Frequently Asked Questions for the Notice of Funding Availability for the Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) National Resource Network

Q: Are governments eligible to apply to the NOFA?

A: No. Governments are not eligible applicants under the NOFA.

Q: Can an entity join multiple consortiums and apply to the NOFA under different consortium applications?

A: HUD does not restrict the number of consortiums an entity chooses to partner with to develop an application.

Q: Is there a deadline for applicants to ask questions about the NOFA?

A: Applicants have up to the deadline date of January 28, 2013 to ask questions about the NOFA. However, as stated in the NOFA, applicants are responsible for submitting their application by the NOFA deadline date of January 28, 2013 11:59:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Q: Are the SC2 Fellows being deployed into the Community Solutions Teams?

A: While the SC2 Fellowship Program is part of the SC2 Initiative, the fellowship program and the Community Solutions Teams are separate components of the initiative. The SC2 Fellows work in the local government agencies of the SC2 pilot cities on specific strategic projects that have been identified by the pilot cities. The Community Solutions Teams (CST) are comprised of federal employees from numerous federal agencies that work with the SC2 pilot cities to address a broader array of issues for the cities. Fellows have the opportunity to work with CST members to the extent their work overlaps.

Q: How often are FAQs updated?

A: HUD is making every attempt to be responsive to applicant questions in a timely manner. However, we ask that applicants be patient with how quickly HUD can post its response to particular questions. Applicants should check this page regularly for updates.

Q: Because the SC2 NRN requires that philanthropic funds be raised to support the NRN, will having staff people assigned to generate additional funding for the NRN be an eligible expense under the HUD award?

A: Yes. This will count towards your administrative cost.

Q: The NOFA (page 7) states that “up to 20% of the applicant’s proposed budget for years 1 and 2 (12-24 months) may be allocated for administrative costs.” Does this mean 20% in each year (20% in year 1 and 20% in year 2) or, does it mean 20% of the combined budget for years 1 and 2?

A: This means 20% in each year (e.g. 20% in year one, and 20% in year two). The 20% is based on your proposed budget allocations for each of these years.

Q: With regard to the budget, the NOFA states that “the applicant’s proposed budget must be based on a $10 million allotment.” The $10 million allotment, however, does not include the value of pro bono assistance, funds already raised from outside sources or projected funds to be raised. Does HUD only seek a budget for the $10 million award or does it also seek a budget that includes other actual or potential sources?

A: HUD must see a budget for how the applicant plans to allocate the $10 million grant. The applicant voluntarily may include actual or potential sources as part of their budget.

Q: On page 7, the NOFA states that “Under this category (apparently referring to Structure Development), up to 20 percent of the applicant’s proposed budget for years 1 and 2 (12 – 24 months) may be allocated for administrative costs. For the remainder of the grant period, no more than 15 percent of the applicant’s proposed budget for year 3 will be used for administrative costs.”
Does the cap on administrative costs apply only to the budget for the responsibilities delineated as part of Structure Development or does it apply to all administrative costs? Also, does the cap on administrative costs apply only to funds from HUD or to privately raised funds as well?

A: The cap applies to all administrative costs for the SC2 Network, not just those described in the Structure Development section. The administrative costs only apply to HUD funds.

Q: On page 30, the NOFA discusses reference letters that are to be provided as part of the Appendix. Can an applicant submit a single, one page reference letter that describes similar, parallel work in multiple jurisdictions signed by contacts from each jurisdiction?

A: Yes. A reference can come from, and be signed by multiple jurisdictions so long as they meet the rating factor requirements of what HUD wants to see in the reference letter. Please note that if the applicant is applying as a consortium, HUD still must have one reference letter for each organization in the consortium.