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11/21/2022 RFQ Architectural Firm Affordable and Mixed Use Multi Family Housing and Mixed Use Developments

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) is seeking qualification packages
from architectural firms with experience in
affordable and mixed-income multifamily housing
and mixed-use developments.


KEY INFORMATION

RFQ RELEASE DATE: 11/16/2022


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Qualification packages must be submitted on or before
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 5:00PM EST. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

SUBMISSION PROCESS: Qualification packages may be submitted:

(a) via email to gbenda@norwalkha.org, or

(b) as a hard copy to:

Guillermo Bendana, Procurement Specialist
Norwalk Housing Authority
24 ½ Monroe ST
Norwalk, CT 06854


STAFF CONTACT: Questions and requests for information should be directed via email to Guillermo Bendana, Procurement Specialist, at gbenda@norwalkha.org.

I. INVITATION TO SUBMIT QUALIFICATION PACKAGES
The purpose of this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) pertains to Norwalk Housing Authority's need for Architectural Services for various development projects planned over the next 1-5 years. The qualified firm(s) may be asked to supply design support for rehabilitation, redevelopment, and/or new construction projects. More than one firm responding to this RFQ may be deemed qualified and retained for services.

Services required may include but are not limited to architectural design; site and development planning; master planning; structural/mechanical/electrical/civil engineering; landscape architectural; green/energy efficient and utility conservation review and design; and other related services required for completion of work items. Services may be provided through a subcontractor procured by the retained architectural firm.

A qualified firm will have extensive experience in preliminary designs and feasibility studies; zoning rules and regulations; development of design and construction documents; cost estimates and analysis; bid proposal evaluations; product/material submittal reviews; contract administration; construction summary observations; as built drawings; and physical property assessments.

In addition to providing the services above, a qualified firm may be expected to attend and present at meetings of the Norwalk Planning & Zoning Commission, NHA Resident Advisory Board, and NHA Board of Commissioners, as well as obtain plan approvals and work with city agencies and officials as needed.

To be considered, respondents must submit a qualification package in response to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in the manner prescribed herein.

NOTE: Any contact related to this procurement with members of the NHA Board of Commissioners or NHA officers and employees other than the contact person shown above, during the procurement process, could result in disqualification of an application.


II. HOUSING AUTHORITY BACKGROUND AND MISSION
The mission of The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk (NHA) is to build, maintain, and preserve safe, affordable housing through well managed properties that strengthen our community. NHA provides public housing to approximately 1,000 low-income households in Norwalk, including 336 homes dedicated to seniors. We also administer housing subsidies for an additional 1,000 families through our Housing Choice Voucher program.

Our organization prides itself on its anti-poverty initiatives, such as operating four onsite learning centers serving students K-5, a family self-sufficiency and first-time homebuyer program, food programs for seniors, and the Norwalk Housing Foundation which raises and distributes over $200,000 a year in academic scholarships for public housing students.

After several years of being evaluated as a high-performing Housing Authority, NHA was awarded Moving to Work status, which allows us to pilot innovative methods to deconcentrate poverty and increase economic mobility.
NHA is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners. Four members are appointed by the mayor and a Tenant Commissioner is elected by the residents or appointed by the mayor.

Recent NHA Developments

• Soundview Landing, $182 million total development costs, 273 units
In 2014, Norwalk Housing Authority and its co-applicant the City of Norwalk were awarded a highly competitive $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to rebuild the oldest public housing property in Connecticut. This was one of only four nationwide Choice awards. Through a highly collaborative and community-driven process, NHA's Washington Village community was transformed into a mixed-income property that doubled its density and offered modern amenities. NHA also revitalized the surrounding neighborhood, including Ryan Park upgrades, homeowner rehabilitation projects, and investments in critical infrastructure. The development received LEED Silver certification.

• Colonial Village I and II, $66 million total development costs, 269 units
NHA is leading a complete renovation of Colonial Village I, 200 homes affordable to low-income Norwalk families, originally built in the 1950s, to improve the quality and sustainability of the property and offer modernized and energy-efficient amenities for residents. The project will be completed in spring 2023. On the adjacent site, also owned by NHA, we are creating 69 new, mixed-income affordable apartments (for 30%-80% of area median income) and building a new 5,400-square-foot learning center. These units will be financed using 4% tax credits, Department of Housing funds, conventional debt, and NHA equity. Our plans include solar panels and other energy efficient designs.


III. PLANNED DEVELOPMENTS AND ACTIVITIES
NHA is committed to a comprehensive redevelopment strategy that will address the capital needs of all portfolio properties over the next fifteen years. Additionally, NHA aims to pursue mixed-income and mixed-use development opportunities in Norwalk as they arise, provided that they support NHA's mission and goals.

The following projects are in need of architectural services in the next 1-5 years and may be part of a scope of work for a selected firm.

a. Meadow Gardens Redevelopment (45 Meadow St, Norwalk)
Meadow Gardens is a 54-unit public housing development owned and operated by NHA since the 1960s. The development consists of five buildings (four residential and one Learning Center). The site is approximately 2.5 acres, sloping upward away from the street, and is located in a floodplain.

There are significant issues with the property given its age and a backlog of deferred maintenance. NHA has hired a third-party consultant to complete a thorough Physical Condition Assessment to fully understand these capital needs. With this information, NHA, its Board of Commissioners, tenants, and stakeholders will assess and determine next steps.

One option for Meadow Gardens is a Section 18 Demolition/Disposition, provided that the project qualifies under HUD regulations. With this option, NHA would redevelop the 54 units (or more, if allowable) on the existing site. Another option is to reposition the property under RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) and rehabilitate the existing buildings. A selected firm would be required to produce schematic designs to support the decision-making process. From there, the firm may be asked to perform duties listed in the scope of services below.


b. NHA Headquarters and Leroy Downs Redevelopment (24½ and 26 Monroe St, Norwalk)
Adjacent to the South Norwalk train station are NHA's main offices and Leroy Downs, a public housing development of 49 senior units. Given the proximity to transit, these combined parcels, owned by the Housing Authority, offer a high-value opportunity for creating a new mixed-use development with ground-floor commercial space and a mix of affordable and market rate units. This vision is well supported by the City of Norwalk and Norwalk's Redevelopment Agency, who recently completed a South Norwalk Train Station Area Study (https://tomorrow.norwalkct.org/plan/south-norwalk-transit-oriented-development-plan/) to outline community needs and planning recommendations given the City's goals around affordability, walkability, and economic development.

NHA views this project as an opportunity to promote mixed-income neighborhoods, transform this central area of South Norwalk, and improve the housing conditions of our Leroy Downs residents. A selected firm would be required to produce schematic designs that take into account the City's plans and recommendations, as well as the needs of NHA and its tenants. From there, the firm may be asked to perform duties listed in the scope of services below.


c. Roodner Court Rehabilitation (261 Ely Avenue, Norwalk)
Roodner Court is a 218-unit public housing property for families. The development consists of seven residential buildings and one Learning Center. Built in 1953, Roodner Court requires rehabilitation to improve living standards for tenants. NHA is currently undergoing a Physical Needs Assessment of the property. No plans have been made regarding next steps.


d. Acquisition Opportunities
NHA seeks to acquire real estate properties to expand our portfolio of affordable and mixed-income housing developments in Norwalk. A qualified architectural firm may be asked to develop schematic drawings to assist with feasibility planning related to a potential acquisition or acquisition/rehab project.


IV. SCOPE OF SERVICES
One or more selected architectural firms will be retained by NHA to provide services for any project as may be needed by the Housing Authority, likely to include the projects outlined above.

The following generally highlights the services that the firm will be required to perform. In some instances, the firm may procure and manage a subcontractor with the requisite experience to perform certain duties:

1) Refine, clarify, and define NHA's project descriptions and requirements as necessary to develop a schematic design of the project.
2) Lead master planning process that incorporates public transit, walkable neighborhoods, and green space through stakeholder engagement.
3) Respond to all comments and resolve outstanding design issues at the various phases by taking appropriate action in the design of the project.
4) Prepare A/E cost estimates for the project.
5) Attend and present at City of Norwalk, NHA Board of Commissioners, Planning & Zoning Commission, and other official meetings to help secure necessary plan approvals.
6) Provide complete construction documents that conform with generally accepted architectural and engineering standards and are in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations (i.e., HUD, DOH, CHFA, City of Norwalk Planning & Zoning, etc.)
7) Provide specifications that reflect current requirements, standards, and product availability.
8) Supply necessary plans, forms, and reports to submit for project financing through the Department of Housing, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, and other funding sources.
9) Provide services to assist NHA in the bidding and award of the construction contract.
10) Provide construction administration services during the construction phase.

These services may include all trades deemed necessary to complete the plans and specifications in order for NHA to have all the necessary documents required for approvals and construction.


V. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Respondents must submit one (1) original and complete qualification package. Qualification packages must be received no later than 5:00pm EST on Friday, December 9, 2022.

Qualification packages may be emailed to gbenda@norwalkha.org OR mailed to:

Guillermo Bendana, Procurement Specialist
Norwalk Housing Authority
24 ½ Monroe ST
Norwalk, CT 06854

In submitting a response to this RFQ, the respondent acknowledges that NHA shall not compensate the respondent for any submission or contract negotiation costs, including costs for preparation, appearances, interviews, and/or travel expenses.

To maintain a fair and impartial competitive process, written questions will be the only opportunity for respondents to inquire as to form and content. NHA will only answer written inquiries received by e-mail before the submission deadline. Please send inquiries to gbenda@norwalkha.org.

Norwalk Housing Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Each submission must contain the following information:

1. Signed Cover Letter on Company Letterhead

2. Firm Overview
• Detailed explanation of the firm's history, size, office locations, and services offered
• Description of firm's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

3. Project Approach
• Detailed explanation of the firm's project design approach and methodology, as it relates to the types of projects and services described in this RFQ

4. Technical Capabilities
• Detailed explanation of the firm's capacity and experience in any or all of the following areas: master planning, urban planning, transit-oriented development, community design charettes, Connecticut Housing Finance Agency and Connecticut Department of Housing multifamily design standards, ADA accessibility design standards, sustainable design, and in-house engineering services

5. Project Experience Past Five (5) Years
• The Respondent should include projects that have been completed and are comparable to the Norwalk Housing Authority portfolio as described in this RFQ

6. Client References
• The Respondent must provide a list of five (5) past clients that may be contacted by NHA as well as two (2) reference letters (as listed under "Attachments")

7. Written Qualifications and/or Resumes of Key Personnel

Attachments:
• Signed RFQ Certification
• Copy of business licenses and Connecticut registration
• Copies of any federal or State of Connecticut minority- and/or women-owned business certifications, if applicable
• Two (2) reference letters from recent clients
• Signed Debarment Certification

VI. SELECTION PROCESS
All qualification packages submitted on or before Friday, December 9, 2022, at 5:00PM EST will be reviewed by NHA staff for compliance with the submission requirements of the RFQ. A selection committee, made up of NHA employees and/or stakeholders, shall meet to evaluate each response.

NHA reserves the right to make multiple awards. A contract award will be for one year with an option to renew annually for a total of five years. The sum of all projects performed in one contract term (one year) shall not exceed $100,000.

NHA intends to negotiate with the top ranked firm(s) with the intention to reach an agreement on a fair and reasonable price for basic services and the hourly rate fee of the firm's staff. If an agreement cannot be reached, NHA will terminate negotiation with the firm and proceed to the next highest rated firm until a price determined to be fair and reasonable to both parties is obtained.

Upon successful negotiation of an agreement, the Executive Director of NHA will recommend award pending the approval of NHA's Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners may or may not require interviews of selected firm(s).

VII. TERMS AND CONDITIONS (Non-Construction Contracts)
The respondent may change or withdraw a response at any time prior to the response submission deadline. All changes or withdrawals shall be made in writing. Oral/Verbal changes, modifications, or withdrawals will not be recognized and will be disregarded. Written modifications will not be accepted after the RFQ Submission Deadline.

NHA reserves the right to request clarifications of information submitted and to request any necessary supporting documentation or information of one or more responders after the RFQ Submission Deadline.

Submissions shall be firm for a period of 90 days following the RFQ Submission Deadline.

Submissions shall be considered public information unless advised otherwise by the responder. The responder shall include a separate letter stating which parts of the submission are deemed confidential and/or proprietary information not to be released.

NHA reserves the right to reject any and all submissions, to waive informalities or irregularities in the submissions received, and reject nonconforming, nonresponsive, conditional or qualified submissions, and to select the submission and consultant which, in the judgment of NHA, best serves the interests of the NHA.

NHA reserves the right to publish Request for Proposals (RFPs) for services, including architectural, to be procured for specific development projects, which may or may not be included in this RFQ.

All submissions shall be made without any prior understanding, agreement, or accord with any other person submitting a qualification package for the same service. By delivering a response to this RFQ, the respondent represents that their submission is in all respects bona fide, fair, and not the result of any act of fraud or collusion with another person engaged in the same line of business or commerce.

The Respondent certifies by submission of a proposal that it is not a debarred, suspended, or ineligible contractor by any Agency of Federal of State government. No proposal received from a debarred, suspended, or ineligible contractor will qualify for award.

Termination for Cause and for Convenience
NHA may terminate this contract in whole, or from time to time in part, for NHA's convenience or the failure of the Contractor to fulfill the contract obligations (cause/default). NHA shall terminate by delivering to the Contractor a written notice of termination specifying the nature, extent, and effective date of termination. Upon receipt of the notice, the Contractor shall: (1) immediately discontinue all services affected (unless the notice directs otherwise), and (2) deliver to NHA all information, reports, papers, and other materials accumulated or generated in performing the contract, whether completed or in process. If the termination is for the convenience of NHA, NHA shall be liable only for payment for services rendered before the effective date of the termination.

If the termination is due to failure of the Contractor to fulfill its obligations under the contract (cause/default), NHA may (1) require the Contract to deliver to it, in the manner and to the extent directed by NHA, any work described in the Notice of Termination; (2) take over the work and prosecute the same to completion by contractor of otherwise, and the Contractor shall be liable for any additional cost incurred by NHA; and (3) withhold any payment to the Contractor, for the purpose of set-off or partial payment, as the case may be, of amounts owned by NHA by the contractor. In the event of termination for cause/default, NHA will be liable to the Contractor for reasonable costs incurred by the Contractor before the effective date of the termination. Any dispute shall be decided by the Contracting Officer.

NHA shall have exclusive ownership of, all proprietary interest in, and the right to full and exclusive possession of all information, materials and documents discovered or produced by Contractor pursuant to the terms of this Contract.

In the event that insufficient funds are appropriated and budgeting or funding is otherwise unavailable in any fiscal period for this Project, then NHA, shall have the unqualified right to terminate the Work Order(s), or Agreement upon written notice to the Contractor, without any penalty or expense to NHA. No guarantee, warranty or representation is made that any particular work or any project(s) will be assigned to any firm(s).


VIII. INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
The consultant or architectural/engineering firm shall furnish evidence of the following forms of insurance from a company with B+ or better rating in the current edition of Best's Rating Guide which must be maintained through completion of the scope of work.

1. Professional Liability: Minimum Coverage $500,000
2. Comprehensive General Liability with broad form Comprehensive General Liability endorsement and auto (non-owned and hired): Minimum Coverage $1,000,000
3. Worker's Compensation and Employer's Liability: Minimum Coverages $100,000 each employee, $500,000 policy limit
4. Automotive Liability (owned vehicles), if applicable: Minimum Coverage $1,000,000
5. Valuable Papers Destruction Policy in an amount sufficient to cover loss or damage to originals or reproductions, whether they be tracings, blueprints, specifications, manuscripts, data, disks, etc.
6. The Contractor must provide a copy of each applicable policy to the Authority. Binders are not acceptable. Insurance coverage must be maintained until completion of the project. All insurances must include the following endorsements:

The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk
24 ½ Monroe Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

RFQ FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES
The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk

RFQ CERTIFICATION

I certify that any and all information contained in this RFQ is true.

I certify that this RFQ is made without prior understanding, agreement, or connections with any corporation, firm or person submitting a RFQ for the same materials, supplies, equipment, or services and is in all respects fair and without collusion or fraud.

I agree to abide by all terms and conditions of the RFQ.


Company Name:
Address:

Phone:


Authorized Representative:
Name
Title
Signature
Date

RFQ FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES
The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk

DEBARMENT CERTIFICATION

The undersigned, a Respondent of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued by the Norwalk Housing Authority, hereby certifies to the Norwalk Housing Authority on behalf of itself and each member of Respondent's team, as follows:

In accordance with HUD 24 CFR 85.35, Respondent certifies that neither Respondent nor any member of the Respondent's team is debarred or suspended or is otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal Assistance programs under Executive Order 12549 "Debarment and Suspension."


Authorized Representative:

Name
Title
Company

Signature
Date