RFI - Employer Assisted Housing Initiative Lending Partner

Agency: City of Rochester
State: New York
Type of Government: State & Local
Posted Date: Oct 17, 2023
Due Date: Nov 29, 2023
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RFI - Employer Assisted Housing Initiative Lending Partner

The City of Rochester provides down payment and closing cost assistance to homebuyers who wish to purchase properties in the City of Rochester such as HOME Rochester (subsidy of reconstruction and closing cost assistance of rehabilitated homes or subsidy for specific newly constructed homes); Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) (closing cost assistance for homes offered for sale on the private market); and through the Employer Assisted Housing Initiative (EAHI) (matching funds from participating employers for closing cost assistance for homes offered for sale on the private market).

The City of Rochester, New York is seeking responses to this Request for Interest (RFI) from interested and qualified lending institutions to provide matched assistance for the City’s EAHI program, specifically for employees of the City of Rochester.

Click here to download the Request for Interest. Questions on the program and the RFI are due by Monday, October 23, 2023. Digital submissions are due by 4:00pm on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. All contact related to the RFI should be submitted to Lissette Wearing, Lissette.Wearing@cityofrochester.gov .

Attachment Preview

City of Rochester
Request for Interest
Employer Assisted Housing Initiative
Lending Partner
Submissions to be received by 4:00 PM
November 29, 2023
Send Submissions to:
Lissette Wearing
Associate Community Housing Planner
Neighborhood and Business Development
30 Church Street, Room 005A
Rochester, NY 14614
Lissette.Wearing@cityofrochester.gov
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REQUEST FOR INTEREST
The City of Rochester, New York is seeking responses to this Request for Interest (“Response”) from
interested and qualified lending institutions (“Lenders”) to provide matched assistance for the City’s
Employer Assisted Housing Initiative, specifically for employees of the City of Rochester, (the Project).
Background
The City of Rochester provides down payment and closing cost assistance to homebuyers who wish to
purchase properties in the City of Rochester such as HOME Rochester (subsidy of reconstruction and
closing cost assistance of rehabilitated homes or subsidy for specific newly constructed homes); Home
Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) (closing cost assistance for homes offered for sale on the private
market); and through the Employer Assisted Housing Initiative (EAHI) (matching funds from participating
employers for closing cost assistance for homes offered for sale on the private market).
The City of Rochester has a down payment and closing cost assistance program for part time and full
time non-seasonal or temporary employees as an incentive through its employee benefits package.
Employees are reviewed and approved through an underwriting process prior to submitting an offer on
a property. If eligible and approved, funds are provided at closing to reduce the closing costs or increase
the down payment associated with the purchase of a home.
The City intends to enter into a three-year Participation Agreement (PA) with the option to renew for
two additional three-year periods, with multiple Lenders to provide additional credits, increased down
payment, or a reduction in fees and costs for households who are going through the City’s EAHI program
as well as utilizing the services of the Lender partner for their mortgage. The City’s decision as to the
total number of Lenders to which it will award an Agreement will depend on the proposals received and
other factors at the City’s sole discretion.
The proposed timeline for questions, submissions, decisions and other actions related to the Project:
Timeline
Activity
Time
Date
RFI Release
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Deadline for questions
Monday, October 23, 2023
City response to questions
Monday, October 30, 2023
RFI Responses due
4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Lender Selection and Award
Notification
City Council Approval of agreement
Agreement Start Date
Friday, December 29, 2023
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Friday, March 1, 2024
Note: Although Lenders will be notified if they are selected, no award is final and no PA can be executed
until City Council approval and Mayoral signature are confirmed. The dates shown above may be subject
to change within the City of Rochester’s sole discretion and upon written notification as set forth herein.
Communications
All communications by parties who have indicated an intent to submit or have submitted a Response to
this RFI (“Respondents”), including any questions or requests for clarifications, submissions, requests for
status updates about the selection process, and any other inquiries whatsoever concerning this RFI shall
be sent, by email only, to the following City staff person (“City Contact”):
Lissette Wearing: Lissette.Wearing@cityofrochester.gov.
No contact is permitted with any other City staff member with regard to this RFI during the RFI process
unless specifically authorized in writing. Prohibited contact may be grounds for disqualification.
To ensure that all Respondents have a clear understanding of the scope and requirements of this RFI, the
City will respond to all timely questions submitted via e-mail to the City Contact by the question deadline
stated above. Questions and the responding answers will be sent via e-mail to all Respondents who have
provided an e-mail address to the City Contact and will be posted on the City’s web page for this RFI. The
City’s failure to timely respond or provide responses to any questions shall not delay or invalidate the
City’s right to make a decision to award an agreement pursuant to this RFI.
The City will make every reasonable effort to keep Respondents informed about the process.
Notifications about Timeline date changes, amendments to the RFI, and other information about the RFI
will be sent by e-mail to Respondents who have provided an e-mail address to the City Contact and will
be posted on the City’s website for this RFI. The City’s failure to provide such information shall not delay
or invalidate the City’s right to make a decision to award an agreement pursuant to this RFI.
Scope of Services
The City is seeking Lender partners to perform the following services:
1. Provide a match in financial assistance towards the down payment, interest rate, and/or closing
costs to City employees utilizing the Lender’s product(s) to purchase a home. The minimum
amount of match is anticipated to be $3,000 and the maximum may be established by the
Lender before signing the PA but is anticipated to be $3,000, $6,000, or $8,000. If the City
changes the amount of assistance available to its employees, the Lender partner is not required
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to increase its match. However, changes to Lender programs may affect its desirability
compared to other lenders and partners.
2. Have the ability to provide loans and matched EAHI assistance to however many eligible
employee households apply each year to the Lender. There is no precedent for how many or
how few employees will choose to apply for the EAHI program or for a particular lender’s
product.
3. Accommodate a variety of mortgage amounts, even as low as $25,000, and accommodate
buyers regardless of purchase location and/or income. In many cases City employee households
are significantly above the Median Family Income for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, and they
choose to purchase in a higher-income census tract. Lenders are expected to provide the
assistance regardless of the income of the household or the location of the property, as long as
it is within City limits and is approved by the City’s Homebuyer Services Program staff.
4. The City will establish a list of Lenders that are available to provide this matched assistance to
employees applying for the EAHI program.
5. Lenders shall be available, on a rotational basis, for special events to promote the program and
their specific requirements and parameters.
Preparation and Submission Process
Responses must be postmarked or received by the City no later than Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
Submit a digital copy to:
Lissette Wearing, Associate Community Housing Planner
Neighborhood and Business Development
30 Church Street, Room 005A, Rochester, NY 14614
Lissette.Wearing@cityofrochester.gov
This RFI is designed to facilitate the evaluation and selection of Respondents that are best able to
achieve the City’s objectives. The Response shall contain a table of contents. All pages shall be
numbered and major sections and all attachments shall be referenced in the table of contents. In order
to enable the City to effectively review the information contained in the submissions, submissions shall
reference the paragraph title and numbered and lettered sections of the RFI. The Response to each
section shall be clearly indicated and addressed or an explanation provided for why the Respondent is
not submitting for a specific section or requirement of the RFI.
The Response shall be signed by an individual authorized to enter into and execute contracts on the
Respondent’s behalf. Unless otherwise specified in its Response, Respondent represents that it is
capable of meeting or exceeding all requirements specified in this RFI. The Response shall be deemed
authorization for the City to contact Respondent’s references. Evaluation of Responses will be
conducted by the City based on information provided in the Respondent’s submitted Response and on
such other available information that the City determines to be relevant. The evaluation of Responses
may include an on-site assessment, meetings with authorized personnel, and may involve the use of a
third-party consultant.
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The Respondent(s) selected by the City will be required to enter into a Participation Agreement (PA)
with the City (see Attachment A). The establishment of a PA is contingent upon approval by City Council
for all Agreements in excess of $20,000 or for a period of more than one year and upon the availability
of funds for such an agreement. Unless otherwise stated, the Respondent’s Response to this RFI shall be
deemed its acceptance of the terms of this PA. (Note: Attention is directed to the City’s Living Wage
requirements and MWBE and Workforce Utilization Goals)
Respondents shall provide sufficient information in their Response to enable the City review team to
make a recommendation to the Mayor. The City reserves the right to invite any or all Respondents to an
interview to discuss their submission. Any expenses resulting from such an interview will be the sole
responsibility of the Respondent. The City is under no obligation to select any of the Respondents or to
conduct the Project described herein. The City may amend or withdraw the RFI at any time, within its
sole discretion. The City shall have no liability for any costs incurred in preparing a submissions or
responding to the City’s requests with respect to the submission.
Response Content
The proposal should include the following information in the order specified:
A. Project statement: A Project narrative that describes the Respondent’s understanding of the
City’s needs and the unique value the Respondent will bring to the process. This includes
descriptions of other services available to households through the Respondent organization,
including but not limited to: financial literacy/coaching; one-on-one counseling; other
grant/loan programs; partnerships with other organizations, and others.
B. Description of Services: Methodology the Respondent will use to perform the services described
in this RFI. The proposal should address, in detail, the tasks as described in the Scope of Services
and the options available to households applying for the lender match. Ensure a detailed
description of the proposed methods to accommodate the City’s assistance as well as the
assistance provided by the Respondent.
C. Respondent’s Qualifications: Information about the Respondent and its qualifications for this
Project. Include information about prior engagements similar to that being solicited herein by
the City, as well as households served in the past three years. Documented evidence of the
Respondent’s capacity to perform the work, including references, contact names, and phone
numbers.
D. Project Budget: N/A
E. Project personnel: The name and resume of the Respondent’s lead person for the Project.
Names, resumes, and roles of all staff who will be involved in the Project. Provide data on the
diversity of Respondent’s overall workforce, including total number of employees, and
percentages of minorities and females employed. If the organization will increase capacity to
provide this level of service, please describe how this expansion will be accomplished, including
a specific time line, the number of staff to be hired (include staff resumes where possible), and
describe how this activity will complement your organization’s existing activities.
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