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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 38Chapter IPart 36 → Subpart C


Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief
PART 36—LOAN GUARANTY


Subpart C—Assistance to Eligible Individuals in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing


Contents
§36.4400   Authority.
§36.4401   Definitions.
§36.4402   Grant types.
§36.4403   Subsequent use.
§36.4404   Eligibility for assistance.
§36.4405   Grant approval.
§36.4406   Reimbursement of costs and disbursement of grant funds.
§36.4407   Guaranteed and direct loans.
§36.4408   Submission of proof to the Secretary.
§36.4409   Delegations of authority.
§36.4410   Supplementary administrative action.
§36.4411   Annual adjustments to the aggregate amount of assistance available.
§36.4412   Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program.

Source: 75 FR 56876, Sept. 17, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

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§36.4400   Authority.

The Secretary's authority to provide assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing is set forth in 38 U.S.C. chapter 21.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101(d))

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§36.4401   Definitions.

The following definitions of terms apply to this subpart:

2101(a) grant: A grant authorized under 38 U.S.C. 2101(a).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

2101(b) grant: A grant authorized under 38 U.S.C. 2101(b).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Adapt: To make a housing unit suitable to, or fit for, the residential living needs of an eligible individual.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Aggregate amount of assistance available: The amounts specified at 38 U.S.C. 2102(d) as adjusted in accordance with 38 U.S.C. 2102(e).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 2102)

Beneficial property interest: An interest deemed by the Secretary as one that provides (or will provide) an eligible individual a meaningful right to occupy a housing unit as a residence.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Braces: Orthopedic appliances, including prosthetic devices, used for support.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Construction-related cost: An expense incurred for the purpose of or directly related to building, modifying, or adapting a housing unit by using specially adapted housing grant proceeds.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Disability: A compensable physical impairment, as determined by a Department of Veterans Affairs rating decision, that meets the criteria of 38 U.S.C. 2101(a)(2) or (b)(2).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Eligible individual: For specially adapted housing purposes, a person who has served or is currently serving in the active military, naval, or air service, and who has been determined by the Secretary to be eligible for benefits pursuant to 38 U.S.C. chapter 21.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 2101A)

Eligible individual's family: Persons related to an eligible individual by blood, marriage, or adoption.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 2102A)

Housing unit: Any residential unit, including all necessary land, improvements, and appurtenances, together with such movable or special fixtures and necessary adaptations as are authorized by 38 U.S.C. 1717 and 2101. For the purposes of this definition, movable facilities is defined as such exercising equipment and other aids as may be allowed or required by the Chief Medical Director or designee; necessary land is defined as any plot of land the cost and area of which are not disproportionate to the type of improvements thereon and which is in keeping with the locality; and special fixtures and necessary adaptations is defined as construction features which are specially designed to overcome the physical limitations of the individual beneficiary and which are allowed or required by the Chief Medical Director or designee as necessary by nature of the qualifying disability.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 1717, 2101)

Ownership interest: An undivided property interest that the Secretary determines is a satisfactory:

(1) Fee simple estate;

(2) Life estate;

(3) Functional equivalent of a life estate, such as that created by a valid trust, a long-term lease, or a land installment contract that will convert to a fee simple estate upon satisfaction of the contract's terms and conditions;

(4) Ownership of stock or membership in a cooperative housing corporation entitling the eligible individual to occupy for dwelling purposes a single family residential unit in a development, project, or structure owned or leased by such corporation;

(5) Lease, under the terms of a valid and enforceable Memorandum of Understanding between a tribal organization and the Secretary; or

(6) Beneficial property interest in a housing unit located outside the United States.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 3762)

Preconstruction cost: An authorized expense incurred by an eligible individual in anticipation of receiving final approval for a specially adapted housing grant.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Reimburse: To pay specially adapted housing grant funds directly to an eligible individual (or an eligible individual's estate) for preconstruction costs or for construction-related costs.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Reside: To occupy (including seasonal occupancy) as one's residence.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Secretary: The Secretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or any employee or agent authorized in §36.4409 of this part to act on behalf of the Secretary.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Specially adapted housing grant: A 2101(a) grant, 2101(b) grant, or TRA grant made to an eligible individual in accordance with the requirements of 38 U.S.C. chapter 21 and this subpart.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101)

Temporary residence adaptations grant or TRA grant: A grant, the specific requirements and amount of which are outlined in 38 U.S.C. 2102A and 2102(d).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 2102A)

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§36.4402   Grant types.

(a) 2101(a) grant. The 2101(a) grant provides monetary assistance for the purpose of acquiring specially adapted housing pursuant to one of the following plans:

(1) Where an eligible individual elects to construct a dwelling on land to be acquired by the eligible individual, the Secretary will pay, up to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants, not more than 50 percent of the eligible individual's total costs for acquiring the land and constructing the dwelling.

(2) Where an eligible individual elects to construct a dwelling on land already owned by the eligible individual, the Secretary will pay, up to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants, not more than the lesser of:

(i) 50 percent of the eligible individual's costs for the land and the construction of the dwelling, or

(ii) 50 percent of the eligible individual's costs for the dwelling, plus the full amount of the unpaid balance, if any, of the cost to the individual of the necessary land.

(3) Where an eligible individual elects to adapt a housing unit already owned by the eligible individual, to conform to the requirements of the eligible individual's disability, the Secretary will pay, up to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants, the greater of:

(i) The eligible individual's costs for making such adaptation(s), or

(ii) 50 percent of the eligible individual's costs for making such adaptation(s), plus the lesser of:

(A) 50 percent of the eligible individual's costs for acquiring the housing unit, or

(B) The full amount of the unpaid balance, if any, of the cost to the individual of the housing unit.

(4) Where an eligible individual has already acquired a suitably adapted housing unit, the Secretary will pay, up to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants, the lesser of:

(i) 50 percent of the eligible individual's cost of acquiring such housing unit, or

(ii) The full amount of the unpaid balance, if any, of the cost to the individual of the housing unit.

(b) 2101(b) grant. (1) The 2101(b) grant provides monetary assistance for the purpose of acquiring specially adapted housing pursuant to one of the following plans:

(i) Where an eligible individual elects to construct a dwelling on land to be acquired by the eligible individual or a member of the eligible individual's family;

(ii) Where an eligible individual elects to construct a dwelling on land already owned by the eligible individual or a member of the eligible individual's family;

(iii) Where an eligible individual elects to adapt a housing unit already owned by the eligible individual or a member of the eligible individual's family; or

(iv) Where an eligible individual elects to purchase a housing unit that is already adapted to the requirements of the eligible individual's disability.

(2) Regardless of the plan chosen pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Secretary will pay the lesser of:

(i) The actual cost, or, in the case of an eligible individual acquiring a housing unit already adapted with special features, the fair market value, of the adaptations determined by the Secretary to be reasonably necessary, or

(ii) The aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(b) grants.

(c) TRA grant. The TRA grant provides monetary assistance for the purpose of adapting a housing unit owned by a member of the eligible individual's family, in which the eligible individual intends to reside temporarily. The Secretary will pay, up to the amounts specified at 38 U.S.C. 2102A(b) for TRA grants, the actual cost of the adaptations.

(d) Duplication of benefits. (1) If an individual is determined eligible for a 2101(a) grant, he or she may not subsequently receive a 2101(b) grant.

(2) If an individual is determined eligible for a 2101(b) grant, and becomes eligible for a 2101(a) grant, he or she may receive 2101(a) grants and TRA grants up to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants. However, any 2101(b) or TRA grants received by the individual before he or she was determined eligible for the 2101(a) grant will count towards the three grant limit in §36.4403.

(3) If the Secretary has provided assistance to an eligible individual under 38 U.S.C. 1717, the Secretary will not provide assistance under this subpart that would result in duplicate payments for the same adaptations. However, nothing in this subpart prohibits an eligible individual from utilizing the assistance authorized under 38 U.S.C. 1717 and 38 U.S.C. chapter 21 simultaneously, provided that no duplicate payments result.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2102, 2102A, 2104)

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§36.4403   Subsequent use.

An eligible individual may receive up to three grants of assistance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 21, subject to the following limitations:

(a) The aggregate amount of assistance available to an eligible individual for 2101(a) grant and TRA grant usage will be limited to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(a) grants;

(b) The aggregate amount of assistance available to an eligible individual for 2101(b) grant and TRA grant usage will be limited to the aggregate amount of assistance available for 2101(b) grants;

(c) The TRA grant may only be obtained once and will be counted as one of the three grant usages; and

(d) Funds from subsequent 2101(a) grant or 2101(b) grant usages may only pay for reimbursing specially adapted housing-related costs incurred on or after June 15, 2006 or the date on which the eligible individual is conditionally approved for subsequent assistance, whichever is later.

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control number 2900-0132)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2102, 2102A)

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§36.4404   Eligibility for assistance.

(a) Disability requirements. (1) The 2101(a) grant is available to individuals with permanent and total service-connected disability who have been rated as being entitled to compensation under 38 U.S.C. chapter 11 for any of the following conditions:

(i) Loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities so as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair;

(ii) Blindness in both eyes having only light perception, plus loss or loss of use of one lower extremity;

(iii) Loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity, together with—

(A) Residuals of organic disease or injury; or

(B) The loss or loss of use of one upper extremity, which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair;

(iv) Loss, or loss of use, of both upper extremities so as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbows; or

(v) Any other injury identified as eligible for assistance under 38 U.S.C. §2101(a).

(2) The 2101(b) grant is available to individuals with permanent and total service-connected disability who have been rated as being entitled to compensation under 38 U.S.C. chapter 11 for any of the following conditions:

(i) Blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less;

(ii) Anatomical loss, or loss of use, of both hands; or

(iii) Any other injury identified as eligible for assistance under 38 U.S.C. §2101(b).

(3) The TRA grant is available to individuals with permanent and total service-connected disability who have been rated as being entitled to compensation under 38 U.S.C. chapter 11 for any of the conditions described under paragraph (a)(1) of this section for the 2101(a) grant or paragraph (a)(2) of this section for the 2101(b) grant.

(b) Feasibility and suitability requirements. (1) In order for an individual to be eligible for 2101(a) grant assistance, the Secretary must determine that:

(i) It is medically feasible for the individual to reside outside of an institutional setting;

(ii) It is medically feasible for the individual to reside in the proposed housing unit and in the proposed locality;

(iii) The nature and condition of the proposed housing unit are suitable for the individual's residential living needs; and

(iv) The cost of the proposed housing unit bears a proper relation to the individual's present and anticipated income and expenses.

(2) In order for an individual to be eligible for 2101(b) grant assistance, the Secretary must determine that:

(i) The individual is residing in and reasonably intends to continue residing in a housing unit owned by the individual or a member of the individual's family; or

(ii) If the individual's housing unit is to be constructed or purchased, the individual will be residing in and reasonably intends to continue residing in a housing unit owned by the individual or a member of the individual's family.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101, 2102, 2102A)

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§36.4405   Grant approval.

(a) Conditional approval. (1) The Secretary may provide written notification to an eligible individual of conditional approval of a specially adapted housing grant if the Secretary has determined that:

(i) Disability requirements have been satisfied pursuant to §36.4404(a);

(ii) Feasibility and suitability requirements have been satisfied pursuant to §36.4404(b); and

(iii) The eligible individual has not exceeded the usage or dollar limitations prescribed by §§36.4402(d) and 36.4403.

(2) Once conditional approval has been granted, the Secretary may authorize, in writing, an eligible individual to incur certain preconstruction costs pursuant to §36.4406.

(b) Final approval. In order for an individual to obtain final approval for a specially adapted housing grant, the Secretary must determine that the following property requirements are met:

(1) Proposed adaptations. The plans and specifications of the proposed adaptations demonstrate compliance with minimum property and design requirements of the specially adapted housing program.

(2) Ownership. (i) In the case of 2101(a) grants, the eligible individual must have, or provide satisfactory evidence that he or she will acquire, an ownership interest in the housing unit.

(ii) In the case of 2101(b) grants, the eligible individual or a member of the eligible individual's family must have, or provide satisfactory evidence that he or she will acquire, an ownership interest in the housing unit.

(iii) In the case of TRA grants:

(A) A member of the eligible individual's family must have, or provide satisfactory evidence that he or she will acquire, an ownership interest in the housing unit, and

(B) The eligible individual and the member of the eligible individual's family who has or acquires an ownership interest in the housing unit must sign a certification as to the likelihood of the eligible individual's temporary occupancy of such residence.

(iv) If the ownership interest in the housing unit is or will be vested in the eligible individual and another person, the Secretary will not for that reason reduce by percentage of ownership the amount of a specially adapted housing grant. However, to meet the ownership requirement for final approval of a specially adapted housing grant, the eligible individual's ownership interest must be of sufficient quantum and quality, as determined by the Secretary, to ensure the eligible individual's quiet enjoyment of the property.

(3) Certifications. The eligible individual must certify, in such form as the Secretary will prescribe, that:

(i) Neither the eligible individual, nor anyone authorized to act for the eligible individual, will refuse to sell or rent, after receiving a bona fide offer, or refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny the housing unit acquired by this benefit, to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin;

(ii) The eligible individual, and anyone authorized to act for the eligible individual, recognizes that any restrictive covenant on the housing unit relating to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or national origin is illegal and void, and any such covenant is specifically disclaimed; and

(iii) The eligible individual, and anyone authorized to act for the eligible individual, understands that civil action for preventative relief may be brought by the Attorney General of the United States in any appropriate U.S. District Court against any person responsible for a violation of the applicable law.

(4) Flood insurance. The eligible individual's housing unit, if it is or becomes located in an area identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as having special flood hazards and in which flood insurance has been made available under the National Flood Insurance Act, as amended, must be covered by flood insurance. The amount of flood insurance must be at least equal to the lesser of the full insurable value of the housing unit or the maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of housing unit under the National Flood Insurance Act, as amended. The Secretary will not approve any financial assistance for the acquisition or construction of a housing unit located in an area identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as having special flood hazards unless the community in which such area is situated is then participating in the National Flood Insurance Program

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, chapter 21, 42 U.S.C. 4012a, 4106(a))

(5) Geographical limits. Any real property purchased, constructed, or adapted with the proceeds of a specially adapted housing grant must be located:

(i) Within the United States, which, for purposes of 38 U.S.C. chapter 21, includes the several States, Territories, and possessions, including the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands; or,

(ii) If outside the United States, in a country or political subdivision which allows individuals to have or acquire a beneficial property interest, and in which the Secretary, in his or her discretion, has determined that it is reasonably practicable for the Secretary to provide assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing.

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control numbers 2900-0031, 2900-0132, and 2900-0300)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2101, 2101A, 2102A)

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§36.4406   Reimbursement of costs and disbursement of grant funds.

(a) After providing conditional approval of a specially adapted housing grant for an eligible individual pursuant to §36.4405, the Secretary may authorize the incurrence, prior to obtaining final specially adapted housing grant approval, of preconstruction costs of the types and subject to the limits specified in this paragraph.

(1) Preconstruction costs to be incurred may not exceed 20 percent of the eligible individual's aggregate amount of assistance available, unless the individual is authorized by the Secretary in writing to incur specific preconstruction costs in excess of this 20 percent limitation. Preconstruction costs may include the following items:

(i) Architectural services employed for preparation of building plans and specifications.

(ii) Land surveys.

(iii) Attorneys' and other legal fees.

(iv) Other costs or fees necessary to plan for specially adapted housing grant use, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) If the Secretary authorizes final approval, the Secretary will pay out of the specially adapted housing grant the preconstruction costs that the Secretary authorized in advance. If the specially adapted housing grant process is terminated prior to final approval, preconstruction costs incurred that the Secretary authorized in advance will be reimbursed to the eligible individual, or the eligible individual's estate pursuant to paragraph(c) of this section, but will be deducted from the aggregate amount of assistance available and the reimbursement will constitute one of the three permitted grant usages (see §36.4403).

(b) The Secretary will determine a method of disbursement that is appropriate and advisable in the interest of the eligible individual and the Government, and will pay the specially adapted housing grant accordingly. Disbursement of specially adapted housing grant proceeds generally will be made to third parties who have contracted with the veteran, to an escrow agent, or to the eligible individual's lender, as the Secretary deems appropriate. If the Secretary determines that it is appropriate and advisable, the Secretary may disburse specially adapted housing grant funds directly to an eligible individual where the eligible individual has incurred authorized preconstruction or construction-related costs and paid for such authorized costs using personal funds.

(c) Should an eligible individual die before the Secretary disburses the full specially adapted housing grant, the eligible individual's estate must submit to the Secretary all requests for reimbursement within one year of the date the Loan Guaranty Service learns of the eligible individual's death. Except where the Secretary determines that equity and good conscience require otherwise, the Secretary will not reimburse an eligible individual's estate for a request that has not been received by the Department of Veterans Affairs within this timeframe.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2101(d))

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§36.4407   Guaranteed and direct loans.

(a) In any case where, in addition to using the benefits of 38 U.S.C. chapter 21, the eligible individual will use his or her entitlement to the loan guaranty benefits of 38 U.S.C. chapter 37, the complete transaction must be in accord with applicable regulations found in this part.

(b) In any case where, in addition to using the benefits of 38 U.S.C. chapter 21, the eligible individual will use a direct loan under 38 U.S.C. 3711(i), the complete transaction must be in accord with the requirements of §36.4503 and the loan must be secured by the same housing unit to be purchased, constructed, or adapted with the proceeds of the specially adapted housing grant.

(c) In any case where, in addition to using the benefits of 38 U.S.C. chapter 21, the eligible individual will use the Native American Direct Loan benefit under 38 U.S.C. chapter 37, subchapter V, the eligible individual's ownership interest in the housing unit must comport with the requirements found in §§36.4501, 36.4512, and 36.4527 and in the tribal documents approved by the Secretary, which include, but may not be limited to, the Memorandum of Understanding, the residential lease of tribal-owned land, the tribal lending ordinances, and any relevant tribal resolutions.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2101(d), 3711(i), 3762)

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§36.4408   Submission of proof to the Secretary.

The Secretary may, at any time, require submission of such proof of costs and other matters as the Secretary deems necessary.

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control numbers 2900-0031 and 2900-0300)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101(d))

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§36.4409   Delegations of authority.

(a) Each employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs appointed to or lawfully filling any of the following positions is hereby delegated authority, within the limitations and conditions prescribed by law, to exercise the powers and functions of the Secretary with respect to assisting eligible individuals in acquiring specially adapted housing:

(1) Under Secretary for Benefits.

(2) Director, Loan Guaranty Service.

(3) Deputy Director, Loan Guaranty Service.

(4) Assistant Director, Loan Policy and Valuation.

(5) Chief, Specially Adapted Housing, Loan Guaranty Service.

(6) Director, VA Medical Center.

(7) Director, VA Regional Office.

(8) Loan Guaranty Officer.

(9) Assistant Loan Guaranty Officer.

(b) Nothing in this section will be construed to authorize the determination of basic eligibility or medical feasibility under §36.4404(a), (b)(1)(i), or (b)(1)(ii) by any employee designated in this section, except as otherwise authorized.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 512, ch. 21)

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§36.4410   Supplementary administrative action.

Subject to statutory limitations and conditions prescribed in title 38, U.S.C., the Secretary may take such action as may be necessary or appropriate to relieve undue prejudice to an eligible individual or a third party contracting or dealing with such eligible individual which might otherwise result.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2101(d))

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§36.4411   Annual adjustments to the aggregate amount of assistance available.

(a) On October 1 of each year, the Secretary will increase the aggregate amounts of assistance available for grants authorized under 38 U.S.C. 2101(a) and 2101(b). Such increase will be equal to the percentage by which the Turner Building Cost Index for the most recent calendar year exceeds that of the next preceding calendar year.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, if the Turner Building Cost Index for the most recent full calendar year is equal to or less than the next preceding calendar year, the percentage increase will be zero.

(c) No later than September 30 of each year, the Secretary will publish in the Federal Register the aggregate amounts of assistance available for the upcoming fiscal year.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2102(e))

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§36.4412   Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program.

(a) General. (1) The Secretary will make grants for the development of new assistive technologies for specially adapted housing.

(2) A person or entity may apply for, and receive, a grant pursuant to this section.

(3)(i) All technology grant recipients, including individuals and entities formed as for-profit entities, will be subject to the rules on Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations, as found at 2 CFR part 200.

(ii) Where the Secretary determines that 2 CFR part 200 is not applicable or where the Secretary determines that additional requirements are necessary due to the uniqueness of a situation, the Secretary will apply the same standard applicable to exceptions under 2 CFR 200.102.

(b) Definitions. To supplement the definitions contained in §36.4401, the following terms are herein defined for purposes of this section:

(1) A technology grant applicant is a person or entity that applies for a grant pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 2108 and this section to develop new assistive technology or technologies for specially adapted housing.

(2) A new assistive technology is an advancement that the Secretary determines could aid or enhance the ability of an eligible individual, as defined in 38 CFR 36.4401, to live in an adapted home.

(c) Grant application solicitation. As funds are available for the program, VA will publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Funds Availability (NoFA), soliciting applications for the grant program and providing information on applications.

(d) Application process and requirements. Upon publication of the NoFA, a technology grant applicant must submit an application to the Secretary via www.Grants.gov. Applications must consist of the following:

(1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) with the box labeled “application” marked;

(2) VA Form 26-0967 (Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion) to ensure that the technology grant applicant has not been debarred or suspended and is eligible to participate in the VA grant process and receive Federal funds;

(3) Statements addressing the scoring criteria in paragraph (f) of this section; and

(4) Any additional information as deemed appropriate by VA.

(e) Threshold requirements. The NoFA will set out the full and specific procedural requirements for technology grant applicants.

(f) Scoring criteria. (1) The Secretary will score technology grant applications based on the scoring criteria in paragraph (f)(2) of this section. Although there is not a cap on the maximum aggregate score possible, a technology grant application must receive a minimum aggregate score of 70 points to be considered for a technology grant.

(2) The scoring criteria and maximum points are as follows:

(i) A description of how the new assistive technology is innovative (up to 50 points);

(ii) An explanation of how the new assistive technology will meet a specific, unmet need among eligible individuals (up to 50 points);

(iii) An explanation of how the new assistive technology is specifically designed to promote the ability of eligible individuals to live more independently (up to 30 points);

(iv) A description of the new assistive technology's concept, size, and scope (up to 30 points);

(v) An implementation plan with major milestones for bringing the new assistive technology into production and to the market. Such milestones must be meaningful and achievable within a specific timeframe (up to 30 points); and

(vi) An explanation of what uniquely positions the technology grant applicant in the marketplace. This can include a focus on characteristics such as the economic reliability of the technology grant applicant, the technology grant applicant's status as a minority or veteran-owned business, or other characteristics that the technology grant applicant wants to include to show how it will help protect the interests of, or further the mission of, VA and the program (up to 20 points).

(g) Application deadlines. Deadlines for technology grant applications will be established in the NoFA.

(h) Awards process. Decisions for awarding technology grants under this section will be made in accordance with guidelines (covering such issues as timing and method of notification) described in the NoFA. The Secretary will provide written approvals, denials, or requests for additional information. The Secretary will conduct periodic audits of all approved grants under this program to ensure that the actual project size and scope are consistent with those outlined in the proposal and that established milestones are achieved.

(i) Delegation of authority. (1) Each VA employee appointed to or lawfully fulfilling any of the following positions is hereby delegated authority, within the limitations and conditions prescribed by law, to exercise the powers and functions of the Secretary with respect to the grant program authorized by 38 U.S.C. 2108:

(i) Under Secretary for Benefits.

(ii) Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity.

(iii) Director, Loan Guaranty Service.

(iv) Deputy Director, Loan Guaranty Service.

(2) [Reserved]

(j) Miscellaneous. (1) The grant offered by this chapter is not a veterans' benefit. As such, the decisions of the Secretary are final and not subject to the same appeal rights as decisions related to veterans' benefits.

(2) The Secretary does not have a duty to assist technology grant applicants in obtaining a grant.

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040-0004 and 2900-0821)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 2108)

[80 FR 55765, Sept. 17, 2015]

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