Four high-performing NSP grantees shared their advice with fellow grantees on a January 28, 2014 webinar. Here are their useful suggestions for making the deadline. HUD thanks Adams County, CO, the City of Columbus, OH, the El Paso Collaborative, and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority for this help.
- Set clear milestones and communicate with partners (developers, subrecipients, etc.) Weekly calls or meetings might get even the slowest performers to focus on results.
- Simplify cumbersome procedures. Too many reviews do not improve oversight and can slow progress. By all means, exercise oversight, but in the right amount.
- Report expenditures in the Quarterly Performance Report, for the first quarter of calendar 2014. Don’t rely on drawdowns. Grantees input the data manually by opening the QPR, entering the expenditures, then saving the QPR. Do not submit the QPR; it can still be revised.
- Count expenditures, not drawdowns. An invoice for work that has been properly completed is an expenditure that can be counted. Unpaid retainage (such as a 10% holdback) can be counted, as long as the work has been completed.
- Pre-pay for materials (e.g. lumber, appliances) when the project is under contract. The materials are stored securely, at no additional cost to the program, and the subrecipient, developer, or contractor assumes the liability for loss or damage. Document that there is a cost savings and that it’s not being done just to meet the expenditure deadline.
- Work with established partners. Replace struggling partners by reallocating planned projects to another, more capable entity, while assisting the troubled entity in completing its current projects.
- Standardize and simplify development procedures as much as possible. Actively coordinate with the multiple departments that must approve documents; they won’t just fall together on their own.
- Treat partners consistently, but maintain flexibility. Consistent treatment means that all entities play by the same rules and receive every consideration, not that they do everything the same way.
- Set internal deadlines earlier than HUD deadlines to allow time for reporting and some cushion for problem resolution. Have a backup plan.
And a Bonus 11th Tip
- Bill all administrative costs. Instruct the finance department to calculate staff time and expenses through the deadline date and report those as expenditures, even though they are not yet paid or drawn. These are legitimate expenditures, just like invoiced completed work.
- It’s not too late to start now. The deadline is approaching but implementing these tips can still make a noticeable difference in meeting the 100% expenditure deadline.
Download the Top Ten Tips for Meeting NSP3 Expenditure Deadlines.