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ISSUED JUNE 10, 2020
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I-1. Project Overview. The City of Duluth has been notified by the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) that it will be receiving a special allocation of funds to address the current
COVID-19 pandemic. This funding was approved through the passing of the CARES Act by U.S. Congress
and will be provided to the City of Duluth, specifically for the city to prevent, prepare for, and respond
to COVID-19. Similar to the usual annual entitlement amounts that the city receives, this new funding is
directed towards assisting low- and moderate-income people in Duluth. In April 2020, the City of Duluth
began a process to identify needs that had begun to emerge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This
included an input session, public hearing, and the receipt of written comments in a process that was
overseen by the Community Development Committee. In May 2020, the City Council approved a
substantial amendment to the 2019 annual action plan which listed the needs identified in Part IV of this
RFP. Additional information about the City of Duluth’s Community Development Program and the
substantial amendment can be found on the city’s website here:
The City of Duluth (the City) requests proposals from organizations that will assist the community to
prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Organizations responding to the RFP should have
organizational infrastructure to receive and manage federal funds and have the capacity to carry out
their proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure the community is able to respond to
the COVID-19 pandemic needs. For the purposes of this RFP, those submitting a proposal are referred to
as ‘bidders’.
The City will use the RFP process to select proposals that respond to the community’s most pressing
needs caused by the Covid19 pandemic. Proposals should include as much detail as possible and
respond to all of the requested information. Additional detail is provided in Part IV of this RFP.
I-2. Calendar of Events. The City will make every effort to adhere to the following schedule:
Deadlines and Date
Online RFP Review Session and Q&A at 11:00 AM 6/17/20
Deadline to submit Questions via email to 6/18/20
Answers to questions will be posted to the City website no later than this date. 6/22/20
Proposals must be received electronically by the Purchasing Office by 4:00 PM
on this date.
I-3. Rejection of Proposals. The City reserves the right, in its sole and complete discretion, to reject
any and all proposals or cancel the request for proposals, at any time prior to the time a contract is fully
executed, when it is in its best interests. The City is not liable for any costs the Bidder incurs in
preparation and submission of its proposal, in participating in the RFP process or in anticipation of
award of the contract. All proposals are dependent upon the approval by the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development of the City of Duluth’s Action Plan Amendment.
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I-4. Questions & Answers. Any questions regarding this RFP must be submitted by e-mail to the
Purchasing Office at
no later than the date indicated on the Calendar of
Events. Answers to the questions will be posted as an Addendum to the RFP.
I-5. Online RFP Review Session. All bidders are strongly encouraged to attend an online RFP Review
Session to be held on 6/17/2020 at 11:00 AM. This session can be found here:
There will be a brief presentation and time for questions.
I-6. Addenda to the RFP. If the City deems it necessary to revise any part of this RFP before the
proposal response date, the City will post an addendum to its website
. Although an e-mail notification will
be sent, it is the Bidder’s responsibility to periodically check the website for any new information
I-7. Proposals. Due to COVID-19 and the closure of city facilities, all proposals must be submitted
electronically. Any requests for an exception must be submitted to the purchasing office via email at
at least seven (7) days prior to the proposal deadline. The City reserves the
right to reject late proposals.
Proposals must be signed by an authorized official. If the official signs the Proposal Signature Form this
requirement will be met. Proposals shall remain valid for 90 days or until a contract is fully executed.
Please submit one digital copy in pdf format to
All materials submitted in response to this RFP will become property of the City and will become public
record after the evaluation process is completed and an award decision made.
I-8. Eligible Bidders. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines the types of
organizations that are allowed to provide services in different activity categories. Generally, eligible
bidders include private 501(C)3 nonprofit organizations, governmental units, and public agencies.
I-9. Term of Contract. It is anticipated that the selected proposals will each be awarded a six-month
contract. Proposals that identify a need beyond six months should thoroughly describe the need for an
extended timeline. The selected Bidder(s) shall not start the performance of any work nor shall the City
be liable to pay for any service or work performed or expenses incurred before the contract is fully
I-10. Mandatory Disclosures. By submitting a proposal, each Bidder understands, represents, and
acknowledges that:
A. Their proposal has been developed by the Bidder independently and has been
submitted without collusion with and without agreement, understanding, or planned
common course of action with any other vendor or suppliers of materials, supplies,
equipment, or services described in the Request for Proposals, designed to limit
independent bidding or competition, and that the contents of the proposal have not
been communicated by the Bidder or its employees or agents to any person not an
employee or agent of the Bidder.
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B. There is no conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists if a Bidder has any interest
that would actually conflict, or has the appearance of conflicting, in any manner or
degree with the performance of work on the project. If there are potential conflicts,
identify the municipalities, developers, and other public or private entities with whom
your company is currently, or have been, employed and which may be affected.
C. It is not currently under suspension or debarment by the State of Minnesota, any other
state or the federal government.
D. The company is either organized under Minnesota law or has a Certificate of Authority
from the Minnesota Secretary of State to do business in Minnesota, in accordance with
the requirements in M.S. 303.03.
I-11. Notification of Selection. The evaluation committee will make a recommendation to the Duluth
City Council for final selection of proposals; bidders will be notified of the selection decisions no later
than July 31, 2020.
Bidders must submit a complete package on the forms provided in order to be considered. The
submission package includes each of the sections below, in the following order:
1. Proposal Form. See Appendix A. Bidders should fill out the proposal form (in pdf format) and
submit a project that can be immediately implementable and addresses the questions identified
in the proposal form for each section listed below. In the proposal form, Sections 1-6 also
include questions that should be answered in each section. It is important that bidders attempt
to answer all questions.
a. Proposal and Organization Information
b. Section 1: Community Need
c. Section 2: Proposed Project
d. Section 3: Organization Information
e. Section 4: Project Timeline
f. Section 5: Outcomes
g. Section 6: Budget
2. Signature Form. See Appendix B.
3. Letter of Partnership. A one-page letter of partnership is required for proposals that include
partnering organizations which describes the partnership and organization responsibilities.
The proposals will be reviewed by the evaluation committee and then recommended for final approval
to the City Council. The intent of the selection process is to review proposals and make award(s) based
upon qualifications as described therein.
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1. Level of community need identified that prevents, prepares for, or responds to COVID-19. The
proposal needs to clearly demonstrate how the community need has been created or
intensified by the pandemic. Details on how this need was identified and any community
outreach that took place should be included in the proposal form.
2. Level of effectiveness for low- to moderate- income individuals and families in Duluth. CDBG and
ESG funds are targeted towards individuals who are considered low- to moderate- income.
The proposal must explain how these communities are being served with attention to
outreach directed at historically and currently disenfranchised communities. Current low-
and moderate-income limits are listed in Appendix C.
3. Demonstrated ability to carry out the proposal with effective delivery methods during a
developing pandemic. Proposals should include how shifting quarantine status and
technology access is being addressed.
4. Demonstrated capacity to manage federal grants and requirements. CDBG and ESG funds
require strict attention to requirements such as determining eligible activities, income
verification, and demographics reporting. Proposals should indicate how Federal grant
requirements will be addressed and how the organization is prepared to coordinate with the
City to maintain compliance with Federal laws and regulations.
5. Demonstrated ability to carry out the contract in a timely manner. The ideal proposal will take
place within a six-month timeline, unless reasonably justified otherwise. Proposals should
have a detailed timeline of events including projected start date and overall duration of the
6. The proposal will clearly determine how many people/households/businesses will be assisted
with the project. The proposal will also certify that the project creates an unduplicated
response to COVID-19 as well as describe any partnerships created to help carry out the
7. A reasonable and detailed budget that requests a minimum of 20,000 in CDBG/ESG funds.
As stated before, the City will use this RFP process to select an undetermined number of proposals for
funding. Some funds may be held for additional/emerging needs
Proposals submitted will be awarded funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on Friday, March 29, 2020. The use of these funds is
meant strictly to prevent, prepare for, and respond to Covid19 while benefiting low- to moderate-
income people. The City of Duluth Planning & Development Division intends to award funds to
organizations in the Duluth community through an RFP process. Multiple RFP processes may ensue
depending on the number and type of proposals received, changing community needs, and any
additional influxes in funding. The City reserves the right to change funding priorities based on direction
received from HUD.
Activity Categories
Each proposal should only apply to one of the categories listed below. If an entity is interested in
proposing projects for more than one activity, they must submit separate proposals for each category.
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1. Public Facilities
Facility or infrastructure improvement proposals should highlight how projects will assist the community
in preventing, preparing for, or responding to COVID-19. Proposals should describe the readiness of the
project and a reasonable completion timeline. Needs identified by the community will be prioritized,
including improvements to homeless facilities, hygiene facilities, or facilities for the delivery of essential
services. Public facility proposals should identify how many individual people will be served through the
2. Public Services (Housing & Non-housing benefit)
Proposals to provide services to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19 shall describe the
provision of essential public services that have a higher demand in the community. Public Services
proposals should identify how many people (non-housing benefit) or households housing benefit) will be
served through this project. A few needs prioritized by the community include subsistence payments,
childcare, services supporting essential basic needs, and job training. There are two categories of public
services that include:
A. Non-housing benefit. Activities that are categorized as ‘non-housing benefit’ include the
provision of services that are unrelated to housing. Such services include the provision of basic
needs, such as food, shelter, and health services, as well as job training. Approaches to job
training should align with the Duluth Workforce Development Board Strategic Plan and include
City of Duluth Workforce Development as a partner.
B. Housing benefit. Activities that are categorized as ‘housing benefit’ include the provision of
services that are directly related to providing services that assist with maintaining housing.
3. Tenant-based rental assistance- rapid rehousing
The tenant-based rental assistance/rapid-rehousing category is for the provision of resources to assist in
rehousing people who have lost housing. Proposals should include how the loss of housing is to be
documented and how the process to find and secure housing will work. Proposals should demonstrate
sufficient financial capacity for entities receiving assistance to make payments to rental property owners
and describe how the need for these services has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Proposals in this category should identify how many households will be served through this project.
4. Homeless Person Overnight Shelter
Proposals to provide overnight shelter for people experiencing homelessness should include the entities
experience in providing safe overnight shelter. Proposals can include costs for operating shelter
including rent, staffing, and supplies that meet basic needs. Proposals should describe how the need for
additional shelter has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Proposals in this category should
identify how many individual people will be served through this project.
5. Homelessness Prevention
Homelessness prevention proposals should address the prevention of homelessness by assisting people
who are at-risk of losing their housing. Proposals should describe how at-risk households will be
identified and how the entity will provide the service. The maximum length of assistance to any
household is 3 months. If payments for rent are to be used, proposals should demonstrate the capacity
for entities receiving assistance to have sufficient financial capacity to provide secure payments.
Proposals in this category should identify how many individual people will be served through this
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6. Jobs created/retained
Proposals should include the creation of permanent jobs and include the hiring of low and moderate-
income people to permanent positions at for-profit businesses. (Organizations with business
relationships or for-profit businesses are eligible to apply for this category.) Proposals should include the
method of how people will be trained, how the jobs will provide a living wage, and what supports will be
available for newly hired employees. Approaches to job creation should align with the Duluth Workforce
Development Board Strategic Plan and services offered by City of Duluth Workforce Development. The
approach for recruiting prospective employees that are low and moderate-income should be included.
Proposals in this category should identify the number of jobs created/retained.
7. Businesses
Assisting businesses that are owned by low- and moderate-income people should be the focus of
proposals for this activity category. Due to HUD regulations, individual private businesses are not eligible
to apply. Proposals should state how outreach will be performed and what services will be available to
businesses. Community priorities that have been identified include providing technical assistance to low-
and moderate-income business owners to assist with overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and improve
delivery of services via websites or other virtual methods. All proposals that provide assistance to
businesses should be to provide services that are needed to assist businesses in responding to COVID-
19. Proposals in this category should identify the number of businesses to be assisted.
All proposals should address:
In addition to choosing an activity category, all bidders are encouraged to address the following criteria,
which were identified as needed aspects within the community:
Access to technology: The lack of access to technology has created additional barriers and made
it more difficult to access services since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals should
identify how they will provide access to technology, including internet access. If any of the grant
budget is to be used for technology purposes, it should be clearly identified.
Access to childcare: The COVID-19 pandemic has put significant strain on the ability for LMI
people to access affordable childcare. Schools transitioning to distance learning, cancelled
afterschool and summer youth programming, and other changes in youth services has made it
difficult for people in poverty to retain employment.
Outreach: Bidders are expected to identify how they will or have engaged historically and
currently disenfranchised communities in the development and implementation of their
Skills Requirements:
The city expects to contract with an undetermined number of organzation to address the needs of the
Covid19 pandemic. The City broadly expects the chosen organizations to understand the requirements
of being a sub-grantee with the City with use of federal funds. The City will focus on the quality of the
submitted narrative, workplan, timeline, and budget with special emphasis placed on the organization’s
ability to deliver services efficiently to low- and moderate- income people. Successful proposals will
have demonstrated experience and expertise with the following:
A) Expertise in the design, implementation, and evaluation of grant programs or services
B) Proven ability to manage grant funds and meet project deliverables
C) Proven ability to maintain appropriate communication channels to give updates on project timeline,
issues, and goals
D) Ability to coordinate with the City on the following HUD requirements:
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1. determine eligible HUD activities and expenses
2. determine eligible participants through HUD approved income verification methods
3. provide sufficient backup documentation for invoices
4. retain appropriate records for reporting purposes
5. retain appropriate records for monitoring purposes
6. maintain appropriate certifications needed to receive federal grants
E) Demonstrated experience in providing services or activities to low- and moderate- income people in
F) Demonstrated experience in conducting outreach to low- and moderate- income communities and
stakeholder groups
G) Knowledge of and the inclusion of culturally responsive practices within the work plan
Proposal Name:
Organization name:
Organization type:
Primary proposal contact:
Secondary proposal contact:
Funding Amount Requested:
Proposal goal (number of people or households to be served):
Activity Categories (choose one):
Public Facilities
Public Services
Non-housing benefit
Housing benefit
Tenant-base rental assistance/rapid rehousing
Homeless Person Overnight Shelter
Homelessness Prevention
Job Creation
Business Assistance
Unsure of Activity Category
Section 1: Community Need
Describe the community need that this proposal will be solving.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic create or intensify this need?
How has this need been identified?
Section 2: Proposed Project
Describe how the project will address the need.
Why was this approach chosen?
How will the organization ensure this project serves communities disproportionately affected by or at risk of
How will the project operate and account for quarantine recommendations and the need for social distancing?
How will technology be utilized for this project?
Section 3: Organization Information
What experience and capacity does the organization have to carry out this approach?
Please provide what federal grants the organization has received in the past.
How will the organization engage historically and currently disenfranchised communities in the
implementation of this project?
What unique partnerships or collaboration will this project include?
Section 4: Project Timeline
Is the project ready to start immediately?
What is the timeline of the project (in months)?
What is the duration of the project?
Section 5: Outcomes
How many people/households/businesses will this project help?
How will success be determined?
How will the organization ensure there is not a duplication of services?
What partnerships will strengthen this project?
Section 6: Budget
What specifically will the funding be used for?
How were costs arrived at for this proposal?
Could the project proceed with partial funding?
Describe expenses that are needed for technology that will assist in delivering the project.
Budget Item
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Proposal Name:
Organization name:
Authorized Official:
The signing party acknowledges they are complying with the entirety of the terms listed in the Request for
Proposals and any addendum issued. Organizations selected for funding will be required to submit the
following documents prior to receiving an agreement:
List of Board of Directors for the organization
Most recent Audit Report
Most recent Federal Form 990
Board Resolution Authorizing Contract Execution
Proof of insurance covering employee dishonesty and board liability
Articles of Incorporation
Board By-Laws
Non-profit Determination Letter
Limited English Proficiency Plan
Chart of Accounts
Conflict of Interest Policy