Affordable and Supportive Housing RFP

The city on Aug. 25, 2021 issued a request for proposals for the acquisition and construction of affordable and supportive housing for eligible populations in Bellevue.

Funding comes from the collection of a tenth of 1% sales and use tax authorized by the City Council in October 2020 for housing and related services, including mental/behavioral health services, in Bellevue. With House Bill 1590, the state Legislature allowed the tax collection.

City funding for housing-related human services is detailed separately in Human Services.

Available Funds

Approximately $6 million in capital funding is available in 2021. Applicants are encouraged to consider additional funding opportunities from other competitive programs, including the ARCH Housing Trust Fund, State Housing Trust Fund and other funding sources. The city anticipates continued revenue collection into 2022, and will make additional future funding available on at least an annual basis.

Ongoing operations and maintenance monies will not be awarded in this funding round; however, future awards for both capital and operations/maintenance funding are anticipated to be available in 2022 and beyond through the annual funding round.

Program Priorities

The city has established the following priorities for funding:

  • Provide housing for households earning below 30% of median income
  • Address and prevent homelessness and housing instability
  • Focus on underserved, vulnerable residents in Bellevue (e.g., homeless families with children and other eligible populations)

Although the city has established clear priorities as outlined above, funding is eligible to support projects serving a wider range and mix of households earning up to 60% of the median income. Funding under this request for proposals may also be utilized in conjunction with other more flexible funding sources that can target additional populations. The city will consider proposals that provide mixed-income housing, including providing a portion of the housing units (financed with other funds) for moderate-income housing.

Eligible populations that can be served with funding in this RFP include:

  • Persons with behavioral health disabilities
  • Veterans
  • Senior citizens
  • Persons who are homeless, or at-risk of being homeless, including families with children
  • Unaccompanied homeless youth or young adults
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Domestic violence survivors

RFP Anticipated Schedule

  1. Aug. 25, 2021:  Application package available
  2. Sept. 10, 2021: Pre-application meetings must be concluded* 
  3. Sept. 30, 2021: Proposals due by 5 p.m.
  4. December 2021: Staff recommendation
  5. First Quarter 2022: Recommendation reviewed by City Council 

Based on available funding and potential project opportunities, the city anticipates an additional RFP may be issued in the first half of 2022.

*Pre-Application Meetings: Applicants are required to conclude a pre-application conference to identify and discuss potential issues no later than Sept. 10, 2021. First-time applicants will benefit from meeting early and often with city and ARCH staff. Applicants should be prepared to provide a project description identifying the location, population to be served, approximate number of units, income and affordability, type of construction (rehab or new), neighborhood issues, whether relocation or displacement will be required, team members (developer, architect, property manager, if known), and likely funding sources. Applicants are also welcome to solicit early input from the project manager(s) on site or project concept when considering acquisition of a site or building.

Application Contents

Applicants must complete the combined funders application that ARCH, the State of Washington, King County, the City of Seattle and other local jurisdictions have agreed to use for the convenience of applicants. These same forms, along with additional information about them, may be accessed at ARCH. These forms are required even if an applicant is not requesting other sources of funding for the project.

In addition to the application forms from ARCH, applicants proposing to use low-income housing tax credits must obtain and submit a tax credit scoring form from the state Housing Finance Commission. Applicants are also required to submit a copy of any supplemental application materials submitted to other funders.

Finally, applicants must complete the Bellevue Supplemental Application Form

Completed proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, to Elsa Kings (ekings@bellevuewa.gov). Late proposals will not be accepted.

Elsa is available to answer questions related to the application process. She is the sole point of contact for the city for this RFP. After Sept. 30, no contact regarding applications should be made to her, other city employees, representatives or City Council members. 

The following materials are to be submitted for each application:

  • One original hard copy of the application, tabbed and bound, including all attachments other than financial statements (which shall be included in the electronic application).
  • A CD or thumb drive that includes one complete electronic application (with Bellevue Supplemental Application and Combined Funders Application) that meets the following:
  • CD or thumb drive is clearly labeled with the applicant and project name.
  • Attachments under each Tab should be placed in a separate folder labeled with the Tab number.
  • The Project Workbook must be in Excel format with linked sheets unlocked and formulas visible.
  • Narrative responses must be in Word format.
  • Attachments must be in PDF.
Funding must be used for the capital costs of constructing or acquiring affordable housing, which may include emergency, transitional or supportive housing, in addition to traditional multifamily housing construction and preservation. Such costs may include:
  • Land acquisition, including related costs such as appraisals, environmental reports, excise tax, recording fees and other transaction costs
  • Acquisition of existing buildings, including related costs such as a property condition report, environmental report, capital needs assessment, appraisals, and other transaction costs
  • Construction activities, including site development, design, permitting fees, building construction, renovation or conversion of existing properties, and related sales tax 
  • In 2022, the city anticipates an additional process to consider proposals to fund operations and maintenance costs, mental and behavioral health services, or housing-related services provided within projects funded with city capital funds.

Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to develop, own and operate the proposed project. Eligible entities include:

  • nonprofit organizations
  • private for-profit organizations
  • public housing authorities
  • public development authorities
  • units of local government

Partnerships involving combinations of the above groups are encouraged, especially when necessary to demonstrate capacity in all areas of the project.

Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:
  • Cost - Financial feasibility and/or cost effectiveness of the project
  • Agency Capacity - Capacity of the applicant team to develop and operate the project
  • Leveraging - Leverage of multiple and/or non-City funding sources
  • Housing Model - Demonstrated success of diverse housing models in creating long-term housing stability for the proposed population(s) as specified in RCW, including but not limited to affordable family housing; senior housing; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; group homes for individuals with disabilities; public housing; and mixed income housing
  • Citywide Approach - Geographic distribution of housing opportunities across Bellevue
  • Project Readiness - Ability to deploy funds quickly and respond with urgency to the current housing crisis
  • Partnerships - Demonstration of committed partnership(s) and collaboration with other entities to develop and operate project
  • City Planning - Meet critical needs and gaps as identified in City planning documents
  • Equity – Projects that serve underserved populations and address the disproportionate impacts of homelessness and housing instability on communities of color

Consistent with the city’s practice in funding over the past several years, awards will be made available as either secured grants or loans. The city is willing to offer flexible terms designed to accommodate a range of projects. Applicants should indicate in their application whether they are applying for a grant or loan, and what loan terms are proposed for the project. Loans will be offered whenever feasible without sacrificing initial or long-term affordability.  

Loan applicants will not receive priority over grant applicants. A subordinate deed of trust will be required. The city’s funding commitment commences the day of City Council approval and expires 12 months thereafter. All conditions must be satisfied, and the loan or grant closed within such 12-month period or the funding will be withdrawn.

Projects must generally commit to providing long-term affordability in the form of a 50-year regulatory agreement. Such agreements will include both income and rent restrictions and other eligibility criteria to ensure that occupants meet the requirements of RCW 82.14.530. 

If the project is converted to an alternative use or becomes non-affordable at any time during the project's agreed-to term of affordability, the city’s contribution to the project, whether in the form of a grant or a loan, will be subject to immediate repayment, and potentially a proportionate share of appreciation. 

Note: This section does not cover all the standard terms and conditions included in agreements for city funding. Applicants may contact staff with any questions about other boilerplate provisions. 

Additional funding conditions will be spelled out in an award letter to successful applicants. At a minimum, the following reporting requirements shall apply during development and occupancy:

Quarterly Status Reports 

Quarterly status reports are required from all funded projects during the development stage (from the time funds are awarded until completion and occupancy of the project). The quarterly reports will include, at a minimum, the status of funds expended and progress to date. A final budget must be prepared and submitted at the time of construction start and project completion. Staff will rely on the reports to determine if satisfactory progress is being made on the project.

Ongoing Monitoring 

After occupancy, the project sponsor or manager must submit an annual report summarizing the number of project beneficiaries, housing expenses for the target population and other eligibility criteria established in the regulatory agreement. In addition, for projects with loan payments, financial information must be reported annually which will be used for assessing contingent loan payments and project health. All projects will also be evaluated periodically for long term sustainability. The annual reports will be required for the full duration of affordability.

Proposals will be reviewed using the following process: 

  1. Staff will conduct an initial screening of applications to determine the completeness of each application. Staff reserves the right to deny applications that are incomplete.

  2. Staff will prepare a summary document and analysis of the proposals that follows the same format as the work product prepared for the ARCH Citizen Advisory Board; in addition, City staff will work to ensure each proposal meets the population and income level eligibility requirements by RCW 82.14.530.

  3. An interdepartmental staff team with experience in affordable housing, supportive services, and housing-related services will review and discuss the applications, with technical analysis support from ARCH staff.

  4. Staff will develop a written funding recommendation and conditions based on the recommendation of the staff review team. In the fall round, this will occur concurrently with the recommendations made by the ARCH Citizen Advisory Board, with the goal to align project recommendations.

  5. The City Council will review and approve the funding recommendation submitted by city staff, or will return the recommendation, with comments, for further review before a final decision is reached. The council may choose not to award a proposal during a funding round, to reject any and all proposals and to bank revenue for future funding rounds.