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rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES

Federal Register

/ Vol. 72, No. 118 / Wednesday, June

20, 2007 / Notices

33971

(iv) Other counseling based on the needs of the low-income families.

(2) Contacting and assisting low- income families in need of adequate housing by:

(i) Implementing an organized outreach program using available media and personal contacts;

(ii) Explaining available housing programs and alternatives to increase the awareness of low-income families and to educate the community as to the benefits which can accrue from improved housing;

(iii) Assisting low-income families to locate adequate housing;

(iv) Providing construction supervision, training, and guidance to low-income families not involved in Mutual Self-Help programs who are otherwise being assisted by the TSA project;

(v) Organizing local public or private nonprofit groups willing to provide adequate housing for low-income families; and

(vi) Providing assistance to families and organizations in processing housing loan and/or grant applications generated by the TSA program, including developing and packaging such applications for new construction, rehabilitation, or repair to serve low- income families.

Technical assistance. Any specific expertise necessary to carry out housing efforts by or for low-income families to improve the quantity and/or quality of housing available to meet their needs. Such assistance should be specifically related to the supervisory assistance provided by the project, and may include, as appropriate, the following activities:

(1) Develop, or assist eligible applicants to develop, multi-housing loan and/or grant applications for new construction, rehabilitation, or repair to serve low-income families.

(2) Market surveys, engineering studies, cost estimates, and feasibility studies related to applications for housing assistance to meet the specific needs of the low-income families assisted under the TSA program.

Grant purposes: Grant funds are to be used for a housing delivery system and counseling program to include a comprehensive program of technical and supervisory assistance as set forth in the grant agreement and any other special conditions as required by Rural Development. Uses of grant funds may include, but are not limited to:

(1) The development and implementation of a program of technical and supervisory assistance as defined in 7 CFR 1944.506 (h) and (i).

(2) Payment of reasonable salaries of professional, technical, and clerical staff actively assisting in the delivery of the TSA project.

(3) Payment of necessary and reasonable office expenses such as office supplies and office rental, office utilities, telephone services, and office equipment rental.

(4) Payment of necessary and reasonable administrative costs such as workerscompensation, liability insurance, audit reports, travel to and attendance at Rural Development approved training sessions, and the employers share of Social Security and health benefits. Payments to private retirement funds are prohibited unless prior written authorization is obtained from the Administrator.

(5) Payment of reasonable fees for necessary training of grantee personnel. This may include the cost of travel and per diem to attend regional training sessions when authorized by the State Director.

(6) Other reasonable travel and miscellaneous expenses necessary to accomplish the objectives of the specific TSA grant which were anticipated in the individual TSA grant proposal and which have been included as eligible expenses at the time of grant approval.

Ineligible Activities: Grant funds may not be used for:

(1) Acquisition, construction, repair, or rehabilitation of structures or acquisition of land, vehicles, or equipment.

(2) Replacement of, or substitution for, any financial support which would be available from any other source.

(3) Duplication of current services in conflict with the requirements of 7 CFR

    • 1944.514

      (c).

  • (4)

    Hiring personnel to perform

construction.

(5) Buying property of any kind from families receiving technical or supervisory assistance from the grantee under the terms of the TSA grant.

(6) Paying for or reimbursing the grantee for any expenses or debts incurred before USDA Rural Development executes the grant agreement.

(7) Paying any debts, expenses, or costs which should be the responsibility of the individual families receiving technical and supervisory assistance.

  • (8)

    Any type of political activities.

  • (9)

    Other costs including

contributions and donations, entertainment, fines and penalties, interest and other financial costs, legislative expenses and any excess of cost from other grant agreements.

Advice and assistance may be obtained from the National Office where

ineligible costs are proposed as part of the TSA project or where a proposed cost appears ineligible.The grantee may not charge fees or accept compensation or gratuities from TSA recipients for the grantees assistance under this program.

Comprehensive TSA programs include: Outreach to the community and education of low-income families as to the benefits which can accrue from improved housing, including: counseling on affording a home, obtaining a housing loan, and understanding predatory lending practices; loan packaging and assistance in the homebuying process, including reviewing client credit history, screening for housing loan eligibility for USDA Rural Development Section 502 loans or similar loans, assisting clients to complete applications, advising clients on home selection and matters related to home financing, and providing post-purchase counseling; and, assisting individual USDA Rural Development borrowers with financial problems to overcome delinquency and/ or prevent foreclosure.

II. Award Information

Up to $1,000,000 in competitive grants will be awarded to eligible applicants. It is estimated that 10 grants will be awarded with these funds.

TSA projects will be funded under a Grant Agreement for two years commencing on the date of execution of the Agreement by the State Director. The Grant Agreement is contained as Exhibit A to RD Instruction 1944K (available in any USDA Rural Development office).

Performance of the grant program should begin within 60 days of award notification.Applications for renewal of existing TSA programs are eligible to compete with applications for new awards.

III. Eligibility Information

Grants provide funds to eligible applicant organizations to conduct TSA for low-income rural residents to obtain and/or maintain occupancy of adequate housing.

Applicant eligibility. To be eligible to receive a grant, the applicant must:

(1) Be an organization as defined in 7 CFR 1944.506 (e).

(2) Have the financial, legal, administrative, and operational capacity to assume and carry out the responsibilities imposed by the grant agreement. To meet this requirement of actual capacity, it must either:

(i) Have necessary background and experience with proven ability to perform responsibly in the field of low- income rural housing development and

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