Santa Cruz County
CA

Agenda Item
DOC-2021-374
Approved with additional direction
Apr 27, 2021 9:00 AM

Public Hearing to consider selection of activities for submittal of the Community Development Block Grant COVID19 (CDBG-CV) application to the State of California, adopt resolution authorizing staff to apply for CDBG-CV funds, and related actions, as outlined in the memorandum of the Planning Director

Information

Department:Planning: HousingSponsors:Planning Director Kathleen Molloy
Category:PLNHOUSING - Board LetterFunctions:General Government

Board Letter

Recommended Action(s):

1)              Hold a public hearing to consider and select proposal(s) received for possible inclusion in the County’s application for funds from the State’s Community Development Block Grant COVID19 (CDBG-CV) Notice of Funding Availability;

 

2)              Adopt resolution authorizing staff to apply for $2,157,727 in CDBG-CV funds for three public service proposal(s):

                            a. COVID19 Project Roomkey Extension and Transition

                            b. North Coast COVID19 Support Services

                            c. Live Oak School Based COVID19 Support Services

             

3)              Authorize the Planning Director to sign grant application forms, CDBG-CV grant agreements with the State, and enter into funding agreements with the agencies to implement the proposed activity(ies).

 

Executive Summary

On December 18, 2020, the State released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for State of California CDBG-CV2/3 funds, and subsequently issued a NOFA amendment on March 10, 2021. To apply for funding through this NOFA, the County must hold a public hearing on funding availability and selection of proposals to include in the County’s application. The draft Resolution (Attachment 1) meets the State Housing and Community Development requirements and must be adopted by the Board and included in the County’s application for CDBG-CV funds. The deadline to apply for funding through this NOFA is 5:00 pm on May 7, 2021.

 

Background

On June 5, 2020, the State released a NOFA for the State of California CDBG-CV1 funds.  The County applied for and received a conditional award of CDBG-CV1 funds for a public service activity to provide rental and utility assistance. However, shortly after that award, a new federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) was created by Congress and the County and State received awards of ERAP funds. In order to avoid duplication of benefits between the new ERAP funding and the CDBG-CV1 awards for rental assistance, the State Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) rescinded all CDBG-CV1 awards for rental assistance activities.  HCD returned the rescinded County CDBG-CV1 grant to the pool of funding available to the County in the new "CDBG-CV2/3" NOFA.  Due to that action, a total of $2,157,727 is now reserved for the County in the current NOFA.  Unlike typical CDBG NOFAs which are competitive statewide, this NOFA reserves a certain amount of funding for each jurisdiction eligible for State CDBG funds (the "non-entitlement" jurisdictions). The proposals received by the County are only competing against each other for an award of these funds, provided the applications meet the criteria set forth in the NOFA, and are selected by the Board for inclusion in the County's application. 

 

To satisfy the public participation requirements in CDBG regulations, staff presented this funding opportunity to the Housing Advisory Commission at its virtual March 3, 2021 meeting, and in addition held a virtual outreach meeting/workshop for prospective applicants on March 11, 2021. More than 20 stakeholders attended the virtual workshop. A legal ad ran in the Sentinel to notify the public about today’s public hearing.

 

Analysis

The current CDBG-CV NOFA allows the County to include up to four activities for a total of slightly over $2.1 million for a range of activities that address COVID19 impacts. These activities may include public services, public facility and infrastructure improvements, public facility acquisition, and business assistance, all of which must directly address impacts of the COVID19 pandemic.

Staff received five proposals for public service activities, and none for any other types of activities. The proposals are described in the attachment entitled “Proposals Received”. Please see attachment for details.

CDBG-CV grants will be awarded for a two-year period. The funds must be spent, and programs completed within two years of the grant agreement date. Two priorities highlighted in this NOFA include: coordination with the local Continuum of Care to prioritize activities that address homelessness and addressing racial equity and impacts of the pandemic on disadvantaged socioeconomic groups. Proposals requested grants ranging from $350,000 to the full amount ($2,157,727). The County could either select one proposal for the full amount or select up to four proposals. The amount of each activity includes 13% for grant administration, which is retained by the County for required administrative, fiscal, reporting and monitoring tasks.

STAFF PROPOSAL RECOMMENDATION

Staff analyzed all proposals received and requested additional supporting data as needed on all of the proposals. After completing this analysis and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal, staff recommends selection of three proposals for inclusion in the County’s CDBG-CV application:

1.  Project Roomkey Expansion and Transition (HSD) for $1,459,727;

2.  North Coast COVID19 Support Services (CAB, Inc.) for $350,000; and

3.  Live Oak School Based Covid-19 Support Services (SCCHC) for $348,000.

Total Funding Recommended:              $2,157,727

Although the County’s application could include up to four activities, the amount of funding needed for Project Roomkey does not leave sufficient funding for a fourth activity. The three proposals listed above addressed the priorities in this NOFA, are clearly serving unmet community needs, and demonstrated the ability to verify client eligibility and serve eligible County clients. The proposers were responsive to staff’s requests for clarifying data. 

Two proposals are not recommended for selection for this NOFA. The Food Bank did not provide any estimate of the number of clients to be served with the requested funding, nor explain how they screen clients for eligibility for CDBG-funded programs. Both of these are required for CDBG public services grants. The Meals on Wheels proposal was not rated as highly in addressing the NOFA priorities as the three proposals recommended for funding, and there isn't sufficient funding to include a fourth proposal.

 

 

Body

Strategic Plan Element(s)

1. Comprehensive Health and Safety:

(A) Health Equity

(B) Community Support,

(D) Behavioral Health

 

2. Attainable Housing: 

(D) Homelessness

Meeting History

Apr 27, 2021 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

1) Public hearing held; closed the public hearing;

2) ADOPTED Resolution No. 101-2021 authorizing staff to apply for $2,157,727 in CDBG-CV funds for three public service proposal(s), including additional direction to re-allocate $100,000 from the Roomkey project to Meals on Wheels:

a. COVID-19 Project Roomkey Extension and Transition

b. North Coast COVID-19 Support Services

c. Live Oak School Based COVID-19 Support Services

3) AUTHORIZED the Planning Director to sign grant application forms, CDBG-CV grant agreements with the State, and enter into funding agreements with the agencies to implement the proposed activity(ies)

RESULT:APPROVED WITH ADDITIONAL DIRECTION [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor
SECONDER:Manu Koenig, Vice Chair, First District Supervisor
AYES:Manu Koenig, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson

Discussion

Submitted on behalf of by Raymon Cancino, CEO Community Bridges. This is a slightly abbreviated version of a letter submitted by email at 10:15PM, 4/26/21 We urgently ask that you include funding allocations to support the over 405 seniors in unincorporated areas with resources to cover an additional second meal during the pandemic. We hope that you will reconsider the current staff-proposed activities, to continue to include support for the 16% of seniors who have indicated their desire to continue receiving meals from the Great Plates program through funding Meals on Wheels delivered meals, once funding for the Great Plates program ends. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many challenges for older adults including further increased social isolation through the inability to interact with family and friends, lack of safe access to nutritious meals and fresh produce, and an inability to access many other essential needs. Over the past year, the number of seniors MOW serves with home-delivered meals has increased by 75%, as measured by our intake and application process. With limited options for qualifying seniors to obtain food on their own, Meals on Wheels plays a crucial role in meeting the nutritional needs of Santa Cruz County older adults in this high cost-of-living area. The impacts of COVID-19 deaths have hit seniors the hardest with those 60 years old or older representing over 92% of all Santa Cruz County deaths, and 1 in 5 of all known cases. The County’s strategic plan has equity at its center, and we need to request that funds relating to the impact of COVID-19 be accurately and effectively distributed to those most impacted in our Community. We hope that from an equity standpoint the final funding allocation will be reflective of those most impacted by the pandemic. Based on our most recent client data, about 78% of all new seniors beginning meal service with MOW are at high nutritional risk. The two MOW-meals combined provide 100% or more of several daily vital nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Many of the seniors we serve have physical limitations that prevent them from shopping or cooking for themselves, which is a standard enrollment measure for quantifying daily living the activities. To achieve the very best health outcomes for these seniors, we serve meals that are fresh, nutrient-dense, enjoyable and easy to eat. In the last year, seniors reported that financial and transportation challenges had created additional barriers to meet their daily nutrition intake. Currently, 71% of MOW participants are living at or below the federal poverty level and MOW does not turn anyone away for inability to pay and has not created a waiting list for meals. Investment in MOW allows older adults to use their scarce resources for other critical needs, such as medication and housing. Lastly, MOW is preparing for a meal and operational cost-increase to meet the future requests of the seniors currently participating in the Great Plates program. According to a Santa Cruz County Human Service Department survey to current participants, 16% of Great Plates senior participants have shown interest in participating in MOW once the Great Plates program ends. The funding support from CDBG will ensure that MOW can continue to provide two meals per day to all seniors that request meal delivery and help support the expansion of MOW once the Great Plates program ends. CDBG-CV funds will help ensure continued expansion of the 5-day breakfast pack until August 2022 for 405 unincorporated Santa Cruz County residents and will also allow MOW to expand to meet the nutritional needs of the Great Plates senior participants that requested to participate in MOW once the Great Plates program ends. This will ensure the greatest impact for the use of these local CDBG-CV dollars. Inability to find the additional resources will ultimately result in the divestment of this second meal program across the county.
Posted by Tonje Wold-Switzer on 4/27/2021 at 1:18 AM