Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Refugee Resettlement
 
Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
HHS-2019-ACF-ORR-ZI-1555
Application Due Date: 06/18/2019
 
Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
HHS-2019-ACF-ORR-ZI-1555
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
    1. Overview
    2. Executive Summary
    1. Program Description
    2. Federal Award Information
    3. Eligibility Information
      1. Eligible Applicants
      2. Cost Sharing or Matching
      3. Other
    4. Application and Submission Information
      1. Address to Request Application Package
      2. Content and Form of Application Submission
      3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management
        (SAM)
      4. Submission Dates and Times
      5. Intergovernmental Review
      6. Funding Restrictions
      7. Other Submission Requirements
    5. Application Review Information
      1. Criteria
      2. Review and Selection Process
      3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates
    6. Federal Award Administration Information
      1. Federal Award Notices
      2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
      3. Reporting
    7. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)
    8. Other Information
 
 
HHS-2019-ACF-ORR-ZI-1555
Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
ANNOUNCEMENT MODIFICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Funding Opportunity Title:Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program
Announcement Type:Modification
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2019-ACF-ORR-ZI-1555
Primary CFDA Number: 93.576
Due Date for Applications: 06/18/2019
 
Executive Summary

Notice: 

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire funding opportunity announcement (FOA) carefully and observe the application formatting requirements listed in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission. For more information on applying for grants, please visit "How to Apply for a Grant" on the ACF Grants & Funding Page at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

NOTICE: The published announcement is modified from the announcement published on April 17, 2019. Content is changed in Sections I., IV.2, and V.1, and VIII. The changes to all sections are related to a new requirement to obtain a letter of support from the State Refugee Coordinator or the individual responsible for the statewide or regional coordination of the refugee resettlement programs, as applicable, of the state where the proposed project will be implemented to ensure coordination with the refugee resettlement community.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites eligible entities to submit competitive grant applications for projects to establish and manage Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) for low-income refugee participants. Eligible refugee participants who enroll in these projects will open and contribute systematically to IDAs for specified Asset Goals, including home ownership, business capitalization, vehicles for educational or work purposes, professional certification, and education (limited to postsecondary education, college entrance exam fees, and preparation and test fees for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and General Education Development (GED) exam). Successful grantees will be expected to coordinate their policies and procedures for developing and administering refugee IDA projects with ORR and with the existing refugee IDA network.

 

I. Program Description

Statutory Authority

Immigration and Nationality Act § 412(c)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1522(c)(1)(A)

 

Description

REFUGEE INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNTS PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Purpose and Objectives

The Refugee IDA Program represents an anti-poverty strategy built on asset accumulation for low-income refugee individuals and families with the goal of promoting refugee economic independence.

IDAs are leveraged or matched savings accounts established in qualified financial institutions. In the Refugee IDA Program, IDAs are matched with federal funds that have been allocated as "match funds" from at least 65 percent of the annual federal grant award. The funds are intended for the Asset Goals specified in this announcement. Although the refugee participant maintains control of all funds that the participant deposits in the IDA, including all interest that may accrue on the funds, the participant must sign a Savings Plan Agreement that specifies the funds in the account will be used only for the participant's qualified Asset Goal(s) or for an emergency withdrawal.

The objectives of the Refugee IDA Program are to help participants:

  1. Establish IDAs;
  2. Maintain regular saving habits;
  3. Participate in the financial institutions of this country;
  4. Acquire assets to build individual, family, and community resources;
  5. Increase their knowledge of financial and monetary topics, including developing a household budget;
  6. Advancing the education; 
  7. Buy homes;
  8. Gain access to capital; and
  9. Increase the socio-economic development of their communities.

These new projects will accomplish these objectives by establishing programs that combine the provision of matched savings accounts with financial training and counseling.

Eligible Clients

To be eligible to participate in the Refugee IDA Program, individuals must have the following statuses (see 45 CFR § 400.43(a) (1)-(6)) or statutory provisions cited below:

  1. Individuals paroled as refugees or asylees under § 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
  2. Refugees admitted under § 207 of the INA.
  3. Asylees whose status was granted under § 208 of the INA.
  4. Cuban and Haitian entrants, in accordance with the requirements in 45 CFR § 401.2
    a. Any individual granted parole status as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant (Status Pending) or granted any other special status subsequently established under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti, regardless of the status of the individual at the time assistance or services are provided;
    b. A national of Cuba or Haiti who was paroled into the United States and has not acquired any other status under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
    c. A national of Cuba or Haiti who is the subject of removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings under the INA and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation, or exclusion has not been entered;
    d. A national of Cuba or Haiti who has an application for asylum pending with the Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review and with respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of removal, deportation or exclusion has not been entered
  5. Lawful permanent residents provided the individuals previously held one of the statuses identified above. (Note that this does not refer to Amerasians who are admitted as lawful permanent residents. See #6 below.)
  6. Certain Amerasians from Vietnam who are admitted to the United States as immigrants pursuant to § 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in § 101(e) of Pub. L. 100-202), as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note).
  7. Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants per section 1244(g) of Div. A of Pub. L. 110-181, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1157 note) and section 602(b) (8) of Div. F of Pub. L. 118-8, as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1101 note).
  8. Victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons per the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-386, as amended, 22 U.S.C. § 7105(b) (1) (A) and (C).

Detailed information on eligibility of ORR-funded projects is available at 45 § CFR 400.43 and ORR Policy Letter 16-01, which can be found on the ORR website at: www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​/orr​/resou​rce​/polic​y​-lette​r​-16​-01​.

ORR assistance and services must be provided to refugees without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, or political opinion.

A Form I-94 showing admission into the United States as a refugee, or an Asylum Grant Letter are acceptable documents to prove eligibility status. A United States Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551) also known as a green card, or an Employment Authorization Document are also acceptable documents to prove eligibility only if they contain codes that show the applicant is in one of the eligible statuses.

Intake information must include the client's name, status under which client arrived in the U.S, date of eligibility, date of enrollment, date of projected Program service termination, documentation of eligibility for Refugee IDA Program services, alien number, birth date, and current address.

Among eligible clients, enrollment in the Refugee IDA Program is limited to eligible individuals:

  • Who are not yet citizens and who have been in the U.S. for not more than 5 years at the time of enrollment;
  • Who have earned income;
  • Whose gross household earned income at the time of enrollment does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level if enrolling for the purpose of purchasing Education and Vocational Training goals, Microenterprise Capitalization goals, and/or Vehicle goals;
  • Whose gross household earned income at the time of enrollment does not exceed 200 percent of the HHS federal poverty level, or does not exceed 80 percent of the Housing and Urban Development's Area Family Median Income (HAMFI) only if enrolling for the purpose of a Home Purchase;
  • Whose assets at the time of enrollment do not exceed $10,000, excluding the value of a primary residence and one vehicle; and
  • Who have not already received IDA match funds from an ORR-funded IDA program.

Clients who are enrolled into the Refugee IDA Program with a household income that exceeds 200 percent of the HHS poverty level but does not exceed 80 percent of the HAMFI are only eligible for the purpose of a Home Purchase. If the client fails to complete the program and purchase a home, they may not switch to any other Asset Goals and must exit the program without receiving any Match Funds. Federal funds obligated for matching the IDAs of clients who meet this description should be re-allocated for matching other IDAs immediately.

Asset Goals

IDAs are established for refugee participants at a qualified financial institution. Refugee participants will systematically contribute to the IDAs out of earned income to purchase specified Asset Goals. The primary focus of the Asset Goals in their Refugee IDA Program is limited to the following areas:

  • Primary Residence Home Purchase;
  • Vocational Training, Professional Recertification, and Education (limited to postsecondary education costs, college entrance exam fees, and TOEFL and GED preparation and test fees) as required for employment, certification, or education purposes;
  • Microenterprise Capitalization, including home-based child care services; and
  • Vehicle Purchase.

Please see Definition and Explanation of Terms in this section for further detail. In cases of documented necessity, the purchase of an automobile is allowable for the purposes of employment or education. The purpose of an automobile purchase must be thoroughly justified and well documented. Justification can include, but is not limited to, lack or high cost of public transportation, or long distances to work, school, or business.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Savings Plan Agreement and Documentation

A Savings Plan Agreement must be established with each refugee participant. The Savings Plan Agreement must include:

(1) A proposed schedule of savings deposits by the participant;

(2) The rate at which the participant's savings will be matched by federal funds allocated as "match funds";

(3) The Asset Goal(s) for which the account is maintained;

(4) Any training or counseling that the participant agrees to attend;

(5) An agreement that the participant will not withdraw funds except for the specified Asset Goal or for an emergency and only after notification and approval;

(6) A statement by the participant that they have not received the maximum allowable match from any other ORR-funded IDA program;

(7) A procedure for amending the Agreement;

(8) A date by which assets must be purchased or the date on which the program will end;

(9) A designation of beneficiary;

(10) An individualized statement by the organization on which partners will be engaged during the clients' enrollment and how the partners will contribute; and

(11) If saving for a vehicle, a statement by the participant that the vehicle will be used for the purposes of maintaining or upgrading employment or for the purpose of transportation for education, vocational training, recertification, or small business use.

Appropriate documentation for the usage of an automobile could include a calculation of long distances from the participant's home to their place of employment or educational institution, public transportation schedules showing unreasonable time tables and connections, the anticipation of increased wages due to more time on the job or access to better wages or employment due to reduced commuting time, and school transcripts showing current enrollment.

Additional provisions may be proposed to be included in the Savings Plan Agreement. In addition to the Savings Plan Agreement, confirmation of the client's eligibility must be documented, which may include household budget, assets and liabilities, and earned income (this can be in the form of pay stubs, tax returns, etc.). Furthermore, each participant is required to provide an overall household budget plan describing how their IDA savings will derive from their discretionary income.

Programs must ensure compliance with 45 CFR §75.202 (e) to take reasonable measures to safe-guard protected personally identifiable information. If the Refugee IDA Program is using an electronic case file system, then safeguards such as limiting access to the data and encryption must be in place to protect participant information. Paper files must be kept confidential--ideally in a file cabinet that is kept locked and can be accessed only by authorized staff.

Training and Technical Assistance
All refugee participants must complete at least two forms of trainings in order to complete an asset purchase: Financial Literacy training and Asset-Specific training. Trainings must be provided in-house, or through a partnership with organizations that have demonstrated expertise in the area of training to be provided. Refer to Section I. Program Description, Definition and Explanation of Terms, Partnering with Organizations With Areas of Expertise.

Trainings must be provided in-house, or through a partnership with organizations that have a demonstrated expertise in the area of training to be provided. Please see Section I. Program Description, Definition and Explanation of Terms, Partnering with Organizations With Areas of Expertise.

Asset-specific training must be provided for refugee participants for each Asset Goal that is available through the program. These trainings may be provided directly by the grantee if they have a relevant area of expertise, or through other providers who specialize in the asset goals (e.g., HUD Housing Counselors, bank partners that provide car loans, SBA Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs partners, etc.), or a combination of both approaches.

Financial literacy training must include, but is not limited to, the following topics: budgeting, cash management, savings, investment, and credit counseling. Due to the diverse nature of the refugee population, training must be culturally and linguistically appropriate.

At minimum, the client(s) listed on the Savings Plan Agreement must attend all required trainings; however, the entire household should be encouraged to participate. While ORR recognizes that the industry standards for financial literacy and asset-specific trainings usually span 6 to 8 hours, sufficient trainings must be provided for the client in a manner which best meets their needs. Clients are ineligible to make asset purchases until all training requirements are met.

Technical assistance must be provided for refugee participants for each Asset Goal provided through the program. Technical assistance can include, but is not limited to, setting up IDAs at participating banks, developing business plans, and assisting with the home purchase closing process.

Coordination with Refugee Resettlement Community
Coordination with the local refugee resettlement community is critical to the success of the Refugee IDA Program. Programs must include regular coordination with resettlement agencies, State Refugee Coordinators or Replacement Designees, and other relevant community services providers to extend the effort of the outreach, awareness, and coordination with the refugee resettlement community. Attendance at quarterly consultations with resettlement agencies, regular meetings with State Refugee Coordinators, and participation in other relevant forums are examples of activities with strategic partnerships to facilitate resource mapping. ORR is requiring a letter of support support from the State Refugee Coordinator, or the individual responsible for the statewide or regional coordination of the refugee resettlement program, as applicable, of the state where the proposed project will be implemented. Contact information for State Refugee Coordinators or individuals responsible for statewide or regional coordionation of the refugee resettlement program can be found on ORR's website at: https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/orr​/resou​rce​/orr​-funde​d​-progr​ams​-key​-conta​cts​.

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS

Administrative Funds
No more than 35 percent of ORR funds may be used for administrative purposes. At least 65 percent of ORR funds must be used to match IDA savings made by refugees participating in the Refugee IDA Program. ORR defines Administrative Funds as any federal funds that are not used directly for IDA match. Examples of costs that are considered administrative include, but are not limited to, salary, rent, supplies, benefits, travel, program material, interpretation services, costs associated with providing financial literacy and asset-specific training, and federally approved indirect costs. 45 CFR Part 75 requires that non-federal entities be compensated for all allowable Indirect Costs claimed under a grant, in accordance with the non-federal entity’s fully negotiated and approved Indirect Cost rate.  As such, the 35 percent limitation for administrative costs can be exceeded only in cases where the payment of Indirect Costs causes the non-federal entity to exceed that percentage based on their Indirect Cost rate effective at the time of award. For more information on the funding restrictions specific to this FOA, please see Section IV.6 Funding Restrictions.

State-Specific Asset Limits
ORR recognizes that some clients who are eligible for the Refugee IDA Program may also be eligible for other state and federally sponsored benefits program with asset limits (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), etc.). Grantees must be aware of state-specific asset limits, if any, and provide information to clients about potential impacts to public benefits.

Match Funds
ORR does not require grantees to provide any non-federal funds to match federal funds awarded to grantees for the Refugee IDA Program. The "match," "matching funds," or "match funds" mentioned in this announcement do not refer to the applicant finding additional funds to match funds being provided by the federal government; they are the portion of federal funds to be allocated and used for matching clients' IDA savings. ORR funds may be used at a matching rate no greater than one-to-one for each dollar deposited in the IDA by the refugee participant. Over the course of the 4-year project period, not more than $2,000 in ORR grant funds may be provided through matching contributions to any one refugee individual and not more than $4,000 may be provided to any one refugee household (see Definition and Explanation of Terms in this section for the definition of "household"). When the refugee purchases the Asset Goal, the grantee must provide payment of the participant's IDA matching funds directly to the asset vendor. Match Funds may not be used to pay towards existing loans or debts.

Accounts and Drawdown of Funds
The IDA contains only the refugee participant's deposits and interest earned on those deposits. Grantees may establish non-interest bearing IDAs for participants only with ORR approval. The grantee will create one Parallel Account, separate from the participants' IDAs, at a qualified financial institution, in which all matching ORR grant funds will be deposited and maintained on behalf of the refugee participants. Drawdown of the ORR grant funds and deposit of those funds into the Parallel Account will be permitted no earlier than the time of the refugee's deposit to the IDA. Grantees must drawdown ORR funds for matching IDA deposits within 3 months of the date that the refugee participant makes the deposit, and must continue to drawdown at least on a quarterly basis thereafter as participants make deposits.

Program Income
The interest that accrues on the ORR matching funds deposited in the Parallel Account must be used to enroll additional refugee participants or to match interest earned on the refugee participant's deposits. The interest on the match funds in the Parallel Account may not be retained by the grantee for any purpose, including program administration, participant support services, or program data collection. (See 45 CFR § 75.307 (e)(2)).

Proof of Purchase
Proofs of purchases must be provided for all assets purchased through the Refugee IDA Program and can include, but is not limited to, cash register receipts, completed vehicle title transfers, Seller's Signed Disclosure, and emailed receipts. Proofs of Purchases ensure that only eligible assets were purchased for the benefit of the Refugee IDA clients or the benefactors listed in his/her household.

Closeout and Client Withdrawals
Account activities must be scheduled so that all IDA accounts reach their maximum Savings Goal and refugee participants have purchased their Asset Goals within the 4-year project period. If educational tuition or fees are paid in installments to an institution, a plan must be established to return funds to the government if all of the federal match money is not used by the student within the project period. If the participant stops contributing towards his/her IDA for a period of 3 months without grantee approval, or fails to meet his/her Savings Goal, the grantee may use those funds to enroll another participant.

All remaining funds and any subsequent interest generated in the Parallel Account that are a result of participants not being able to reach their Savings Goal and purchase their Asset Goals within the 4-year project period, must be returned to HHS Payment Management Services in accordance with 45 CFR § 75.381(d).

POST-AWARD REQUIREMENTS

Program Performance Evaluation
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), ORR has obtained approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the Refugee IDA Program Data Indicators for post-award reporting. Data points will include:

Recruitment and Enrollment

  • Number of Individual and Household Savings Plan Agreements signed
  • Number of Individual Household IDAs opened
  • Number of IDAs opened for each eligible asset goal
  • Total Match Funds obligated for each eligible asset goal
  • Total Number of IDAs for all assets
  • Total Match Funds obligated for all assets

Training & Technical Assistance

  • Number of clients completing financial literacy training
  • Number of hours of financial literacy training completed
  • Number of clients completing asset-specific training
  • Number of hours of asset-specific training completed
  • Number of hours of technical assistance provided

Asset Purchases

  • Number of assets purchased in each category of eligible asset goals (i.e., vehicles, education/vocational training/professional recertification, microenterprise, and homes)
  • Total Savings and Match Funds used to purchase assets in each category of eligible asset goals
  • Total value of purchased assets in each category of eligible asset goals
  • Number of all assets purchased
  • Total value of all assets purchased
  • Total Match Funds obligated for asset purchases
  • Total Match Funds Liquidated for asset purchases
  • Total match Funds currently in the Parallel Account
  • Total Match Funds Obligated but Unliquidated
  • Total Match Funds Unobligated

Economic Self-Sufficiency

  • Number of Refugee IDA clients assessed based on a scaled provided by ORR
  • Mean self-sufficiency score of all clients assessed

Logic Model Progress

  • Progress towards each Output identified in the Logic Model
  • Progress towards each Outcome identified in the Logic Model

Paperwork Reduction Act Disclaimer
As required by the PRA of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Refugee IDA Program Data Indicators is estimated to average four burden hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Refugee IDA Program Data Indicators information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0490, expiration date is 01/31/2020. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Federal Evaluation
If ACF identifies additional resources to fund a federal study of the funded Refugee IDA activities, then the grantee will be required to participate. The study would utilize an outside non-grantee evaluation team and would focus on the processes, implementation, progress indicators, and quality improvement of funded activities.

Participation in ORR-Sponsored Workshops
The IDA grantees will meet quarterly by phone, to discuss the performance indicators, methods for collecting and reporting those indicators, and other variables or benchmarks that might be appropriate for highlighting progress on the funded activities.

Refugee IDA Programs will be expected to participate in ORR sponsored webinars, trainings and peer sharing events throughout the program period. An annual workshop is planned for each program year. Attendance is required for one key staff member to participate in an annual 2-day workshop at ORR's office in Washington, DC each year.

For more information on application requirements specific to this FOA, please refer to Section IV.2, The Project Description and Project Budget and Budget Justification.

DEFINITION AND EXPLANATION OF TERMS

The following definitions apply for purposes of this announcement:

Asset Goals - the purchases/investments for which the matching funds are intended for when used in conjunction with the savings from the IDAs of refugee participants. The Asset Goal specified by a participant in the Savings Plan Agreement may be for the benefit of the refugee participant or of a dependent refugee (children under 21 years of age who are dependent of an adult for their livelihood) of the refugee participant. Purchase of any Asset Goal must not create an excessive debt burden for the refugee participant. Allowable Asset Goals are defined as follows:

  • Home Ownership - costs of a principal residence, including the down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home. The purchaser must be a first-time home buyer. Prior to approval for a client to save for this asset, the grantee must assess the likelihood that the client can obtain appropriate financing prior to the end of the project period. Grantee must also assess client's abilities to maintain a mortgage and the upkeep of a home.
  • Post-Secondary Education, Vocational Training, and Professional Recertification - cost of tuition or fees, professional recertification fees, books, supplies and equipment, including one computer per student if required or recommended by the institution for enrollment or attendance of a refugee student at a post-secondary educational institution. Mobile phones and other electronic devices that are not explicitly required or recommended by the institution where the client is enrolled are not considered eligible assets for the purpose of Post-Secondary Education, Vocational Training, and Professional Recertification. Funds may be used for a dependent refugee if that child begins post-secondary education or vocational training within the project period. Proof of enrollment and requirement of electronic devises, if applicable, must be documented in the client's file.
  • Purchase of an Automobile - a vehicle that is a documented necessity for the purpose of maintaining or upgrading employment or for the purpose of transportation for post-secondary education, vocational training, or professional recertification. Funds can be used for the actual cost of the vehicle as well as one-time fees and taxes associated with the purchase of the vehicle. Vehicles may not be purchased through auctions.
  • Microenterprise Capitalization - costs for a microbusiness described in a qualified business plan, such as marketing, equipment, working capital, and inventory expenses. The business plan must be approved by a financial institution, a microenterprise development organization, a non-profit loan fund, or a partner which has a microenterprise expertise. The plan must also describe services or goods to be sold and include a marketing plan and projected financial statements. Costs for microenterprise capitalization cannot include any of the following:
    • Paying existing loans;
    • Gambling or speculation including buying and selling equity or debt instruments;
    • Any not-for-profit undertaking;
    • Paying legal fees;
    • Any illegal activity or production, or service or distribution of illegal products;
    • Purposes not related to microenterprise development (e.g., for the purpose of buying a vehicle for personal use);
    • Any other activity that ORR determines, in consultation with the grantee, to be inappropriate for the Refugee IDA Program and Federal funding, or prohibited under applicable appropriation laws (i.e., General Provisions For Selected Items of Cost, 45 CFR §75.420). 

Please reference Section IV.6 Funding Restrictions for more information.

Emergency Withdrawal - a withdrawal of funds, or a portion of funds, deposited by the refugee participant in his/her IDA. The withdrawal may also include any of the interest that may have accrued to the participant's savings in the account but does not include any matching funds. The participant must notify the project grantee of the withdrawal prior to the withdrawal. Causes for emergency withdrawals include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, payments to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or payments for necessary living expenses. An IDA client's failure to notify the project grantee and receive approval prior to an Emergency Withdrawal may result in an immediate removal from the Refugee IDA Program. If funds withdrawn for emergency purposes are not repaid within 12 months, the refugee participant forfeits the match on those funds. Emergency withdrawals may never be authorized from the Parallel Account(s).

Household - an eligible client and all other persons living as an individual economic unit at one address that submits a single federal tax return.

Housing and Urban Development  Area Median Family Income (HAMFI) - issued each year. This is the median family income calculated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for each jurisdiction, in order to determine Fair Market Rents and income limits for HUD programs. Within HUD, the terms "HAMFI," "area median income" (AMI) or "median family income" (FMI) are used interchangeably. HAMFI can be located at www​.hudus​er​.gov​/porta​l​/datas​ets​/il​.html​.  

Parallel Account - insured account opened by the grantee in a qualified financial institution for the purpose of depositing the matching funds for the savings deposited by refugee participants in their individual IDAs. Interest earned on the matching funds must remain in the Parallel Account and be used to enroll additional refugee participants or to match the interest earned on the refugee participant's deposits. The matching funds must be made available to the refugee participant at the time that the participant purchases the Asset Goal. The matching funds are not available to the refugee participant except for the purchase of the Asset Goals defined in this announcement.

Partnering with Organizations with Areas of Expertise - Partnering with other organizations is not a requirement of the Refugee IDA Program if the grantee has demonstrated an in-house expertise in all the required components of the program. However, in order to ensure a high quality of service to refugee participants, ORR values the importance of the development of strategic partnerships with community organizations that offer expertise in the required areas of the Refugee IDA Program where the grantee does not have a demonstrated, in-house expertise. Examples of areas of expertise could include, but are not limited to: home buying process, post-secondary education, small business development, financial literacy training, refugee culture, and operating IDA programs. Examples of new partners could include, but are not limited to, the following: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agencies, Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan offices, Assets for Independence (AFI) grantees, Community Development Financial Institutions, ethnic community based organizations, financial empowerment centers, as well as other private and public institutions.

Refer to Section VIII. Other Information for links to federal agencies.

Poverty Guidelines - issued each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The guidelines are a simplification of the poverty thresholds for use for administrative purposes - for instance, determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs may be found at www​.aspe​.hhs​.gov​/pover​ty​/index​.cfm​.

Qualified Financial Institution - a federally insured bank or credit union, or a state-insured bank or credit union if no federally insured bank or credit union is available.

Savings Goal - the amount, in dollars, that the client and grantee has indicated in the Savings Plan Agreement to be saved by the client and matched with federal funds by the grantee. The Savings Goal and match will be used to purchase the Asset Goal.

II. Federal Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $2,500,000
Expected Number of Awards: 10
Award Ceiling: $250,000 Per Budget Period
Award Floor: $100,000 Per Budget Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $250,000 Per Budget Period
Anticipated Project Start Date: 09/30/2019

Length of Project Periods:

Length of Project Period: 48-month project period with four 12-month budget periods

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A recipient's failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. See Section III.2. of this announcement for information on cost-sharing or matching requirements.

Awards for the second, third, and fourth 12-month budget periods will be made subsequent to approval of non-competing continuation applications and will be subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress by the grantee, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the federal government.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

Public or private non-profit agencies are eligible for awards under this announcement.

Applicants are not eligible for two grants to serve the same population at the same time.

Refugee IDA Program grantees awarded ORR funding prior to, or in 2016, with the project period ending before, or on September 29, 2019, are eligible to compete for funding and propose servicing the existing population and/or geographic location under this announcement provided all eligibility criteria are met.

ORR Refugee IDA grantees that were awarded in FY 2018 are eligible to apply under this FOA, but must propose servicing a distinctively different geographic location from their existing geographic target. The proposed geographic location must be served throughout the project period.

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See Section IV.2. Legal Status of Applicant Entity for documentation required to support eligibility.
 

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR 75.306.

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards. These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by an applicant and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the applicant will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

 

III.3. Other

Application Disqualification Factors

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period ("per project period" refers only to fully funded awards), as stated in Section II. Federal Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov. Paper applications received from applicants that have not been approved for an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow the applicant to submit applications in paper format. Information and the requirements for requesting an exemption from required electronic application submission are found in "ACF Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6


Missing the Application Deadline (Late Applications)

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. 

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the www.Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at, or acknowledged by, ACF. 

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the submission will generate a new date and time-stamp email notification. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.  

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Notification of Application Disqualification

Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Yimeem Vu
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Refugee Services
330 C Street SW.
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-4825
Fax: (202) 401-5772
Email: yimeem.vu@acf.hhs.gov
URL: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available in the FOA's listing at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" available in the FOA's Grants.gov Synopsis under the Package tab at www.Grants.gov. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) for assistance at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS

Each applicant applying electronically via www.Grants.gov is required to upload only two electronic files, excluding Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. No more than two files will be accepted for the review, and additional files will be removed. Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.

FOR ALL APPLICATIONS:
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
AOR is the designated representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the award and administration of grants. In signing a grant application, this individual agrees that the organization will assume the obligations imposed by applicable Federal statutes and regulations and other terms and conditions of the award, including any assurances, if a grant is awarded.

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.  The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.

Accepted Font Style
Applications must be in Times New Roman (TNR), 12-point font, except for footnotes, which may be TNR 10-point font.  Pages that contain blurred text, or text that is too small to read comfortably, will be removed. 

English Language
Applications must be submitted in the English language and must be in the terms of United States (U.S.) dollars. If applications are submitted using another currency, ACF will convert the foreign currency to U.S. currency using the date of receipt of the application to determine the rate of exchange.


Page Limitations
Applicants must observe the page limitation(s) listed under "PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:".  Page limitation(s) do not include SFs and OMB-approved forms.

All applications must be double-spaced.  An application that exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description file or the Appendices file will have the last extra pages removed and the removed pages will not be reviewed.

Application Elements Exempted from Double-Spacing Requirements
The following elements of the application submission are exempt from the double-spacing requirements and may be single-spaced: the table of contents, the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, required Assurances and Certifications, required SFs, required OMB-approved forms, resumes, logic models, proof of legal status/non-profit status, third-party agreements, letters of support,  footnotes, tables, the line-item budget and/or the budget justification.

Adherence to FOA Formatting, Font, and Page Limitation Requirements
Applications that fail to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will be adjusted by the removal of page(s) from the application. Pages will be removed before the objective review. The removed page(s) will not be made available to reviewers.

Applications that have more than one scanned page of a document on a single page will have the page(s) removed from the review.

For applicants that submit paper applications, double-sided pages will be counted as two pages. When the maximum allowed number of pages is reached, excess pages will be removed and will not be made available to reviewers.

NOTE: Applicants failing to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will receive a letter from ACF notifying them that their application was amended. The letter will be sent after awards have been issued and will specify the reason(s) for removal of page(s).

Corrections/Updates to Submitted Applications
When applicants make revisions to a previously submitted application, ACF will accept only the last on-time application for pre-review under the Application Disqualification Factors. The Application Disqualification Factors determine the application's acceptance for competitive review. See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors and Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

Applicants submitting applications in paper format must submit one original and two copies of the complete application, including all Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. The original copy must have original signatures.

Signatures
Applicants submitting electronic applications must follow the registration and application submission instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

The original of a paper format application must include original signatures of the authorized representatives.

Accepted Application Format
With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, all application materials must be formatted so that they are 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins all around.

If possible, applicants are encouraged to include page numbers for each page within the application.

ACF generally does not encourage submission of scanned documents as they tend to have reduced clarity and readability.  If documents must be scanned, the font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable. Documents must be scanned page-for-page, meaning that applicants may not scan more than one page of a document onto a single page. Pages with blurred text will be removed from the application.

PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:

With the exception of SFs and OMB-approved forms, the application submission in its entirety (Project Description and Appendices files) is limited to 60 pages.

The Project Description (Narrative file) must include the following items:

  • Table of Contents;
  • Project Summary/Abstract;
  • Objectives and Need for Assistance;
  • Approach;
  • Program Performance Evaluation Plan;
  • Project Timeline and Milestones;
  • Organizational Profile;
  • Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds;
  • Budget and Budget Narrative;and
  • Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information.

The Appendices must include the following:

  • Logic Model;
  • Letters of Support, including from the State Refugee Coordinator, or the individual responsible for the statewide or regional coordination of the refugee resettlement program, as applicable, of the state where the proposed project will be implemented;
  • Third-Party Agreements; and
  • Any additional information that the applicant deems relevant to the application (e.g., resumes, job descriptions, Gantt chart, Savings Plan Agreements, training material, etc.).

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options for information about requesting an exemption.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.

Each applicant is required to upload ONLY two electronic files, excluding SFs and OMB-approved forms.

File One: Must contain the entire Project Description, and the Budget and Budget Justification (including a line-item budget and a budget narrative).

File Two: Must contain all documents required in the Appendices.

Adherence to the Two-File Requirement
No more than two files will be accepted for the review.  Applications with additional files will be amended and files will be removed from the review.  SFs and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.  

Application Upload Requirements
ACF strongly recommends that electronic applications be uploaded as Portable Document Files (PDFs). One file must contain the entire Project Description and Budget Justification; the other file must contain all documents required in the Appendices. Details on the content of each of the two files, as well as page limitations, are listed earlier in this section.

To adhere to the two-file requirement, applicants may need to convert and/or merge documents together using a PDF converter software. Many recent versions of Microsoft Office include the ability to save documents to the PDF format without need of additional software. Applicants using the Adobe Professional software suite will be able to merge these documents together.  ACF recommends merging documents electronically rather than scanning multiple documents into one document manually, as scanned documents may have reduced clarity and readability.

Applicants must ensure that the version of Adobe Professional they are using is compatible with Grants.gov. To verify Adobe software compatibility please go to Grants.gov and click on “Support” at the top bar menu and select “Adobe Software Compatibility,” which is listed under the topic “Online Answers.” The Adobe verification process allows applicants to test their version of the software by opening a test application package. Grants.gov also includes guidance on how to download a supported version of Adobe, as well as troubleshooting instructions for use, if an applicant is unable to open the test application package. 

The Adobe Software Compatibility page located on Grants.gov also provides guidance for applicants that have received error messages while attempting to save an application package. It also addresses local network and/or computer security settings and the impact this has on use of Adobe software.

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved Forms
Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL (Project/Performance Site Location), are uploaded separately at Grants.gov. These forms are submitted separately from the Project Description and Appendices files. See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for the listing of required Standard Forms, OMB-approved forms, and required assurances and certifications.

Naming Application Submission Files
Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov. Limit file names to 50 characters (characters and spaces). Special characters that are allowed under Grants.gov’s naming conventions, and are accommodated by ACF’s systems, are listed in the instructions available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" at Grants.gov. Please also see https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/submitting-utf-8-special-characters.html.

Use only file formats supported by ACF
It is critical that applicants submit applications using only the supported file formats listed here. While ACF supports all of the following file formats, we strongly recommend that the two application submission files (Project Description and Appendices) are uploaded as PDF documents in order to comply with the two file upload limitation. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do Not Encrypt or Password-Protect the Electronic Application Files
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they are encrypted or password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed. This removal may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make awards based on an incomplete application.

FORMATTING FOR PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:
The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order for a paper format application to be accepted for review. For more information on the exemption, see "ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission'" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ howto#chapter-6

Format Requirements for Paper Applications
All copies of mailed or hand-delivered paper applications must be submitted in a single package. If an applicant is submitting multiple applications under a single FOA, or multiple applications under separate FOAs, each application submission must be packaged separately. The package(s) must be clearly labeled for the specific FOA it addresses by FOA title and by Funding Opportunity Number (FON).

Applicants using paper format should download the application forms package associated with the FOA's Synopsis on www.Grants.gov under the Package tab.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate sections of the application. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the federal government for review. All application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes. All pages in the application submission must be sequentially numbered.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper format application submissions.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications


Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application.
All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the Application Package posted for this FOA at www.Grants.gov.

 

Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application.  If it is not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project. 

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of the certification is required for all applicants.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/ webfo​rm​

Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SAM registration is available at 
http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) for more information.

SF-Project/Performance Site Location(s) (SF-P/PSL)

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications. In the SF-P/PSL, applicants must cite their primary location and up to 29 additional performance sites.

 

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

All applicants and recipients are required to submit, in writing, to the awarding agency and to the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), all information related to violations of federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the federal award. (Mandatory Disclosures, 45 CFR 75.113)

Disclosures must be sent in writing to:

The Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Grants Management, ATTN: Grants Management Specialist, 330 C Street, SW., Switzer Building, Corridor 3200, Washington, DC 20201

And to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 20201

Fax: (202) 205-0604 (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line) or
Email: MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov


Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information. If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
    The Project Description

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

Purpose

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance.  It should address the activity for which federal funds are being requested, and should be consistent with the goals and objectives of the program as described in Section I. Program Description.  Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly.  When appropriate, applicants should cite the evaluation criteria that are relevant to specific components of their project description.   Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations.  It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

General Expectations and Instructions

Applicants should develop project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity should be placed in an appendix.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants must prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria in Section V.1. Criteria.  The text options give a broad overview of what the project description should include while the evaluation criteria identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.


Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers. The table of contents must be single spaced and will be counted against the total page limitations.


Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application’s project description. The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application. The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable 

The project abstract must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-point font, and limited to one page in length. Additional pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.


Objectives And Need For Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution.  The need for assistance including the nature and scope of the problem must be demonstrated, and the principal and subordinate objectives of the project must be clearly and concisely stated; supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned interests other than the applicant, may be included.  Any relevant data based on planning studies should be included or referred to in the endnotes/footnotes.  Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as well as data describing the needs of the target population and the proposed service area as needed. When appropriate, a literature review should be used to support the objectives and needs described in this section.


Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed project will be accomplished.  Applicants must account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Describe any design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and/or community involvement in the project. Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals that will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Cite potential obstacles and challenges to accomplishing project goals and explain strategies that will be used to address these challenges.

Applicants must provide their plan as to how they will address the Program Requirements and Financial Requirements as specified in Section I.  The applicant must denote whether the activities are to be accomplished in-house or through partnership(s). If through partnership(s), the applicant must provide detailed information on the partner's role and expertise. Please refer to Partnering with Organizations With Areas of Expertise under Section I. Definition and Explanation of Terms for more information. The plan to address requirements must include, but is not limited to:

  • Recruiting eligible and ready refugees for the Refugee IDA Program
    • Applicant must provide a process for ensuring that clients who were enrolled into the Refugee IDA Program and whose household income exceeds 200 percent of the federal poverty level, but did not exceed the 80 percent of the HAMFI are only eligible for home purchases.
    • Applicants must provide target numbers for year one of the project period for the Refugee IDA Data Indicators as referenced in Section I. Post-Award Requirements, Program Performance Evaluation. Applicants must also provide an explanation or justification as to why the targets are reasonable and appropriate.
  • Method for outreach
  • Development of Savings Plan Agreement
  • Selection of financial literacy curricula and an explanation of the training methods and an explanation of how the curricula will be acquired or accessed
  • Selection of asset-specific training curricula and an explanation of the training methods and an explanation of how the curricula will be acquired or accessed
  • Strategy for addressing potential client retention issues
  • Providing technical assistance
  • Coordination with refugee resettlement community (the applicant must include a letter of support from the State Refugee Coordinator, or the individual responsible for the statewide or regional coordination of the refugee resettlement program, as applicable, of the state where the proposed project will be implemented)

Applicants must provide ORR with information on the impact of IDA savings and match on the refugee eligibility for public benefits (e.g., state asset limitations on SNAP, LIHEAP, and TANF), if any, and must submit alternative maximum match limits to ORR for review, if necessary, to avoid potential issues with eligibility for public benefits through participation in the Refugee IDA Program.

Applicants must describe how the Refugee IDA Program will complement existing programs in the community instead of supplanting or duplicating existing efforts.

Applicants must include a statement of program objectives. The objectives must align with Section I. Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program Overview, Purpose and Objectives.

The applicant must include indicators of the need for assistance which can include, but is not limited to: low rates of home ownership, education, access to capital, populations readiness for a Refugee IDA Program, rates of use of financial institutions, high rates of reliance on public assistance, and high rates of refugee incomes which do not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level and/or 80 percent or less of the HAMFI.

The applicant must include demographic data from a federal or state government agency with historical numbers of newly arriving refugees for the past 3 years, as well as the anticipated number of arriving refugees for the next fiscal year, if available.

The applicant must provide a description of its past experiences and current work with the refugee community, the targeted community. The applicant must provide previous experiences, or relevant experiences in the areas of the unmet need as it pertains to the Refugee IDA Program. The applicant must also include evidence of successful outreach and recruitment of the eligible refugees. The applicant must provide strong evidence of sufficient capacity, experience, and expertise in the program areas of this FOA, and if applicable, in collaboration with partner organizations; in culturally and linguistically competent service delivery; and in administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of similar projects.

The applicant must provide its training and technical assistance methodologies and demonstrate past success using the methodologies with the targeted population.


Project Timeline and Milestones

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function, or activity, in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.


Program Performance Evaluation Plan

Applicants must describe the plan for the program performance evaluation that will contribute to continuous quality improvement. The program performance evaluation should monitor ongoing processes and the progress towards the goals and objectives of the project.  Include descriptions of the inputs (e.g., organizational profile, collaborative partners, key staff, budget, and other resources), key processes, and expected outcomes of the funded activities. The plan may be supported by a logic model and must explain how the inputs, processes and outcomes will be measured, and how the resulting information will be used to inform improvement of funded activities. 

Applicants must describe the systems and processes that will support the organization's performance management requirements through effective tracking of performance outcomes, including a description of how the organization will collect and manage data (e.g. assigned skilled staff, data management software) in a way that allows for accurate and timely reporting of performance outcomes. Applicants must describe any potential obstacles for implementing the program performance evaluation and how those obstacles will be addressed.

Applicants must include a description of how the program intends to address, collect, manage, and share information for the Refugee IDA Data Indicators, as referenced in Section I. Post-Award Requirements, Program Performance Evaluation. 

Applicants must include a description of the qualifications of the data management staff, data collection resources, and a process for quality improvement efforts. 


Geographic Location

Describe the precise location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project.


Legal Status of Applicant Entity
Non-profit organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of non-profit status is any one of the following:
  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS tax-exemption certificate.
  • A statement from a state taxing body, state attorney general, or other appropriate state official certifying that the applicant organization has non-profit status and that none of the net earnings accrue to any private shareholders or individuals.
  • A certified copy of the organization's certificate of incorporation or similar document that clearly establishes non-profit status.
  • Any of the items in the subparagraphs immediately above for a state or national parent organization and a statement signed by the parent organization that the applicant organization is a local non-profit affiliate.

Unless directed otherwise, applicants must include proof of non-profit status in the Appendices file of the electronic application submission.


Logic Model

Applicants must submit a logic model for designing and managing their project. A logic model is a one-page diagram that presents the conceptual framework for a proposed project and explains the links among program elements. While there are many versions of logic models, for the purposes of this announcement the logic model should summarize the connections between the:
  • Goals of the project (e.g., objectives, reasons for proposing the interventions, if applicable);
  • Assumptions (e.g., beliefs about how the program will work and its supporting resources. Assumptions should be based on research, best practices, and experience);
  • Inputs (e.g., organizational profile, collaborative partners, key staff, budget);
  • Target population (e.g., the individuals to be served);
  • Activities (e.g., approach, listing key intervention, if applicable);
  • Outputs (i.e., the direct products or deliverables of program activities); and
  • Outcomes (i.e., the results of a program, typically describing a change in people or systems).

Organizational Capacity

Provide the following information on the applicant organization and, if applicable, on any cooperating partners:

  • Organizational charts;
  • Resumes (no more than two single-spaced pages in length);
  • Copy or description of the applicant organizationís fiscal control and accountability procedures;
  • Evidence that the applicant organization, and any partnering organizations, have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of programs similar to that offered under this announcement;
  • Evidence that each participating organization, including partners and/or subcontractors, possess the organizational capability to fulfill their role(s) and function(s) effectively;
  • Job descriptions for each vacant key position.
Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

If any confidential or sensitive information will be collected during the course of the project, whether from staff (e.g., background investigations) or project participants and/or project beneficiaries, provide a description of the methods that will be used to ensure that confidential and/or sensitive information is properly handled and safeguarded. Also provide a plan for the disposition of such information at the end of the project period.

Third-Party Agreements

Third-party agreements include Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Letters of Commitment. General letters of support are not considered to be third-party agreements. Third-party agreements must clearly describe the project activities and support to which the third party is committing.  Third-party agreements must be signed by the person in the third-party organization with the authority to make such commitments on behalf of their organization.

Provide written and signed agreements between grantees and subgrantees, or subcontractors, or other cooperating entities. These agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship.

Letters of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding.  All submissions must be included in the application package.


Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds

Provide a plan describing how oversight of federal funds will be ensured and how grant activities and partner(s) will adhere to applicable federal and programmatic regulations. Applicants must identify staff that will be responsible for maintaining oversight of program activities, staff, and partner(s). Applicants must describe procedures and policies used to oversee staff and/or partners/contractors.

Describe organizational records systems that relate financial data to performance data by identifying the source and application of federal funds so that they demonstrate effective control over and accountability for funds, compare outlays with budget amounts, and provide accounting records supported by source documentation.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is entered on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C, according to the directions provided with the SFs. The budget justification consists of a budget narrative and a line-item budget detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Applicants must indicate the method they are selecting for their indirect cost rate.  See Indirect Charges for further information. 

Project budget calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance). See the table in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications listing the appropriate budget forms to use in this application.

Special Note: The Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, (Division B, Title II, Sec. 202), limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the "Rates of Pay for the Executive Schedule" is $189,600. This amount reflects an individual's base salary exclusive of fringe benefits and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties of the applicant organization. This salary limitation also applies to subawards and subcontracts under an ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

 

Provide a budget using the 424A and/or 424C, as applicable, for each year of the proposed project. Provide a budget justification, which includes a budget narrative and a line-item detail, for the first year of the proposed project. The budget narrative should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

ORR has included a funding restriction that limits administrative costs to 35 percent or less of the overall budget. In addition, 65 percent of ORR funds must be used to match IDA savings made by refugees participating in the program. Applicants must describe and demonstrate how their budget meets this requirement. For more information, please reference Section I. Financial Requirements, Administrative Funds.

Applicants must also include a description for how they will ensure that funds will not be used for unallowable costs as referenced in Section IV.6 Funding Restrictions.

Applicants must ensure the program budget includes airfare, lodging, and per diem expenses for one staff member to participate in the annual two-day program meeting in Washington, D.C.

General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification. Both federal and non-federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification. "Federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying. "Non-federal resources" are all other non-ACF federal and non-federal resources. It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format: first column, object class categories; second column, federal budget; next column(s), non-federal budget(s); and last column, total budget. The budget justification should be in a narrative form.


Personnel

Description:  Costs of employee salaries and wages.

Justification: Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.  For each staff person provide:  the title; time commitment to the project in months; time commitment to the project as a percentage or full-time equivalent: annual salary; grant salary; wage rates; etc.  Do not include the costs of consultants, personnel costs of delegate agencies, or of specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant. Contractors and consultants should not be placed under this category.


Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits unless treated as part of an approved indirect cost rate. 

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement insurance, and taxes.


Travel

Description:  Costs of out-of-state or overnight project-related travel by employees of the applicant organization. Do not include in-state travel or consultant travel.

Justification:  For each trip show the total number of traveler(s); travel destination; duration of trip; per diem; mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances.  If appropriate for this project, travel costs for key project staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops/conferences/grantee orientations should be detailed in the budget.


Equipment

Description:  "Equipment" means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year per unit and an acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the lesser of:  (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000.  (Note:  Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired.  Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, shall be included in or excluded from acquisition cost in accordance with the applicant organization's regular written accounting practices.) 

Justification:  For each type of equipment requested applicants must provide a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use of the equipment in the project; as well as a plan for the use, and/or disposal of, the equipment after the project ends.  An applicant organization that uses its own definition for equipment should provide a copy of its policy, or section of its policy, that includes the equipment definition.


Supplies

Description:  Costs of all tangible personal property other than that included under the Equipment category.  This includes office and other consumable supplies with a per-unit cost of less than $5,000.

Justification:  Specify general categories of supplies and their costs.  Show computations and provide other information that supports the amount requested.


Contractual

Description:  Costs of all contracts for services and goods except for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc.  Include third-party evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contracts with secondary recipient organizations (with budget detail), including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant.  This area is not for individual consultants.

Justification:  Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open, and free competition. Recipients and subrecipients are required to use 45 CFR 75.328 procedures and must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold fixed by 41 U.S.C. § 134, as amended by 2 CFR Part 200.88, and currently set at $150,000.  Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc., available to ACF.

Note: Whenever the applicant intends to delegate part of the project to another agency, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each contractor/sub-contractor, by agency title, along with the same supporting information referred to in these instructions.  If the applicant plans to select the contractors/sub-contractors post-award and a detailed budget is not available at the time of application, the applicant must provide information on the nature of the work to be delegated, the estimated costs, and the process for selecting the delegate agency.


Other

Description: Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to: consultant costs, local travel; insurance; food (when allowable); medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs (including audit charges); space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training costs, such as tuition and stipends; staff development costs; and administrative costs.

Justification:  Provide computations, a narrative description, and a justification for each cost under this category.


Indirect Charges

Description:  Total amount of indirect costs. This category has one of two methods that an applicant can select.  An applicant may only select one.
 

1) The applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant federal agency.

Note: An applicant must enclose a copy of the current approved rate agreement.  If the applicant is requesting a rate that is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed.

2) Per 45 CFR  § 75.414(f) Indirect (F&A) costs, “any non-Federal entity [i.e., applicant] that has never received a negotiated indirect costs rate, … may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10%  of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely.   As described in § 75.403, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both.  If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time.” 

 

Justification:  This method only applies to applicants that have never received an approved negotiated indirect cost rate from HHS or another cognizant federal agency.  Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposal may request the 10 percent de minimis rate.  When the applicant chooses this method, costs included in the indirect cost pool must not be charged as direct costs to the grant.


Program Income

Description:  The estimated amount of income, if any, expected to be generated from this project. Program income includes, but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federally-funded projects, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and interest on loans made with award funds. 

Justification:  Describe the nature, source, and anticipated use of program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application that contain this information.


Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description: Amounts of non-federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR § 75.306. 

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports. 

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards . These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by an applicant and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the applicant will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports. 

Justification: If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter(s) or other documentation) is required to be submitted with the application. Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Item18. "Estimated Funding ($)" on the SF-424. 

Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s). In-kind contributions must be accompanied by a justification of how the stated valuation was determined. Matching or cost sharing must be documented by budget period (or by project period for fully funded awards). A recipient’s failure to provide a statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds.

Applications that lack the required supporting documentation will not be disqualified from competitive review; however, it may impact an application’s scoring under the evaluation criteria in Section V.1. of this announcement.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification is estimated to average 60 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description and Budget/Budget Justification information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, expiration date is 01/31/2019. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Application Submission Options

    Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

This section provides the application submission and receipt instructions for ACF program applications. Please read the following instructions carefully and completely.

Electronic Delivery
ACF is participating in the Grants.gov initiative to provide the grant community with a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. ACF applicants are required to submit their applications online through Grants.gov.

How to Register and Apply through Grants.gov
Read the following instructions about registering to apply for ACF funds. Applicants should read the registration instructions carefully and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling the required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last-minute searches for required information.

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Organization applicants can find complete instructions here: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html

Obtain a DUNS Number: All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Applicants must enter the DUNS number in the data entry field labeled "Organizations DUNS" on the SF-424 form.

For more detailed instructions for obtaining a DUNS number, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html

Register with SAM: In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through Grants.gov must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with SAM will prevent your organization from applying through Grants.gov.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html

Create a Grants.gov Account: The next step in the registration process is to create an account with Grants.gov. Applicants must know their organization's DUNS number to complete this process. Completing this process automatically triggers an email request for applicant roles to the organization's E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) for review. The EBiz POC is a representative from your organization who is the contact listed for SAM. To apply for grants on behalf of your organization, you will need the AOR role.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html

Authorize Grants.gov Roles: After creating an account on Grants.gov, the EBiz POC receives an email notifying them of your registration and request for roles. The EBiz POC will then log in to Grants.gov and authorize the appropriate roles, which may include the AOR role, thereby giving you permission to complete and submit applications on behalf of your organization. You will be able to submit your application online any time after you have been approved as an AOR.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov. refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/authorize-roles.html

Track Role Status: To track your role request, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/track-role-status.html


When applications are submitted through Grants.gov, the name of the organization's AOR that submitted the application is inserted into the signature line of the application, serving as the electronic signature. The EBiz POC must authorize individuals who are able to make legally binding commitment on behalf of the organization as an AOR; this step is often missed and it is crucial for valid and timely submissions.

How to Submit an Application to ACF via Grants.gov
Grants.gov applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For each FOA, you can create individual instances of a workspace.

The following is an overview of applying via Grants.gov. For access to complete instructions on how to apply for opportunities, refer to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html 

Create a Workspace: Creating a workspace allows you to complete an application online and route it through your organization for review before submitting.

Complete a Workspace: Add participants to the workspace, complete all the required forms, and check for errors before submission.

Adobe Reader: If you decide not to apply by filling out webforms you can download individual PDF forms in Workspace so that they will appear similar to other Standard or ACF forms. The individual PDF forms can be downloaded and saved to your local device storage, network drive(s), or external drive(s), then accessed through Adobe Reader.

NOTE: Visit the Adobe Software Compatibility page on Grants.gov to download the appropriate version of the software at: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/adobe-software-compatibility.html

Mandatory Fields in Forms: In the forms, you will note fields marked with an asterisk and a different background color. These fields are mandatory fields that must be completed to successfully submit your application.

Complete SF-424 Fields First: The forms are designed to fill in common required fields across other forms, such as the applicant name, address, and DUNS number. To trigger this feature, an applicant must complete the SF-424 information first. Once it is completed, the information will transfer to the other forms.

Submit a Workspace: An application may be submitted through workspace by clicking the Sign and Submit button on the Manage Workspace page, under the Forms tab. Grants.gov recommends submitting your application at least 24-48 hours prior to the close date to provide you with time to correct any potential technical issues that may disrupt the application submission.

Track a Workspace: After successfully submitting a workspace package, a Grants.gov Tracking Number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) is automatically assigned to the package. The number will be listed on the Confirmation page that is generated after submission.

For additional training resources, including video tutorials, refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-training.html

Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov. For questions related to the specific grant opportunity, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your submission, it is best to call the Grants.gov Support Center and get a ticket number. The Support Center ticket number will assist ACF with tracking your issue and understanding background information on the issue.

Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission
All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date established for each program. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic date/time stamp is generated within the system when the application is successfully received by Grants.gov. The applicant AOR will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicant AORs will also receive the official date/stamp and Grants.gov Tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission.

When ACF successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, and acknowledges the download of submission, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt of the application to the email address of the applicant with the AOR role. Again, proof of timely submission shall be the official date and time that Grants.gov receives your application. Applications received by Grants.gov after the established due date for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by ACF.

Applicants with slow internet, such as dial-up connections, should be aware that transmission can take some time before Grants.gov receives your application. Again, Grants.gov will provide either an error or a successfully received transmission in the form of an email sent to the applicant with the AOR role. The Grants.gov Support Center reports that some applicants end the transmission because they think that nothing is occurring during the transmission process. Please be patient and give the system time to process the application.

Issues with Federal Systems
For any systems issues experienced with Grants.gov or SAM.gov, please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Applicants Experiencing Federal Systems Issues” document for complete guidance at www.acf.hhs.gov /sites/default/files/assets/systems_issue_policy_final.pdf.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission
To request an exemption from required electronic submission please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission” document for complete guidance at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/acf_policy_for_requesting_an_exemption_from_required_electronic.pdf.

Paper Format Application Submission
An exemption is required for the submission of paper applications. See the preceding section on "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.7. of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions. Applications submitted in paper format must be received by 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date.

Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All applicants must have a DUNS Number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov/SAM, https://www.sam.gov).

Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

All applicants are required to maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If a grant is awarded, registration at SAM must be active throughout the life of the award.

Plan ahead. Allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e. Grants.gov.

This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application through Grants.gov or prevent the award of a grant. Applicants should maintain documentation (with dates) of their efforts to register for, or renew a registration, at SAM. User Guides are available under the “Help” tab at https://www.sam.gov.

HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:   

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, ACF:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.
IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications: 06/18/2019

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications
The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged.

Mailed Paper Format Applications
The deadline for receipt of mailed, paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications
Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.7.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances:

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Emergency Extensions
ACF may extend an application due date when circumstances make it impossible for an applicant to submit their applications on time. Only events such as documented natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or a verifiable widespread disruption of electrical service, or mail service, will be considered. The determination to extend or waive the due date, and/or receipt time, requirements in an emergency situation rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s).

Acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov
Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov Tracking Number. Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time stamp, which serves as the official record of application's submission. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Applicants will also receive an email acknowledging that the received application is in the Grants.gov validation process, after which a third email is sent with the information that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, the series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged by ACF.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:
Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of receipt of a paper format application:

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_-Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 330 C St. SW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20201.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.6. Funding Restrictions

IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable. Fund raising costs for the purposes of meeting the Federal program objectives are allowable with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency. (45 CFR §75.442)

Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids, proposals, or applications on potential Federal and non-Federal awards or projects, including the development of data necessary to support the non-Federal entity's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect (F&A) costs and allocated currently to all activities of the non-Federal entity. No proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable to the current period. (45 CFR §75.460)

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
Construction is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.

No more than 35 percent of ORR grant funds may be used for administrative purposes. At least 65 percent of ORR funds must be used to match IDA savings made by refugees participating in the program. For more information, please reference Section I. Financial Requirements, Administrative Funds.

Refugee IDA Program funds may not be used for any activities that would otherwise be prohibited under applicable appropriation laws (i.e., General Provisions For Selected Items of Cost, 45 CFR §75.420) or not within the requirements of the Refugee IDA requirements.

 

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. Also see ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6.

Submission By Mail

Lisa Dammar
Administration for Children and Families
Division of Discretionary Grants
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Hand Delivery

Lisa Dammar
Administration for Children and Families
Division of Discretionary Grants
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2. for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via www.Grants.gov.

For all submissions, see Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Please note: With the exception of the funding opportunity announcement and relevant statutes and regulations, reviewers will not access, or review, any materials that are not part of the application documents.  This includes information accessible on websites via hyperlinks that are referenced, or embedded, in the application.  Though an application may include web links, or embedded hyperlinks, reviewers will not review this information as it is not considered to be part of the application documents.  Nor will the information on websites be taken into consideration in scoring of evaluation criteria presented in this section. Reviewers will evaluate and score an application based on the documents that are presented in the application and will not refer to, or access, external links during the objective review.

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated using the criteria described in this section. The corresponding point values indicate the relative importance placed on each review criterion. Points will be allocated based on the extent to which the application proposal addresses each of the criteria listed. Applicants should address these criteria in their application materials, particularly in the project description and budget justification, as they are the basis upon which competing applications will be judged during the objective review. The required elements of the project description and budget justification may be found in Section IV.2 of this announcement.
OBJECTIVES AND NEED FOR ASSISTANCE Maximum Points:15

The applicant presents a clear and concise statement of program objectives. The applicant’s objectives are aligned with Section I., Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program Overview, Purpose and Objectives, and are feasible and well-developed. (0-5 points)

The need for assistance is thorough and justified, including an identification of barriers and needs specific to acquiring the assets. Proposed activities for the targeted service area and population is supported by credible, and relative data and other forms of evidence. Indicators of the need for assistance include low rates of home ownership, education, access to capital, population readiness for a Refugee IDA Program and use of financial institutions, high rates of reliance on public assistance, and high rates of refugee incomes which do not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level and/or at 80 percent or less of the HAMFI. (0-5 points)

The applicant’s target population accords with ORR IDA Eligible Clients, as referenced in Section I. Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program Overview, Eligible Clients and includes demographic data sourced from a federal or state government agency with historical numbers of newly arriving refugees for the past 3 years, as well as the anticipated number of arriving refugees for the next fiscal year, if available. The application clearly demonstrates the program's ability to promote refugee economic independence by providing services to refugees. (0-5 points)

 

APPROACH Maximum Points:45

The applicant proposes a clear and feasible plan for recruitment that targets the intended audience as referenced in Section I. Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program Overview, Eligible Clients. The plan also clearly identifies a process to ensure that clients who were enrolled into the Refugee IDA Program and exceeded the 200 percent federal poverty level, but did not exceed 80 percent of the HAMFI are only eligible for home purchases. (0-5 points)

The applicant includes a plan for coordination with refugee resettlement service providers. The activities described in the plan are relevant, feasible, and help facilitate a resource mapping process aimed at reaching the objectives of the Refugee IDA Program. (0-2 points)

The application contains a letter of support from the State Refugee Coordinator, or the individual responsible for the statewide or regional coordination of the refugee resettlement program, as applicable, of the state where the proposed project will be implemented. (0-1 points)

The applicant provides a training and technical assistance model that is reflective of a successful Refugee IDA Program. There is a reasonable timeline (e.g., charts, such as a Gantt chart, bar chart, or other chart, that illustrate project schedules) for implementing the proposed project, including the activities to be conducted in chronological order and showing a reasonable schedule of accomplishments and target dates, along with factors that may accelerate or decelerate the work. (0-6 points)

The applicant presents a detailed plan to provide trainings to eligible clients under the Refugee IDA Program. The plan identifies the training topics to be conducted and curricula. The trainings are in accordance with the requirements as specified in Section I. Program Requirements, Training and Technical Assistance. The plan is thorough (e.g., culturally and linguistically appropriate), provides a feasible plan of action, and provides a strategy to address potential client retention issues. (0-6 points)

The applicant presents a detailed plan to provide technical assistance to eligible clients under the Refugee IDA Program. The plan identifies the technical assistance areas to be addressed. The technical assistance to be provided is in accordance with the requirements as specified in Section I. Program Requirements, Training and Technical Assistance. The plan is thorough (e.g., culturally and linguistically appropriate), provides a feasible plan of action, and provides a strategy to address potential client retention issues. (0-6 points)

The applicant has already acquired, or proposes a clear plan to acquire, the necessary tools to establish and manage a Refugee IDA Program including, but not limited, to a Savings Plan Agreement, a plan for managing IDAs for clients, and a plan for instituting proper controls to ensure fiduciary oversight of all grant funds. (0-5 points)

The applicant provides realistic and achievable Year 1 target numbers corresponding to the appropriate Refugee IDA Data Indicators as referenced in Section I, Post-Award Requirements, Program Performance Evaluation. Targets are reasonable and appropriate to identified activities. (0-5 points) 

The applicant has provided a plan describing how oversight of federal funds will be ensured and how grant activities and partner(s) will adhere to applicable federal and programmatic regulations, including safeguarding PII as referenced in Section I. Program Description, Program Requirements. (0-3 points)

The applicant's Logic Model is clearly articulated and feasible. The activities, outcomes, and outputs indicated are reflective of a successful Refugee IDA Program and demonstrate a timeline that is appropriate and indicative of project completion within the project period. The applicant's approach indicates a clear understanding of the Refugee IDA Data Indicators and target refugee community, including any current barriers to a successful Refugee IDA Program. (0-3 points)

The applicant has clearly identified whether each task in the plans will be carried out by the applicant, or by a partner with an area of expertise. Please refer to Section I., Definition and Explanation of Terms for more information. The applicant has clearly demonstrated the qualification of the responsible entity. (0-3 points)

ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE Maximum Points:20

The applicant has demonstrated knowledge of refugee communities, partners, and potential clients. (0-4 points)

The applicant demonstrates experience that indicates they are capable of successfully reaching out to and recruiting eligible refugees. The applicant provides strong evidence of sufficient capacity, experience, and expertise in the program areas of this FOA, and if applicable, in collaboration with partner organizations; in culturally and linguistically competent service delivery; and in administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of similar projects. (0-6 points)

The applicant has demonstrated success in providing training and technical assistance to the refugee population. (0-6 points)

The applicant provides job descriptions that clearly documents the roles, responsibilities, qualifications, salary range, and anticipated time commitments of proposed staff position(s), including partners, if applicable. These are well-defined and appropriate to the successful implementation and management of the Refugee IDA Program. The qualifications and responsibilities of the applicant organization’s staff and, if applicable, partners are aligned with the overall objectives  listed under Section I. Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program Overview, Purpose and Objectives. Staff has commensurate experience in the refugee field. Where certain staff has not yet been identified, the qualifications of the individuals to be employed are specific and relevant to the Refugee IDA Program. (0-4 points)

PROGRAM PERFORMANCE EVALUATION Maximum Points:10

The application clearly describes the strategy for collecting the Refugee IDA Data Indicators as referenced in Section I. Post-Award Requirements, Program Performance Evaluation and validating data for use in program management, monitoring, and evaluation. The staff involved with data collection and management are qualified. The strategy includes quality improvement efforts and a description of data collection resources. (0-6 points)

The method proposed for collecting outcome data is timely and reasonable. (0-2 points)

The description of the data collection tools to be used and the description of the data management system are thorough and adequately aligned with the training and technical assistance to be delivered. (0-2 points)

 

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points:10

The budget narrative is clearly outlined and aligned with the project proposal and includes a detailed narrative justification for the amounts that clearly states how the applicant derived categorical costs and how each itemized expense will be used.  The narrative justification is detailed in nature and clearly demonstrates the costs are reasonable and justified. The narrative justification includes a process to ensure funds will not be disbursed for unallowable costs as referenced in Section IV.6 Funding Restrictions. (0-5 points) 

At least 65 percent of the ORR grant funds is designated for the purpose of providing matches for the refugee IDA accounts. No more than 35 percent of the ORR grant funds is designated for the purpose of administering the program as referenced in Section I. Program Description, Financial Requirements, Administrative Funds. (0-3 points)

Applicants have included a description that appropriately addresses how they will ensure that funds will not be used for unallowable costs as referenced in Section IV.6 Funding Restrictions. (0-1 points)

The budget includes required costs for participation in an annual 2-day program meeting in Washington, D.C., as described in Section IV.2, The Project Description, Project Budget and Budget Justification. (0-1 points) 

BONUS POINTS Maximum Points:5

The applicant has provided a letter of support from a qualified a financial institution(s) for the project. This letter is on letterhead of the financial institution, and signed by a person authorized to make the commitment on behalf of the financial institution. The letter includes a commitment by the financial institution to establish IDAs for the refugee participants, to establish a Parallel Account (or accounts) for the matching funds, and to provide the grantee with account activity data on the IDAs and the Parallel Account(s) in a timely manner. (5 points)

BONUS POINTS Maximum Points:3

The applicant proposes to serve a state that has:

  • Had the highest number of individuals resettled in FY 2018 according to the Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration's Refugee Processing Center, and;
  • Does not currently have a Refugee IDA Program, or;
  • Has only one Refugee IDA Program that will end prior to the start of FY 2020.

Only the following states meet these criteria and are eligible for bonus points:

  • Texas
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Colorado

(3 points)

V.2. Review and Selection Process

V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have a DUNS number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration at SAM (www.sam.gov). See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM).

Initial ACF Screening
Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualification factors described in Section III.3.Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Disqualified applications are considered to be “non-responsive” and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

Objective Review and Results
Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award decision-making process. 

ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. Applications may be funded in whole or in part. Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested. ACF reserves the right to consider preferences to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those populations located in pockets of poverty. ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of federal funds in its award decisions.

ACF may refuse funding for projects with what it regards as unreasonably high start-up costs for facilities or equipment, or for projects with unreasonably high operating costs.

Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

As required by 2 CFR Part 200, the Uniform Guidance, effective January 1, 2016, ACF is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), www.fapiis.gov/, before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency has previously entered into FAPIIS. ACF will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR § 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants (http://www.ecfr.gov/ cgi-bin/text-idx?node=se2.1.200_1205&rgn=div8).

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval in the objective review process, but not selected for award, may receive funding if additional funds become available or may compete for funding during the next review cycle (if one occurs in the next fiscal year). Applications designated as “approved but unfunded” typically cannot be kept in an active status for more than 12 months. For those applications determined as “approved but unfunded,” notice will be given of the determination by email.

 
 

V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date. ACF staff cannot respond to requests for information regarding funding decisions prior to the official applicant notification. 

VI. Federal Award Administration Information

VI.1. Federal Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail, email, or by GrantSolutions.gov or the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES), whichever is relevant. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Grantees may translate the Federal award and other documents into another language. In the event of inconsistency between any terms and conditions of the Federal award and any translation into another language, the English language meaning will control. Where a significant portion of the grantee’s employees who are working on the Federal award are not fluent in English, the grantee must provide the Federal award in English and in the language(s) with which employees are more familiar.

 

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at www.ecfr.gov. Unless otherwise noted in this section, administrative and national policy requirements that are applicable to discretionary grants are available at: www.acf.hhs.gov/administrative-and-national-policy-requirements.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements. ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements. The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Notice of Award (NOA). The HHS GPS is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-1.


An application funded with the release of federal funds through a grant award does not constitute, or imply, compliance with federal regulations. Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable federal regulations. 

The purchase of assets for beneficiaries pursuant to this FOA are not subject to the procurement requirements in 45 CFR Part 75 or the Grants Policy Statement. They are subject to requirements in this FOA, the applicaiton, and the Notice of Award.

 

VI.3. Reporting

 
Performance Progress Reports: Quarterly

Recipients under this FOA will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. Information on reporting requirements is available on the ACF website at www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-2.

For planning purposes, the frequency of required reporting for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually
VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Program Office Contact

Yimeem Vu
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Refugee Resettlement
Division of Refugee Services
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-4825
Email: Yimeem.Vu@acf.hhs.gov
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Lisa Dammar
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW.
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 401-4577
Email: Lisa.Dammar@acf.hhs.gov
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) www.acf.hhs.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunities Forecast www.grants.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunity Announcements ami.grantsolutions.gov/.

ACF "How To Apply For A Grant" https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

Grants.gov Accessibility Information www.grants.gov/ web/grants/accessibility-compliance.html.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  http://www.ecfr.gov/.

United States Code (U.S.C.)  http://uscode.house.gov/.

 

Application Checklist

 

Applicants may use this checklist as a guide when preparing an application package.

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in
Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application. 


If it not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the
award of a grant.

SF-Project/Performance Site Location(s) (SF-P/PSL)

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Referenced in Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) in the announcement.

To obtain a DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier), go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/webfo​rm​.

To register at SAM, go to http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

A DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier) and registration at SAM.gov are required for all applicants.

Active registration at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification.

Submission is required in addition to submission of SF-424A and / or SF-424C.


Submission is required with the application package by the due date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

Requirement, submission instructions, and mailing addresses are found in the "Mandatory Grant Disclosure"  in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications.

If applicable, concurrent submission to the Administration for Children and Families and to the Office of the Inspector General is required.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. 

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application package or prior to the award of a grant.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

These forms are available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section. 
They are required for applications that include only non-construction activities. 

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

 

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submit with the application by the due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the application due date and time listed in the Overview and Section IV.4. of the FOA. 

If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities" 

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 at https​://www​.white​house​.gov​/wp​-conte​nt​/uploa​ds​/2017​/11​/Inter​gover​nment​al_​-Revie​w​-_SPOC​_01_2​018_O​FFM​.pdf​ as indicated in Section IV.5. Intergovernmental Review of this announcement.  

Submission of application materials is due to SPOC by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.