any publicity
    your agency receives

  • The following guidelines should be useful
  • Decide on the message must be interesting to
    target market
  • Select the media message and intended audience
    usually drives which media to use
  • Put it in writing prepare a properly written
  • Mail to the right person
  • Mail by the deadline

  • Content of the Release
  • Familiarize yourself with chosen publication
  • Select information of interest
  • Remember the 5 Ws Who, what, when, where, why
    and sometimes how
  • Be sure that they are all in the story

  • News Release Tips
  • Keep it brief
  • Write in a simple, factual style
  • Avoid opinions
  • Dont make assumptions
  • Be accurate
  • Make the story interesting

  • Structure of a News Release
  • Rule 1 - Keep sentences and paragraphs short and
  • Rule 2 Place all facts at the beginning of the
    story with quotes
  • BP News story sentences should be 16-21 words
    long. Paragraphs rarely should consist of more
    than three sentences.

Other Media Tips
  • When the media calls
  • Be certain of who is calling and from where
  • Know the reason for the interview
  • Know your facts or refer him/her to the
    right person
  • It is ok to get back with them on information

  • Develop a list of key points
  • Make time for the interview or arrange to call
    them back
  • Do not answer questions that would violate
    confidentiality rules, legal restrictions, or
    agency policy
  • Do not say no comment, explain why you cannot
  • Be clear and polite

  • During the Interview
  • Say things that the interviewer will remember
  • Always tell the truth
  • If you do not know the answer, say so...Offer to
    get back with them the answer and do so ASAP
  • Personalize your answers
  • Avoid jargon
  • Only state your agencys position
  • Rephrase negative or objective questions

  • On the Radio
  • Your voice becomes your image
  • Your appearance is still important
  • Maintain good posture, it aids your voice and
  • Dont let the microphone intimidate you
  • Practice enunciating your words
  • Practice answering anticipated questions

  • Television Appearance
  • Your appearance Look in the mirror first,
    practice minimizing jesters
  • Your attire Be clean and professionally dressed
  • Avoid certain colors Ask host what is
  • Speak conversationally
  • Follow direction on where to look when responding
    to questions
  • Thank the host
  • Ask for a copy

Finding the Right Site
  • Undesirable features
  • Site in flood plain
  • Steep terrain
  • Forested lands or prime farm lands
  • Site adjacent to or near airports, railroads,
    major highways factories, landfills, etc.
  • Soil unsuitable for on-site septic systems
  • Current industrial use
  • Existing easements which would interfere or
    restrict the proposed building

  • Desirable features
  • Flat or mildly sloped land
  • Shape and size of land lends itself to housing
  • Existing water and sewer
  • Existing paved roads
  • Correct zoning
  • Accessible to services and public facilities
  • Soil suitable for on-site septic system if
  • Adequate ground water supply for wells
  • Uses of adjacent sites compatible to proposed

Land Survey Criteria
  • Land must be in a rural area
  • Lot size can not be subdivided
  • Roads contiguous to and must have direct access
    to a street, maintained road or driveway, must be
    paved or all weather
  • Water approved well or public central water
  • BP Public water is preferable
  • Sewer approved public sewer or septic system
  • BP Public sewer is preferable
  • Site approval State Director delegate site
    approval responsibility to appropriate person

Land Development
  • Key ingredient to the program
  • Approach the search in an organized and
    systematic manner
  • Controlling land is critical
  • Many other activities depend on it
  • Interim financing may be necessary
  • 523 funds may not be used to option or purchase
  • BP Contact RD for ideas on where to look

Land Survey Resources
  • 7CFR Part 3550
  • 1924-A
  • 1924-C
  • RD Community Development Manager
  • Health Department
  • County or City planner, engineer, or city planner
  • Soil Conservation Service Soils Book
  • County Court House, Tax Office, Recorder of Deeds
  • Utility Companies

Land Survey Process
  • Preparing a site search map
  • Identify land that is completely ineligible
  • Identify and plot locations with desirable
  • Plot drawbacks
  • Talk to county governments or local universities
    to help with survey process
  • Windshield survey review sites for
  • Topography, flood plains, erosion
  • Access to public roads, vegetation, existing
  • Unique features

  • Land analysis form
  • Investigate ownership
  • Check into tax records
  • Assume that every parcel is for sale
  • Complete form, Attachment 6
  • Selecting the site
  • Assess suitability of the location
  • Check zoning
  • Look for community facilities
  • Make sure it fits RD guidelines
  • Would you want to live there? Why or why not?
  • Assess physical characteristics
  • Determine acquisition and development costs

Optioning vs. Purchasing
  • Option agreements
  • Contract between seller and potential buyer
  • Buyer not obligated to buy, seller obligated to
  • Options should be between seller and participant
  • See sample Option in Guide
  • See Option language in Guide
  • Purchasing land
  • Grantees can purchase land for later resale to
  • Can be beneficial when purchasing multiple lots
  • 523 funds cannot be spent for this purpose
  • Interim financing necessary

  • Interim financing
  • No single pot of money available
  • Seller financing may be an option
  • AHP, CRA, CDBG, HOME, Housing Trust Funds
  • HAC
  • Other private corporations or foundations
  • See NCALLs Funding Sources Guide for more

E. Monthly Activities Schedule
E. Monthly Activities Schedule
  • BP See Guide for recommended schedule of
    activities for preparing the pre-application

Salary Ranges and Fringe Benefits
  • Develop salary ranges and fringe benefits for
    each position
  • Both must be justified as being reasonable in the
    proposed area (OMB Circular A-112, Attachment B,
    Paragraph 6(2))
  • A good salary survey can help establish fair and
    competitive rates
  • BP See Guide for sample survey

Developing Job Descriptions
  • See Guide for sample job descriptions
  • BP We recommend that new grantees use the
    traditional SH positions
  • Rural Development needs to be notified for prior
    approval prior to hiring changes occurring

  • Job descriptions are required, typical staffing
    for the self-help program are
  • Executive Director/Project Director
  • Responsible for running and managing the
    self-help housing program
  • Group Coordinator/Loan Packager
  • Works directly with the participants, screens,
    counseling, training, helping them fill out the
    required forms, etc.
  • Secretary/Bookkeeper
  • Keeps records for 523 grant funds and 502
    participant loan accounts
  • Construction Supervisor
  • Responsible for construction

Salary Range and Fringe Benefit Areas of Concern
  • Job descriptions
  • In order to get a comparable survey, review job
    description, not title
  • Concentrate on duties
  • Suitable agencies
  • Consider size of organization and one with a
    similar operation
  • Consider geographic and economic similarities
  • Consider budgetary limitations
  • No matter what the salary survey indicates, the
    budget may not be able to afford that amount
  • Consider hiring some part-time staff
  • Mutual benefit
  • Have personal contact
  • Offer to share results

Building Standards
  • Dwellings financed must provide modest, decent,
    and sanitary housing
  • The home must be affordable to the family
  • Cost cannot exceed RDs area loan limit
  • Cannot have swimming pool or income producing
  • Construction must meet the requirements in 1924-A

House Plans
  • Certified house plans will be required, during
    the final application stage, for EVERY model that
    will be built during the grant period
  • A complete set consists of plans and blueprints
    which have been certified by an architect or
    engineer licensed in your state
  • Blueprints need to include the following views
    with mechanicals noted
  • Foundation plan
  • Floor plan
  • Cross section
  • Front and rear elevations
  • Right and left side elevations

Codes and Standards
  • Local and state building codes set the minimum
  • Local authorities can require additional
  • All house plans must be approved by RD
  • Research building codes for each location since
    requirements may vary
  • Each plan must conform to state and local codes
    and comply with RDs standards
  • The dwelling must also be affordable to the

  • There are several ways to obtain house plans
  • Local Building Supplier
  • House Plan Book
  • Rural Development
  • Other Self-Help Providers
  • Software Cheap Architect

Cost of Obtaining House Plans
  • Take into consideration cost before committing to
    the house plans
  • Remember, it costs on average 500 - 700 per set
    of plans

You owe me 4,200!
Standardize Plans
  • Limit selections to three basic plans
  • Plans can have varying living areas and varying
    number of rooms
  • Cost estimate and use of materials will remain
    the same
  • Construction Supervisor and participants will
    become familiar with plans
  • Try to standardize the cabinet and kitchen
  • House plans should be prepared in advance of the
    formation of the first group of participants
  • Only one set needs to be certified original, the
    rest can be copies

BP Choose plans based on what is in demand by
surveying the target area and participants
Fair Housing
  • The right to fair housing is set by law
  • Training in this area is crucial
  • Effects every staff person in the self-help
  • Right to fair housing enforced by formal
    complaint process, litigation, testing and
  • Lack of knowledge is no excuse

The Fair Housing Act
  • Prohibits discrimination because of
  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status
  • Handicap / Disability
  • Covers most housing, definitely federally
  • Law effects sale and mortgage

Other Applicable Laws
  • Know that housing laws exist and must be
    enforced. Such laws include
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Section 109 of the Housing and Community
    Development Act of 1974
  • Title VIII, Title VI
  • Record keeping requirements racial ethnic data
  • Helpful Websites HUD http//
  • USDA http//

Fair Housing Marketing
  • Affirmative Far Housing Marketing Plan
  • HUD Form 935.2b, required for self-help program
  • Follow instructions
  • Use accurate information
  • Marketing plan designed to attract those least
    likely to apply
  • Special outreach for those groups required
  • Plan approved and monitored by Rural Development

Fair Housing Advertising
  • To comply with Fair Housing Act requirements must
    be met
  • No discriminatory or limiting words or phrases
  • No selective use of media and models which can
    lead to discriminatory results
  • Use fair housing policies and practices
  • All advertising for real estate must contain the
    equal housing opportunity logotype, statement or
  • For further details, see Guide

  • Equal Housing Opportunity Logotype -
  • Equal Housing Opportunity Slogan
  • Equal Housing Opportunity
  • Equal Housing Opportunity Statement
  • We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S.
    policy for the achievement of equal housing
    opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage
    and support affirmative fair housing advertising
    and marketing program in which there are no
    barriers to obtaining housing because of race,
    color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status,
    or national origin.

Participant Selection and the Membership Agreement
  • BP Two ways to ensure that all fair housing laws
    are being followed
  • Consistency
  • Documentation
  • A person with a disability cannot be denied the
    right to participate in the Mutual Self-Help
    Housing Program
  • RD and grantees are to make reasonable
    accommodations which allow someone with a
    disability to participate

  • Participating family definition allows
    substitute labor with prior approval by State
  • In reward and corrective action, participants
    should be treated equally
  • BP Follow rules in Membership Agreement, always

Identifying and Solving Potential Fair Housing
  • Contact Rural Development or HUD immediately
  • Use mediation and all available resources
  • Understand the complaint process
  • Complaints must be filled within one year
  • Either HUD or RD may investigate
  • Try to reach a conciliation agreement
  • If agreement breached, further legal action taken

Additional Resources
  • Various fair housing training materials exist
  • HUDs Fair Housing Information Clearinghouse has
    brochures, videos, PSAs, posters
  • Rural Development can also provide materials and

Stay in Compliance
  • BP Review the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing
    Plan every quarter to insure compliance
  • Enforce Fair Housing Advertising requirements
  • Display Fair Housing Posters as required by RD
  • Questions should be addressed to State Civil
    Rights Coordinator

  • The End
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)