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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 15, 2014

Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
PART 570—COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS


Subpart O—Performance Reviews


Contents
§570.900   General.
§570.901   Review for compliance with the primary and national objectives and other program requirements.
§570.902   Review to determine if CDBG-funded activities are being carried out in a timely manner.
§570.903   Review to determine if the recipient is meeting its consolidated plan responsibilities.
§570.904   Equal opportunity and fair housing review criteria.
§570.905   Review of continuing capacity to carry out CDBG funded activities in a timely manner.
§570.906   Review of urban counties.
§§570.907-570.909   [Reserved]
§570.910   Corrective and remedial actions.
§570.911   Reduction, withdrawal, or adjustment of a grant or other appropriate action.
§570.912   Nondiscrimination compliance.
§570.913   Other remedies for noncompliance.
Appendix A to Part 570—Guidelines and Objectives for Evaluating Project Costs and Financial Requirements

Source: 53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

§570.900   General.

(a) Performance review authorities—(1) Entitlement, Insular Areas, and HUD-administered Small Cities performance reviews. Section 104(e)(1) of the Act requires that the Secretary shall, at least on an annual basis, make such reviews and audits as may be necessary or appropriate to determine whether the recipient has carried out its activities in a timely manner, whether the recipient has carried out those activities and its certifications in accordance with the requirements and the primary objectives of the Act and with other applicable laws, and whether the recipient has a continuing capacity to carry out those activities in a timely manner.

(2) Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) performance reviews. Section 119(g) of the Act requires the Secretary, at least on an annual basis, to make such reviews and audits of recipients of Urban Development Action Grants as necessary to determine whether the recipient's progress in carrying out the approved activities is substantially in accordance with the recipient's approved plans and timetables.

(b) Performance review procedures. This paragraph describes the review procedures the Department will use in conducting the performance reviews required by sections 104(e) and 119(g) of the Act:

(1) The Department will determine the performance of each entitlement, Insular Areas, and HUD-administered small cities recipient in accordance with section 104(e)(1) of the Act by reviewing for compliance with the requirements described in §570.901 and by applying the performance criteria described in §§570.902 and 570.903 relative to carrying out activities in a timely manner. The review criteria in §570.904 will be used to assist in determining if the recipient's program is being carried out in compliance with civil rights requirements.

(2) The Department will review UDAG projects and activities to determine whether such projects and activities are being carried out substantially in accordance with the recipient's approved plans and schedules. The Department will also review to determine if the recipient has carried out its UDAG program in accordance with all other requirements of the Grant Agreement and with all applicable requirements of this part.

(3) In conducting performance reviews, HUD will primarily rely on information obtained from the recipient's performance report, records maintained, findings from monitoring, grantee and subrecipient audits, audits and surveys conducted by the HUD Inspector General, and financial data regarding the amount of funds remaining in the line of credit plus program income. HUD may also consider relevant information pertaining to a recipient's performance gained from other sources, including litigation, citizen comments, and other information provided by or concerning the recipient. A recipient's failure to maintain records in the prescribed manner may result in a finding that the recipient has failed to meet the applicable requirement to which the record pertains.

(4) If HUD determines that a recipient has not met a civil rights review criterion in §570.904, the recipient will be provided an opportunity to demonstrate that it has nonetheless met the applicable civil rights requirement.

(5) If HUD finds that a recipient has failed to comply with a program requirement or has failed to meet a performance criterion in §570.902 or §570.903, HUD will give the recipient an opportunity to provide additional information concerning the finding.

(6) If, after considering any additional information submitted by a recipient, HUD determines to uphold the finding, HUD may advise the recipient to undertake appropriate corrective or remedial actions as specified in §570.910. HUD will consider the recipient's capacity as described in §570.905 prior to selecting the corrective or remedial actions.

(7) If the recipient fails to undertake appropriate corrective or remedial actions which resolve the deficiency to the satisfaction of the Secretary, the Secretary may impose a sanction pursuant to §570.911, 570,912, or 570.913, as applicable.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 56917, Nov. 9, 1995; 72 FR 12536, Mar. 15, 2007]

§570.901   Review for compliance with the primary and national objectives and other program requirements.

HUD will review each entitlement, Insular Areas, and HUD-administered small cities recipient's program to determine if the recipient has carried out its activities and certifications in compliance with:

(a) The requirement described at §570.200(a)(3) that, consistent with the primary objective of the Act, not less than 70 percent of the aggregate amount of CDBG funds received by the recipient shall be used over the period specified in its certification for activities that benefit low and moderate income persons;

(b) The requirement described at §570.200(a)(2) that each CDBG assisted activity meets the criteria for one or more of the national objectives described at §570.208;

(c) All other activity eligibility requirements defined in subpart C of this part;

(d) For entitlement grants and non-entitlement CDBG grants in Hawaii, the submission requirements of 24 CFR part 91 and the displacement policy requirements at §570.606;

(e) For HUD-administered Small Cities grants in New York, the citizen participation requirements at §570.431, the amendment requirements at §570.427, and the displacement policy requirements of §570.606;

(f) For Insular Areas Program grants only, the application and amendment requirements at §570.440, the citizen participation requirements at §570.441, the displacement policy requirements of §570.606, and the lead-based paint requirements of 24 CFR 35.940;

(g) The grant administration requirements described in subpart J;

(h) Other applicable laws and program requirements described in subpart K; and

(i) Where applicable, the requirements pertaining to loan guarantees (subpart M) and urban renewal completions (subpart N).

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 1917, Jan. 5, 1995; 60 FR 56917, Nov. 9, 1995; 72 FR 12536, Mar. 15, 2007; 72 FR 46371, Aug. 17, 2007]

§570.902   Review to determine if CDBG-funded activities are being carried out in a timely manner.

HUD will review the performance of each entitlement, HUD-administered small cities, and Insular Areas recipient to determine whether each recipient is carrying out its CDBG-assisted activities in a timely manner.

(a) Entitlement recipients and Non-entitlement CDBG grantees in Hawaii. (1) Before the funding of the next annual grant and absent contrary evidence satisfactory to HUD, HUD will consider an entitlement recipient or a non-entitlement CDBG grantee in Hawaii to be failing to carry out its CDBG activities in a timely manner if:

(i) Sixty days prior to the end of the grantee's current program year, the amount of entitlement grant funds available to the recipient under grant agreements but undisbursed by the U.S. Treasury is more than 1.5 times the entitlement grant amount for its current program year; and

(ii) The grantee fails to demonstrate to HUD's satisfaction that the lack of timeliness has resulted from factors beyond the grantee's reasonable control.

(2) Notwithstanding that the amount of funds in the line of credit indicates that the recipient is carrying out its activities in a timely manner pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, HUD may determine that the recipient is not carrying out its activities in a timely manner if:

(i) The amount of CDBG program income the recipient has on hand 60 days prior to the end of its current program year, together with the amount of funds in its CDBG line of credit, exceeds 1.5 times the entitlement grant amount for its current program year; and

(ii) The grantee fails to demonstrate to HUD's satisfaction that the lack of timeliness has resulted from factors beyond the grantee's reasonable control.

(3) In determining the appropriate corrective action to take with respect to a HUD determination that a recipient is not carrying out its activities in a timely manner pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, HUD will consider the likelihood that the recipient will expend a sufficient amount of funds over the next program year to reduce the amount of unexpended funds to a level that will fall within the standard described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section when HUD next measures the grantee's timeliness performance. For these purposes, HUD will take into account the extent to which funds on hand have been obligated by the recipient and its subrecipients for specific activities at the time the finding is made and other relevant information.

(b) HUD-administered Small Cities program in New York. The Department will, absent substantial evidence to the contrary, deem a HUD-administered Small Cities recipient in New York to be carrying out its CDBG-funded activities in a timely manner if the schedule for carrying out its activities, as contained in the approved application (including any subsequent amendment(s)), is being substantially met.

(c) Insular Areas recipients. (1) Before the funding of the next annual grant and absent contrary evidence satisfactory to HUD, HUD will consider an Insular Areas recipient to be failing to carry out its CDBG activities in a timely manner if:

(i) Sixty days prior to the end of the grantee's current program year, the amount of Insular Area grant funds available to the recipient under grant agreements but undisbursed by the U.S. Treasury is more than 2.0 times the Insular Area's grant amount for its current program year; and

(ii) The grantee fails to demonstrate to HUD's satisfaction that the lack of timeliness has resulted from factors beyond the grantee's reasonable control.

(2) Notwithstanding that the amount of funds in the line of credit indicates that the Insular Area recipient is carrying out its activities in a timely manner pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, HUD may determine that the recipient is not carrying out its activities in a timely manner if:

(i) The amount of CDBG program income the recipient has on hand 60 days prior to the end of its current program year, together with the amount of funds in its CDBG line of credit, exceeds 2.0 times the Insular Area's grant amount for its current program year; and

(ii) The grantee fails to demonstrate to HUD's satisfaction that the lack of timeliness has resulted from factors beyond the grantee's reasonable control.

(3) In determining the appropriate corrective action to take with respect to a HUD determination that a recipient is not carrying out its activities in a timely manner pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section, HUD will consider the likelihood that the recipient will expend a sufficient amount of funds over the next program year to reduce the amount of unexpended funds to a level that will fall within the standards described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section when HUD next measures the grantee's timeliness performance. For these purposes, HUD will take into account the extent to which funds on hand have been obligated by the recipient and its sub-recipients for specific activities at the time the finding is made and other relevant information.

(4) If a recipient is determined to be untimely pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section in one year, and the recipient is again determined to be untimely in the following year, HUD may reduce the recipient's next grant by 100 percent of the amount in excess of twice the Insular Area's most recent CDBG grant, unless HUD determines that the untimeliness resulted from factors outside of the grantee's reasonable control.

(5) The first review under paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section will take place 60 days prior to the conclusion of the Fiscal Year 2006 program year.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 56917, Nov. 9, 1995; 72 FR 12536, Mar. 15, 2007; 72 FR 46371, Aug. 17, 2007]

§570.903   Review to determine if the recipient is meeting its consolidated plan responsibilities.

The consolidated plan, action plan, and amendment submission requirements referred to in this section are in 24 CFR part 91. For the purpose of this section, the term consolidated plan includes an abbreviated consolidated plan that is submitted pursuant to 24 CFR 91.235.

(a) Review timing and purpose. HUD will review the consolidated plan performance of each entitlement, Insular Areas, and Hawaii HUD-administered Small Cities grant recipient prior to acceptance of a grant recipient's annual certification under 24 CFR 91.225(b)(3) to determine whether the recipient followed its HUD-approved consolidated plan for the most recently completed program year, and whether activities assisted with CDBG funds during that period were consistent with that consolidated plan, except that grantees are not bound by the consolidated plan with respect to the use or distribution of CDBG funds to meet non-housing community development needs.

(b) Following a consolidated plan. The recipient will be considered to be following its consolidated plan if it has taken all of the planned actions described in its action plan. This includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Pursuing all resources that the grantee indicated it would pursue;

(2) Providing certifications of consistency, when requested to do so by applicants for HUD programs for which the grantee indicated that it would support application by other entities, in a fair and impartial manner; and

(3) Not hindering implementation of the consolidated plan by action or willful inaction.

(c) Disapproval. If HUD determines that a recipient has not met the criteria outlined in paragraph (b) of this section, HUD will notify the recipient and provide the recipient up to 45 days to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it has followed its consolidated plan. HUD will consider all relevant circumstances and the recipient's actions and lack of actions affecting the provision of assistance covered by the consolidated plan within its jurisdiction. Failure to so demonstrate in a timely manner will be cause for HUD to find that the recipient has failed to meet its certification. A complete and specific response by the recipient shall describe:

(1) Any factors beyond the control of the recipient that prevented it from following its consolidated plan, and any actions the recipient has taken or plans to take to alleviate such factors; and

(2) Actions taken by the recipient, if any, beyond those described in the consolidated plan performance report to facilitate following the consolidated plan, including the effects of such actions.

(d) New York HUD-administered Small Cities. New York HUD-administered grantees shall follow the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section for their abbreviated or full consolidated plan to the extent that the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section are applicable. If the grantee does not comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, and does not provide HUD with an acceptable explanation, HUD may decide, in accordance with the requirements of the notice of fund availability, that the grantee does not meet threshold requirements to apply for a new small cities grant.

[60 FR 56918, Nov. 9, 1995, as amended at 72 FR 12537, Mar. 15, 2007]

§570.904   Equal opportunity and fair housing review criteria.

(a) General. (1) Where the criteria in this section are met, the Department will presume that the recipient has carried out its CDBG-funded program in accordance with civil rights certifications and civil rights requirements of the Act relating to equal employment opportunity, equal opportunity in services, benefits and participation, and is affirmatively furthering fair housing unless:

(i) There is evidence which shows, or from which it is reasonable to infer, that the recipient, motivated by considerations of race, color, religion where applicable, sex, national origin, age or handicap, has treated some persons less favorably than others, or

(ii) There is evidence that a policy, practice, standard or method of administration, although neutral on its face, operates to deny or affect adversely in a significantly disparate way the provision of employment or services, benefits or participation to persons of a particular race, color, religion where applicable, sex, national origin, age or handicap, or fair housing to persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, or

(iii) Where the Secretary required a further assurance pursuant to §570.304 in order to accept the recipient's prior civil rights certification, the recipient has failed to meet any such assurance.

(2) In such instances, or where the review criteria in this section are not met, the recipient will be afforded an opportunity to present evidence that it has not failed to carry out the civil rights certifications and fair housing requirements of the Act. The Secretary's determination of whether there has been compliance with the applicable requirements will be made based on a review of the recipient's performance, evidence submitted by the recipient, and all other available evidence. The Department may also initiate separate compliance reviews under title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or section 109 of the Act.

(b) Review for equal opportunity. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), and implementing regulations in 24 CFR part 1, together with section 109 of the Act (see §570.602), prohibit discrimination in any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under this part.

(1) Review for equal employment opportunity. The Department will presume that a recipient's hiring and employment practices have been carried out in compliance with its equal opportunity certifications and requirements of the Act. This presumption may be rebutted where, based on the totality of circumstances, there has been a deprivation of employment, promotion, or training opportunities by a recipient to any person within the meaning of section 109. The extent to which persons of a particular race, gender, or ethnic background are represented in the workforce may in certain circumstances be considered, together with complaints, performance reviews, and other information.

(2) Review of equal opportunity in services, benefits and participation. The Department will presume a recipient is carrying out its programs and activities in accordance with the civil rights certifications and requirements of the Act. This presumption may be rebutted where, based on the totality of circumstances, there has been a deprivation of services, benefits, or participation in any program or activity funded in whole or in part with block grant funds by a recipient to any person within the meaning of section 109. The extent to which persons of a particular race, gender, or ethnic background participate in a program or activity may in certain circumstances be considered, together with complaints, performance reviews, and other information.

(c) Fair housing review criteria. See the requirements in the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-20), as well as §570.601(a), which sets forth the grantee's responsibility to certify that it will affirmatively further fair housing.

(d) Actions to use minority and women's business firms. The Department will review a recipient's performance to determine if it has administered its activities funded with assistance under this part in a manner to encourage use of minority and women's business enterprises described in Executive Orders 11625, 12432 and 12138, and 24 CFR 85.36(e). In making this review, the Department will determine if the grantee has taken actions required under §85.36(e) of this chapter, and will review the effectiveness of those actions in accomplishing the objectives of §85.36(e) of this chapter and the Executive Orders. No recipient is required by this part to attain or maintain any particular statistical level of participation in its contracting activities by race, ethnicity, or gender of the contractor's owners or managers.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988; 53 FR 41330, Oct. 21, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 37411, Sept. 9, 1989; 60 FR 1917, Jan. 5, 1995; 61 FR 11482, Mar. 20, 1996]

§570.905   Review of continuing capacity to carry out CDBG funded activities in a timely manner.

If HUD determines that the recipient has not carried out its CDBG activities and certifications in accordance with the requirements and criteria described in §570.901 or 570.902, HUD will undertake a further review to determine whether or not the recipient has the continuing capacity to carry out its activities in a timely manner. In making the determination, the Department will consider the nature and extent of the recipient's performance deficiencies, types of corrective actions the recipient has undertaken and the success or likely success of such actions.

§570.906   Review of urban counties.

In reviewing the performance of an urban county, HUD will hold the county accountable for the actions or failures to act of any of the units of general local government participating in the urban county. Where the Department finds that a participating unit of government has failed to cooperate with the county to undertake or assist in undertaking an essential community development or assisted housing activity and that such failure results, or is likely to result, in a failure of the urban county to meet any requirement of the program or other applicable laws, the Department may prohibit the county's use of funds made available under this part for that unit of government. HUD will also consider any such failure to cooperate in its review of a future cooperation agreement between the county and such included unit of government described at §570.307(b)(2).

§§570.907-570.909   [Reserved]

§570.910   Corrective and remedial actions.

(a) General. Consistent with the procedures described in §570.900(b), the Secretary may take one or more of the actions described in paragraph (b) of this section. Such actions shall be designed to prevent a continuation of the performance deficiency; mitigate, to the extent possible, the adverse effects or consequences of the deficiency; and prevent a recurrence of the deficiency.

(b) Actions authorized. The following lists the actions that HUD may take in response to a deficiency identified during the review of a recipient's performance:

(1) Issue a letter of warning advising the recipient of the deficiency and putting the recipient on notice that additional action will be taken if the deficiency is not corrected or is repeated;

(2) Recommend, or request the recipient to submit, proposals for corrective actions, including the correction or removal of the causes of the deficiency, through such actions as:

(i) Preparing and following a schedule of actions for carrying out the affected CDBG activities, consisting of schedules, timetables and milestones necessary to implement the affected CDBG activities;

(ii) Establishing and following a management plan which assigns responsibilities for carrying out the actions identified in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section;

(iii) For entitlement and Insular Areas recipients, canceling or revising affected activities that are no longer feasible to implement due to the deficiency and re-programming funds from such affected activities to other eligible activities (pursuant to the citizen participation requirements in 24 CFR part 91); or

(iv) Other actions which will serve to prevent a continuation of the deficiency, mitigate (to the extent possible) the adverse effects or consequences of the deficiency, and prevent a recurrence of the deficiency;

(3) Advise the recipient that a certification will no longer be acceptable and that additional assurances will be required;

(4) Advise the recipient to suspend disbursement of funds for the deficient activity;

(5) Advise the recipient to reimburse its program account or letter of credit in any amounts improperly expended and reprogram the use of the funds in accordance with applicable requirements;

(6) Change the method of payment to the recipient from a letter of credit basis to a reimbursement basis;

(7) In the case of claims payable to HUD or the U.S. Treasury, institute collection procedures pursuant to subpart B of 24 CFR part 17; and

(8) In the case of an entitlement or Insular Areas recipient, condition the use of funds from a succeeding fiscal year's allocation upon appropriate corrective action by the recipient. The failure of the recipient to undertake the actions specified in the condition may result in a reduction, pursuant to §570.911, of the entitlement or Insular Areas recipient's annual grant by up to the amount conditionally granted.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 1917, Jan. 5, 1995; 72 FR 12537, Mar. 15, 2007]

§570.911   Reduction, withdrawal, or adjustment of a grant or other appropriate action.

(a) Opportunity for an informal consultation. Prior to a reduction, withdrawal, or adjustment of a grant or other appropriate action, taken pursuant to paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section, the recipient shall be notified of such proposed action and given an opportunity within a prescribed time period for an informal consultation.

(b) Entitlement grants, Non-entitlement CDBG grants in Hawaii, and Insular Areas grants. Consistent with the procedures described in §570.900(b), the Secretary may make a reduction in the entitlement, non-entitlement CDBG grants in Hawaii, or Insular Areas grant amount either for the succeeding program year or, if the grant had been conditioned, up to the amount that had been conditioned. The amount of the reduction shall be based on the severity of the deficiency and may be for the entire grant amount.

(c) HUD-administered small cities grants. Consistent with the procedures described in §570.900(b), the Secretary may adjust, reduce or withdraw the grant or take other actions as appropriate, except that funds already expended on eligible approved activities shall not be recaptured or deducted from future grants.

(d) Urban Development Action Grants. Consistent with the procedures described in §570.900(b), the Secretary may adjust, reduce or withdraw the grant or take other actions as appropriate, except that funds already expended on eligible approved activities shall not be recaptured or deducted from future grants made to the recipient.

[61 FR 11481, Mar. 20, 1996, as amended at 72 FR 12537, Mar. 15, 2007; 72 FR 46371, Aug. 17, 2007]

§570.912   Nondiscrimination compliance.

(a) Whenever the Secretary determines that a unit of general local government which is a recipient of assistance under this part has failed to comply with §570.602, the Secretary shall notify the governor of such State or chief executive officer of such unit of general local government of the noncompliance and shall request the governor or the chief executive officer to secure compliance. If within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed sixty days, the governor or chief executive officer fails or refuses to secure compliance, the Secretary is authorized to:

(1) Refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that an appropriate civil action be instituted;

(2) Exercise the powers and functions provided by title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d);

(3) Exercise the powers and functions provided for in §570.913; or

(4) Take such other action as may be provided by law.

(b) When a matter is referred to the Attorney General pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that a State or a unit of general local government is engaged in a pattern or practice in violation of the provisions of §570.602, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in any appropriate United States district court for such relief as may be appropriate, including injunctive relief.

§570.913   Other remedies for noncompliance.

(a) Action to enforce compliance. When the Secretary acts to enforce the civil rights provisions of Section 109, as described in §570.602 and 24 CFR part 6, the procedures described in 24 CFR parts 6 and 180 apply. If the Secretary finds, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing, that a recipient has failed to comply substantially with any other provisions of this part, the provisions of this section apply. The Secretary, until he/she is satisfied that there is no longer any such failure to comply, shall:

(1) Terminate payments to the recipient;

(2) Reduce payments to the recipient by an amount equal to the amount of such payments which were not expended in accordance with this part; or

(3) Limit the availability of payments to programs or activities not affected by such failure to comply.

Provided, however, that the Secretary may on due notice suspend payments at any time after the issuance of a notice of opportunity for hearing pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, pending such hearing and a final decision, to the extent the Secretary determines such action necessary to preclude the further expenditure of funds for activities affected by such failure to comply.

(b) In lieu of, or in addition to, any action authorized by paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary may, if he/she has reason to believe that a recipient has failed to comply substantially with any provision of this part;

(1) Refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States with a recommendation that an appropriate civil action be instituted; and

(2) Upon such a referral, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in any United States district court having venue thereof for such relief as may be appropriate, including an action to recover the amount of the assistance furnished under this part which was not expended in accordance with it, or for mandatory or injunctive relief;

(c) Proceedings. When the Secretary proposes to take action pursuant to this section, the respondent is the unit of general local government or State receiving assistance under this part. These procedures are to be followed prior to imposition of a sanction described in paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) Notice of opportunity for hearing: The Secretary shall notify the respondent in writing of the proposed action and of the opportunity for a hearing. The notice shall:

(i) Specify, in a manner which is adequate to allow the respondent to prepare its response, allegations with respect to a failure to comply substantially with a provision of this part;

(ii) State that the hearing procedures are governed by these rules;

(iii) State that a hearing may be requested within 10 days from receipt of the notice and the name, address and telephone number of the person to whom any request for hearing is to be addressed:

(iv) Specify the action which the Secretary proposes to take and that the authority for this action is section 111(a) of the Act;

(v) State that if the respondent fails to request a hearing within the time specified a decision by default will be rendered against the respondent; and

(vi) Be sent to the respondent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(2) Initiation of hearing. The respondent shall be allowed at least 10 days from receipt of the notice within which to notify HUD of its request for a hearing. If no request is received within the time specified, the Secretary may proceed to make a finding on the issue of compliance with this part and to take the proposed action.

(3) Administrative Law Judge. Proceedings conducted under these rules shall be presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), appointed as provided by section 11 of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 3105). The case shall be referred to the ALJ by the Secretary at the time a hearing is requested. The ALJ shall promptly notify the parties of the time and place at which the hearing will be held. The ALJ shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing and take all action necessary to avoid delay in the disposition of proceedings and to maintain order. The ALJ shall have all powers necessary to those ends, including but not limited to the power to:

(i) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(ii) Issue subpoenas as authorized by law;

(iii) Rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant evidence;

(iv) Order or limit discovery prior to the hearing as the interests of justice may require;

(v) Regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of the parties and their counsel;

(vi) Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties;

(vii) Consider and rule upon all procedural and other motions appropriate in adjudicative proceedings; and

(viii) Make and file initial determinations.

(4) Ex parte communications. An ex parte communication is any communication with an ALJ, direct or indirect, oral or written, concerning the merits or procedures of any pending proceeding which is made by a party in the absence of any other party. Ex parte communications are prohibited except where the purpose and content of the communication have been disclosed in advance or simultaneously to all parties, or the communication is a request for information concerning the status of the case. Any ALJ who receives an ex parte communication which the ALJ knows or has reason to believe is unauthorized shall promptly place the communication, or its substance, in all files and shall furnish copies to all parties. Unauthorized ex parte communications shall not be taken into consideration in deciding any matter in issue.

(5) The hearing. All parties shall have the right to be represented at the hearing by counsel. The ALJ shall conduct the proceedings in an expeditious manner while allowing the parties to present all oral and written evidence which tends to support their respective positions, but the ALJ shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence. The Department has the burden of proof in showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent failed to comply substantially with a provision of this part. Each party shall be allowed to cross-examine adverse witnesses and to rebut and comment upon evidence presented by the other party. Hearings shall be open to the public. So far as the orderly conduct of the hearing permits, interested persons other than the parties may appear and participate in the hearing.

(6) Transcripts. Hearing shall be recorded and transcribed only by a reporter under the supervision of the ALJ. The orginal transcript shall be a part of the record and shall constitute the sole official transcript. Respondents and the public, at their own expense, may obtain copies of the transcript.

(7) The ALJ's decision. At the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ shall give the parties a reasonable opportunity to submit proposed findings and conclusions and supporting reasons therefor. Within 25 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ shall prepare a written decision which includes a statement of findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all the material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record and the appropriate sanction or denial thereof. The decision shall be based on consideration of the whole record or those parts thereof cited by a party and supported by and in accordance with the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. A copy of the decision shall be furnished to the parties immediately by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall include a notice that any requests for review by the Secretary must be made in writing to the Secretary within 30 days of the receipt of the decision.

(8) The record. The transcript of testimony and exhibits, together with the decision of the ALJ and all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the exclusive record for decision and, on payment of its reasonable cost, shall be made available to the parties. After reaching his/her initial decision, the ALJ shall certify to the complete record and forward the record to the Secretary.

(9) Review by the Secretary. The decision by the ALJ shall constitute the final decision of the Secretary unless, within 30 days after the receipt of the decision, either the respondent or the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development files an exception and request for review by the Secretary. The excepting party must transmit simultaneously to the Secretary and the other party the request for review and the basis of the party's exceptions to the findings of the ALJ. The other party shall be allowed 30 days from receipt of the exception to provide the Secretary and the excepting party with a written reply. The Secretary shall then review the record of the case, including the exceptions and the reply. On the basis of such review, the Secretary shall issue a written determination, including a statement of the reasons or basis therefor, affirming, modifying or revoking the decision of the ALJ. The Secretary's decision shall be made and transmitted to the parties within 80 days after the decision of the ALJ was furnished to the parties.

(10) Judicial review. The respondent may seek judicial review of the Secretary's decision pursuant to section 111(c) of the Act.

[53 FR 34466, Sept. 6, 1988, as amended at 64 FR 3802, Jan. 25, 1999]

Appendix A to Part 570—Guidelines and Objectives for Evaluating Project Costs and Financial Requirements

I. Guidelines and Objectives for Evaluating Project Costs and Financial Requirements. HUD has developed the following guidelines that are designed to provide the recipient with a framework for financially underwriting and selecting CDBG-assisted economic development projects which are financially viable and will make the most effective use of the CDBG funds. The use of these underwriting guidelines as published by HUD is not mandatory. However, grantees electing not to use these underwriting guidelines would be expected to conduct basic financial underwriting prior to the provision of CDBG financial assistance to a for-profit business. States electing not to use these underwriting guidelines would be expected to ensure that the state or units of general local government conduct basic financial underwriting prior to the provision of CDBG financial assistance to a for-profit business.

II. Where appropriate, HUD's underwriting guidelines recognize that different levels of review are appropriate to take into account differences in the size and scope of a proposed project, and in the case of a microenterprise or other small business to take into account the differences in the capacity and level of sophistication among businesses of differing sizes.

III. Recipients are encouraged, when they develop their own programs and underwriting criteria, to also take these factors into account. For example, a recipient administering a program providing only technical assistance to small businesses might choose to apply underwriting guidelines to the technical assistance program as a whole, rather than to each instance of assistance to a business. Given the nature and dollar value of such a program, a recipient might choose to limit its evaluation to factors such as the extent of need for this type of assistance by the target group of businesses and the extent to which this type of assistance is already available.

IV. The objectives of the underwriting guidelines are to ensure:

(1) that project costs are reasonable;

(2) that all sources of project financing are committed;

(3) that to the extent practicable, CDBG funds are not substituted for non-Federal financial support;

(4) that the project is financially feasible;

(5) that to the extent practicable, the return on the owner's equity investment will not be unreasonably high; and

(6) that to the extent practicable, CDBG funds are disbursed on a pro rata basis with other finances provided to the project.

i. Project costs are reasonable. i. Reviewing costs for reasonableness is important. It will help the recipient avoid providing either too much or too little CDBG assistance for the proposed project. Therefore, it is suggested that the grantee obtain a breakdown of all project costs and that each cost element making up the project be reviewed for reasonableness. The amount of time and resources the recipient expends evaluating the reasonableness of a cost element should be commensurate with its cost. For example, it would be appropriate for an experienced reviewer looking at a cost element of less than $10,000 to judge the reasonableness of that cost based upon his or her knowledge and common sense. For a cost element in excess of $10,000, it would be more appropriate for the reviewer to compare the cost element with a third-party, fair-market price quotation for that cost element. Third-party price quotations may also be used by a reviewer to help determine the reasonableness of cost elements below $10,000 when the reviewer evaluates projects infrequently or if the reviewer is less experienced in cost estimations. If a recipient does not use third-party price quotations to verify cost elements, then the recipient would need to conduct its own cost analysis using appropriate cost estimating manuals or services.

ii. The recipient should pay particular attention to any cost element of the project that will be carried out through a non-arms-length transaction. A non-arms-length transaction occurs when the entity implementing the CDBG assisted activity procures goods or services from itself or from another party with whom there is a financial interest or family relationship. If abused, non-arms-length transactions misrepresent the true cost of the project.

2. Commitment of all project sources of financing. The recipient should review all projected sources of financing necessary to carry out the economic development project. This is to ensure that time and effort is not wasted on assessing a proposal that is not able to proceed. To the extent practicable, prior to the commitment of CDBG funds to the project, the recipient should verify that: sufficient sources of funds have been identified to finance the project; all participating parties providing those funds have affirmed their intention to make the funds available; and the participating parties have the financial capacity to provide the funds.

3. Avoid substitution of CDBG funds for non-Federal financial support. i. The recipient should review the economic development project to ensure that, to the extent practicable, CDBG funds will not be used to substantially reduce the amount of non-Federal financial support for the activity. This will help the recipient to make the most efficient use of its CDBG funds for economic development. To reach this determination, the recipient's reviewer would conduct a financial underwriting analysis of the project, including reviews of appropriate projections of revenues, expenses, debt service and returns on equity investments in the project. The extent of this review should be appropriate for the size and complexity of the project and should use industry standards for similar projects, taking into account the unique factors of the project such as risk and location.

ii. Because of the high cost of underwriting and processing loans, many private financial lenders do not finance commercial projects that are less than $100,000. A recipient should familiarize itself with the lending practices of the financial institutions in its community. If the project's total cost is one that would normally fall within the range that financial institutions participate, then the recipient should normally determine the following:

A. Private debt financing—whether or not the participating private, for-profit business (or other entity having an equity interest) has applied for private debt financing from a commercial lending institution and whether that institution has completed all of its financial underwriting and loan approval actions resulting in either a firm commitment of its funds or a decision not to participate in the project; and

B. Equity participation—whether or not the degree of equity participation is reasonable given general industry standards for rates of return on equity for similar projects with similar risks and given the financial capacity of the entrepreneur(s) to make additional financial investments.

iii. If the recipient is assisting a microenterprise owned by a low- or moderate-income person(s), in conducting its review under this paragraph, the recipient might only need to determine that non-Federal sources of financing are not available (at terms appropriate for such financing) in the community to serve the low- or moderate-income entrepreneur.

4. Financial feasibility of the project. i. The public benefit a grantee expects to derive from the CDBG assisted project (the subject of separate regulatory standards) will not materialize if the project is not financially feasible. To determine if there is a reasonable chance for the project's success, the recipient should evaluate the financial viability of the project. A project would be considered financially viable if all of the assumptions about the project's market share, sales levels, growth potential, projections of revenue, project expenses and debt service (including repayment of the CDBG assistance if appropriate) were determined to be realistic and met the project's break-even point (which is generally the point at which all revenues are equal to all expenses). Generally speaking, an economic development project that does not reach this break-even point over time is not financially feasible. The following should be noted in this regard:

A. some projects make provisions for a negative cash flow in the early years of the project while space is being leased up or sales volume built up, but the project's projections should take these factors into account and provide sources of financing for such negative cash flow; and

B. it is expected that a financially viable project will also project sufficient revenues to provide a reasonable return on equity investment. The recipient should carefully examine any project that is not economically able to provide a reasonable return on equity investment. Under such circumstances, a business may be overstating its real equity investment (actual costs of the project may be overstated as well), or it may be overstating some of the project's operating expenses in the expectation that the difference will be taken out as profits, or the business may be overly pessimistic in its market share and revenue projections and has downplayed its profits.

ii. In addition to the financial underwriting reviews carried out earlier, the recipient should evaluate the experience and capacity of the assisted business owners to manage an assisted business to achieve the projections. Based upon its analysis of these factors, the recipient should identify those elements, if any, that pose the greatest risks contributing to the project's lack of financial feasibility.

5. Return on equity investment. To the extent practicable, the CDBG assisted activity should provide not more than a reasonable return on investment to the owner of the assisted activity. This will help ensure that the grantee is able to maximize the use of its CDBG funds for its economic development objectives. However, care should also be taken to avoid the situation where the owner is likely to receive too small a return on his/her investment, so that his/her motivation remains high to pursue the business with vigor. The amount, type and terms of the CDBG assistance should be adjusted to allow the owner a reasonable return on his/her investment given industry rates of return for that investment, local conditions and the risk of the project.

6. Disbursement of CDBG funds on a pro rata basis. To the extent practicable, CDBG funds used to finance economic development activities should be disbursed on a pro rata basis with other funding sources. Recipients should be guided by the principle of not placing CDBG funds at significantly greater risk than non-CDBG funds. This will help avoid the situation where it is learned that a problem has developed that will block the completion of the project, even though all or most of the CDBG funds going in to the project have already been expended. When this happens, a recipient may be put in a position of having to provide additional financing to complete the project or watch the potential loss of its funds if the project is not able to be completed. When the recipient determines that it is not practicable to disburse CDBG funds on a pro rata basis, the recipient should consider taking other steps to safeguard CDBG funds in the event of a default, such as insisting on securitizing assets of the project.

[60 FR 1953, Jan. 5, 1995]



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