Rural Homelessness Facts
What is Capacity Building
RHCB Capacity Building Grants
Frequently Asked Question
The following information provides answers to a range of questions dealing with the general administration of the Rural Homelessness Capacity Building (RHCB) grant.
- Is the presentation available for download or print?
Yes, the presentation and the presentation notes are available for download on the website and can be accessed here.
- What are the restrictions of the fund?
For a full listing of the ineligible activities, please visit this webpage. A listing of the allowable activities under the RHCB grant can be accessed here.
- How many grants will you hope to award?
HAC will fund at least ten organizations and potentially up to 20. Funding is dependent on the number of applications received, the nature of the proposed projects, and the amount of funds requested.
- When will the grants be awarded?
Funding decisions will be made by May 1, 2009 and funding will be distributed once the contracts and work plans are finalized.
- Are awards based on geographic location or competitive nationwide?
The RHCB grant program is a national competition and the awards are not based on geography.
- What is the timeline for the use of the grant?
All grant funds must be spent by March 30, 2010.
- Has the grant been given in the past and if so is there a list of funded projects?
strong>This is the second year of the grant program. A list of the funded projects from the first year can be found here.
- How are the funds distributed?
Two-thirds of the funds are distributed as soon as the sub-award contract is finalized and a final work plan is in place. The remaining one-third is distributed after submission of the first report.
- Can you apply if you do not have your 501(c)3 status yet?
Organizations without 501(c)(3) status are eligible to apply for RHCB grants. 501(c)(3) status is not necessary. An organization could apply to pay for the costs associated with securing 501 (c)(3) status.
- Will it hurt your application if you are requesting funds for a project that has no other resources other than RHCB?
No. The application will be judged based on the merits of the proposed project not on other potential funding sources your organization may or may not have in place to use for the project.
- What is your definition of homeless?
RHCB funds can be used to support organizations that are engaged in providing shelter, meals, or other services to homeless individuals and families, as well as those who are at-risk of becoming homeless.
The following section provides information about specifics of the application and allowable activities for the Rural Homelessness Capacity Building (RHCB) Project.
- In Section II, Question 3 you ask for organizational development 5 year goals and in Section V Question 1 you ask for organizational goals, is it OK if these things overlap?
Yes, the answers may overlap.
- Is a 990 Tax Form done by our CPA OK or do we have to submit an audit?
You do not have to submit an audit. A 990 tax form will be more than acceptable.
- In the budget, do you want expenses limited to the funding being requested?
No. The budget should list all expenses related to the proposed project. If other funding sources will be used to cover additional expense, please identify these funds and their sources in column B of the budget.
- Will you pay for training in advance or if we submit paper will you cover previous trainings?
No, the RHCB grant funds are only to be used for activities beginning after the funding announcement through December 31, 2009.
- Is there a match?
No, there is not a match
- Can these funds be used for brochures or web-site creation?
Yes. These activities can be used to increase community engagement and educate stakeholders about your programs. You cannot, however, use either of these products to solicit funds or share inherently religious messages.
- Can RHCB funds be used to implement a strategic plan?
RHCB funds can be used to create a strategic plan. Organizations can apply for funding to hire a consultant or pay for costs associated with strategic planning. However, RHCB funds cannot be used to provide any direct services. If implementation of the strategic plan involves any direct services or the purchase of real property, this would be an ineligible project under RHCB
- Is purchasing internet access an eligible activity?
RHCB projects must result in increased capacity of the organization. You must demonstrate that the purchase of Internet access will increase your organization's ability to address homelessness issues. You must also show that your organization will be able to sustain this cost after the funding is expended.
- Can we use money for everyday operations?
No. RHCB funds cannot be used for "everyday operations." The funding is intended to support projects that will result in improved capacity for the organization. These resources can be used to support administrative costs associated with a capacity building project, but not simply for everyday operations.
- Can we hire someone to implement a strategic plan and fundraising endeavors? Or do we need to implement those using current employees only?
You can hire a consultant or staff member to develop a strategic or fundraising plan. However, you cannot hire a consultant or staff member to implement.
- Can RHCB funds be used to off-set a part-time employee expense?
It depends on the nature of the part-time employees work and how it relates to the capacity building project.
- Can it be used for disaster training?
It is unclear whether the organization would be receiving or delivering the training and how this relates to capacity building. More information would be needed.
- Can funds be used to build rural 2-1-1 in persistent poverty counties?
RHCB funds can be used to establish a 211 service; however, funds cannot be used to operate the 211 service. The costs associated with researching, planning, materials, and training are all considered eligible program development expenses.
- Can you charge any indirect cost/admin cost, say 3% of grant, to cover partial audit and bookkeeping costs?
Yes, this is considered organizational and resource development as it will enable your organization to better raise and manage finances.
The following section provides information about the Housing Assistance Council's definition of rural for the Rural Homelessness Capacity Building (RHCB) Project. HAC defines rural as populations of 25,000 or less. The definition may refer to rural towns in metro areas or it can be applied to entire counties or service areas.
- Can we serve multiple jurisdictions? I would like to serve three localities and only one of the three has a population over 25,000. Would the proposal be competitive if all three are included? Our agency is a CAA serving three counties and one independent city (6,000) in population.
Yes, you could apply and your application would be competitive. Because of the nature of rural communities, we realize that many organizations must provide services to multiple counties. You must simply demonstrate that the funds will be used to improve your ability to serve a community with a population of 25,000 and below.
- Please clarify - a CAA that serves a larger region (several counties) would not qualify, given the 25,000 population cap?
What if the project is focused on an underserved low-population area? [answered above}
- Can we ask for capacity building for partial service area? We serve four counties.
Yes, the project can serve part of your service area rather than the entire service area.
- In the eligibility section of the directions, it refers to organizations serving homeless populations in rural communities. These places are listed as 25,000 and below. Our county has 45,000. Am I correct in assuming that we are unable to apply?
No. You would need to identify the town where your program is located and demonstrate that the county is made up of several small, rural communities.