Mayor Ravenstahl invites community based organizations and non-profits to submit proposals to perform neighborhood clean-up activities on CDBG eligible vacant lots for up to $10,000 for the 2011 growing season from May 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011. City Source Associates, Inc. will administer the grant awards on behalf of the City and will subcontract directly with the selected organizations.
There will be a non-mandatory pre-submittal meeting on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 6:00PM in the Citistats Conference Room on the 6th Floor in the City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (use Grant Street-side elevators). While not mandatory, attendance is recommended for all interested parties considering submission of a proposal.
All applications must be submitted on or before 4:00 p.m., Monday April 18, 2011 to:
The City continues to have an increasing inventory of vacant lots. Neglected vacant lots can cause blight and pose a public safety hazard to our neighborhoods. Mayor Ravenstahl is committed to work with communities to address this problem.
In 2008, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, hosted a trip to Philadelphia for 15 community stewards for an urban greening learning exchange. A recommendation that came out of the trip was to develop a program to hire community-based organizations to clean-up city-owned vacant parcels. This pilot project for Pittsburgh will work to stabilize city-owned vacant lots and increase safety in our neighborhoods.
This project is complementary to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl other programs, such as the Love Your Block Program and the Green Up Pittsburgh Program, which provide resources to turn vacant lots into community gardens, green palettes and urban farms contingent upon the community groups cleaning up the lots.
To view the press release, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions from Pre-Submittal Meeting:
What are Community Development Block Grants?
The Community Development Block Grants program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
CDBG Guidelines for the basis of this grant proposal can be viewed here:http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/training/basicallycdbgmanual/chapter9.pdf
Full CDBG Guidelines can be viewed here: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/24cfr570_06.html
Who is eligible?
As per CDBG requirements, applicants must either have a 501© (3) designation or partner with a sponsoring 501© (3) organization to serve as a financial conduit to receive the CDBG funds and accept all responsibility under any grant/subgrant agreement (i.e. insurance, liability, etc.).
Must be able to obtain general liability Insurance and automobile liability insurance that meets the City’s requirements prior to beginning any work.
What are the Insurance Requirements?
While performing services, grantees must maintain both general liability insurance and automobile liability insurance coverage in the amounts of: (1) $500,000 per occurrance and $1,000,000 in the aggregate for bodily injury and; (2) $50,000 per occurance and $100,000 in the aggregate for property damage and shall list the City of Pittsburgh as an additional insured.
All premiums shall be at the expense of Contractor. If you are not a 501c3, but are partnering with one to apply, the 501c3 would be the entity required to obtain the insurance that meets the above coverage requirements
Workers’ compensation insurance coverage will also be required if a selected grantee has employees working on the project.
What is the term of the agreement?
The agreement will be from May 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011, in conjunction with the planting seasons.
Who are grantees contracting with?
Grantees will be contracting with City Source Associates, Inc. (CSA). CSA will administer the grant, approving grantees invoices, and paying grantees.
If your organization has already received CDBG funds, will this affect your application?
No, but if you have received funds in the last three years, you must include that in the application.
How much money can we receive?
Groups can submit proposals for up to $10,000. There is no minimum requirement; however, we would expect proposals to include an average of 10-20 lots.
Can money be used for overhead factor costs such as liability insurance, grant administration fee, payroll taxes, and workmen’s compensation?
Yes—please include the specific amounts within the total salary costs for services and the proposed overhead factor and the direct costs projected. While we can pay for insurance costs and worker’s compensation, please be advised that these things must be in place before the group can enter into contract and we cannot pay for costs incurred prior to the start date of their contracts. Also, overhead costs must be justified by a cost allocation plan that is approved to insure that we are paying only our portion of these costs.
Should the budget be designed?
This is up to the applicant to propose. We would prefer that it be budgeted by amount per hour, but you will not be penalized if you propose amount per lot. However, if you chose to budget per lot, please make sure that you had a standard for costs (i.e. cost per square foot of a lot).
How are eligible lots chosen for this program?
Lots are chosen based upon: (a) City-ownership, (b) CDBG Eligibility and (c) Listed as a "vacant lot".
Note: These lots do not include parks or greenways. We have also taken out parcels that have current stewardship agreements (i.e. License Agreements, Garden Waivers, Green Up Pittsburgh Agreements, etc.).
Are youth programs eligible?
Yes, however grantees must comply with all child labor laws.
What if I don’t have the names and titles of staff that will perform work?
Please be as specific as possible as to whom (i.e. to hire 10 youth ages, 16-18) you plan on hiring how many people and timeframe for when you will be able to supply names and titles.
What if lots that are on this list are sold from the City or are chosen for another program?
If lots are chosen through another City program (Green Up Pittsburgh, Garden Waiver, General License Agreement) or sold, the City will work with the selected grantee to determine comparable eligible lots. If contract is already in place, it will be amended.
If you propose lots that are no longer eligible since the list was posted, your proposal will not be penalized.
We already have beatification projects and/or clean-ups happening on the most visible lots in my neighborhood, will I be penalizedif I choose secondary lots?
No, just include that information in your proposal.
Vetting Process of Applications:
City Planning: To ensure proposal meeting CDBG guidelines and regulations
Real Estate: To review proposed selected lots to determine whether any stewardship agreements/sale of property has occurred since the application process has opened.
City Source, Inc.: To help review of proposed budget and lots, based upon their experience.
Open Spaces Neighborhood Advisory Panel: To give final review and determine recommendations for selection
Mayor’s Office: Final determination of grantees
For additional questions regarding this grant proposal, please contact Christie Berger at Christine.Berger@city.pittsburgh.pa.us or 412-255-8680.
Monday, April 4, 2011