FY 1998 SuperNOFA Guidebook

A New Process for Competitive Grants

HUD awards more than $2.6 billion each year through national competitions directly to local and state governments, non-profit and faith-based organizations, veterans service organizations, public housing agencies, and others to carry out more than 40 HUD community and economic development programs. We have been told by community groups and others that to effectively use HUD resources to support coordinated neighborhood and community strategies, we must make these programs easier to access, easier to understand and easier to coordinate. This year, as part Secretary Cuomo�s HUD Management Reform designed to improve the way HUD interacts with our customers, we have modified our competitive grant funding process.

HUD has radically reformed the competitive process: we are now organizing our competitive programs to mirror how a community thinks, rather than how HUD is organized. In the past, each of HUD�s 40 competitive programs had its own Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) released at various times throughout the year. Each NOFA was published in the Federal Register and outlined the timelines, rules, application requirements, criteria used to evaluate applications, and all other information pertinent to the competitive process. This fragmentation hindered communities� efforts to plan holistically and fund coordinated, interconnected strategies.

Beginning in FY98 we will no longer issue separate Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for each grant program. Instead, the competitive grant programs are being announced in one of three SuperNOFAs1. Each SuperNOFA provides grant applicants with a complete menu of HUD competitive funding available in a given year to address pressing community needs and opportunities. The SuperNOFA approach also standardizes the application and selection processes. This makes our expectations clearer to, and the funding process easier for, applicants. For example, if an applicant wants to apply for two or more programs that fall within a specific group of programs designed to address similar issues, they will no longer be required to duplicate certain information that is required for each program. By implementing the SuperNOFA approach, we hope applicants will be better able to design comprehensive, coordinated strategies that effectively address the complex problems facing their communities. In turn, HUD will move from an organization of separate program offices with isolated programs to one HUD with one mission�empowering people to develop viable urban communities that provide a suitable living environment for all citizens.

Attaining this mission requires us to meet several goals, which have been laid out in our Strategic Plan. Thus, in awarding funding under this SuperNOFA, HUD will be guided by these goals, which are to:

    • Empower communities to meet local needs.
    • Help communities and States establish a full continuum of housing and services designed to assist homeless individuals and families in achieving permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
    • Increase availability of affordable housing in standard condition to families and individuals, particularly the Nation�s poor and disadvantaged.
    • Reduce the isolation of low-income groups within a community or geographical area.
    • Provide empowerment and self-sufficiency opportunities for low-income individuals and families, particularly the Nation�s poor and disadvantaged.
    • Increase homeownership opportunities, especially in Central Cities, through a variety of tools, such as expanding access to mortgage credit.
    • Promote equal housing opportunities for those protected by law.

The SuperNOFA User�s Guide will help new applicants understand HUD�s grant processes and provide them with a menu of funding options available. Many applicants have been long-time users of HUD funding and have become quite familiar with the "in�s and out�s" of the one or two programs that they regularly access. While the move to SuperNOFAs will not change the specific statutory and regulatory requirements of the competitive programs, it will cause some changes to the notification, application, and selection processes. The User�s Guide will help experienced applicants understand those changes. Moreover, it will expose such applicants to additional HUD programs that they can access and coordinate with the programs that they typically use. The overall goal of this User�s Guide is to help all applicants work with the SuperNOFAs to create truly comprehensive, coordinated, and effective strategies to address community needs.

The User�s Guide is only a supplement to the SuperNOFAs. The User�s Guide is not the official legal document related to HUD�s competitive grant programs. The SuperNOFAs are the official legal documents related to the competitive grant programs.

1 HUD reserves the right to issue separate NOFAs for individual programs, such as demonstrations or those still in development as of the SuperNOFA release date, as warranted.

Content Archived: July 18, 2012