Disaster Recovery Case Studies

Harris County Housing Authority | 2009

Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP)

NMA assisted Harris County Housing Authority (HCHA) in analyzing requirements, developing local guidance, policies, forms, videos, publications, and resource material to operate the program. NMA set up the organizational structure for processing large groups of families quickly as well as working with the landlords to gain and continue support for the program. NMA worked closely with other local partners to run program offices in both Houston and New Orleans. NMA staffed both offices to help with the call center, intake and file management, and reported progress on key project data using standardized reports for the duration of the program.

NMA’s consulting work with HCHA began with providing support when HCHA was awarded the contract to design and implement the first Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) in New Orleans and Houston following Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the disaster, thousands of families were left homeless and many of those families ended up in Houston. To meet the challenge, HUD/FEMA developed a new program, Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) to assist the families quickly. HUD’s formal guidance changed frequently.

When HCHA needed to convert the tenants from DHAP vouchers to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, the NMA team brought in 22 full-time staff to process over 7,000 lease ups. NMA set up operations in Houston to set up interviews for all residents, completed eligibility determination, rent calculations, scheduled inspections and completed the formal lease up process. NMA completed this entire project in a four-month period.

As these families were converted to the HCV program, the size of the program greatly expanded, necessitating new policy and procedures, hiring staff, training staff, and monitoring staff performance and compliance with the regulations.

Harris County, Texas | Jan 2018 - Present

Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)

NMA has worked with Harris County to receive a direct carve out for Harris County of $1,115,386,829.00 of the State of Texas’ first allocation of $5,024,215,000 under PL 115-56. NMA has assisted Harris County in developing a supplemental action plan to outline Harris County’s recovery efforts. NMA lead meetings with an array of County departmental leadership and engaged outside stakeholders to help inform the selection and development of the most effective programs for Harris County’s specific recovery needs. NMA has assisted in the development of resiliency programming for infrastructure, housing, and economic development for Harris County.

Specifically, NMA helped conceptualize the program designs for seven housing recovery programs. These programs range from a buyout program to rehabilitation to new housing development. To target programming to the local needs of Harris County, NMA provided a variety of program models for consideration, conducted community outreach to gather local input, and provided research to evaluate the appropriate target areas and amounts of assistance for each program. When the local program needs were not in line with the State’s program guidelines, NMA helped successfully request waivers to the State of Texas’ program guidelines.

Additionally, NMA developed all programmatic documentation such as program guideline documents, standard operating procedures, and program forms. Harris County also uses a case management software that needed customization for the various disaster programs it intended to administer and NMA helped provide subject matter expertise and project management support for that software customization effort.

NMA worked hand in hand with Harris County’s Community Services Department to develop a multi-faceted community outreach plan to target those communities most at-risk from the disaster. The plan incorporated best practices for reaching low-income, English as a second language, and other socially vulnerable neighborhoods, such as print materials in Spanish, door-to-door canvasing, radio and newspaper ads, advertising with local community groups and non-profit partners, and social media. NMA staff supported multiple public meetings and intake events in the vulnerable communities.

NMA updated the County’s federally funded procurement policies, processes, and forms to be compliant with the regulations at 2 CFR 200. To aid with the large size and volume of procurements that recovery effort of this magnitude would require, which the County had not handled before, NMA developed procurement templates to provide uniformity, streamline the process, and regulatory compliance. County staff needed training, so NMA provided procurement, WMBE, Section 3, and Davis Bacon and Related Acts training to County Purchasing Office staff, program department staff, County subrecipients and contractors.

NMA is working in partnership as the Grants Administrator for all Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds, in association with Hurricane Harvey.

City of Joplin, Missouri | Feb 2014 - Jan 2017

Joplin Homebuyer Assistance Program (JHAP)

NMA worked with the City of Joplin for over three years to run one of the most successful Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) homebuyer assistance programs in the country. The Joplin Home Buyer Assistance Program (JHAP) offered up to $30,000 of down payment and closing cost assistance for eligible applicants to purchase a home in the Tornado Zone (the area of Joplin most impacted by the tornado). As administrators of the JHAP program, NMA was responsible for responding to all inquiries into the program and providing interested applicants and stakeholders with information about the program. Additionally, NMA accepted and reviewed the application documents, collected supporting documentation, verified the family composition and income information from the application, calculated annual income, and determined eligibility.

To ensure success of the program, NMA developed an effective custom workflow, electronic document management, and data management system within thirty days of taking over administration of the program from the previous contractor. The NMA system helped manage and monitor the timely completion of all tasks required to move an applicant through the income approval, environmental review, and closing processes.

JHAP began in August 2013, and NMA took over administration of the program in February 2014. When NMA began the administration of the program, the City of Joplin had provided approximately $700,000 in assistance to about 25 applicants. In less than 60 days from our start date, NMA improved operational efficiencies that enabled the City of Joplin to provide $13,372,342.75 of assistance with 509 closings as of May 2016.

State of South Carolina | April 2017 - April 2018

Joplin Homebuyer Assistance Program (JHAP)

The NMA team provided the South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDOC) with monitoring and compliance/technical assistance support services to successfully complete the Disaster Recovery Compliance Assistance project. The NMA team effectively worked with the grantees in twenty-two (22) impacted counties, to thoroughly understand current project position and compliance criteria. Based on our initial assessment, we developed a compliance and quality control monitoring plan for each project, while providing technical assistance throughout the process.

City of Jersey City, Division of Community Development | March 2017 - Nov 2017

Program Management & Related Services

NMA provided the City of Jersey City (CJC) with technical assistance and guidance in the planning, administration and implementation of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Person’s with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) grant programs.

State of Pennsylvania | Jul 2015 - Feb 2016

CDBG Monitoring & Compliance

As a subcontractor, NMA designed, and developed training/informational materials for HOME, NSP, and CDBG federal grant sources. NMA provided in-depth regulatory knowledge during the development of a grant monitoring tool, to be used by all grantees and sub recipients. NMA trained field staff for the State of Pennsylvania’s efforts to perform program monitoring and compliance for over 150 of its CDBG, NSP, and HOME recipients. In addition, NMA staff members conducted onsite monitoring, and file audits for grant recipients throughout the western part of the State of Pennsylvania.

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