Report to the Commission: January 27, 2021
RFQs: On-Call Equity Consultant Bench and Regional Planning Bench
MTC and ABAG have posted two RFQs to build regional consultant benches that can support local jurisdictions and other public agencies with procurements.
On-Call Equity Bench
MTC released an RFQ for an Equity Consultant Bench on December 28th, 2020, which includes service categories related to internal operations, policy, community engagement, innovation and environmental justice. The deadline for submission to the Equity Bench is February 2nd, 2021. More details can be found on Bonfire at mtc.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/24570.
Regional Planning Bench
MTC and ABAG have also released an RFQ for a Regional Planning Bench, which includes 11 service categories for a wide range of planning needs including comprehensive planning, community engagement, housing and transportation. This bench will be available to simplify contract administration for funds received through the Regional Early Action Planning grants (REAP) and Priority Development Area (PDA) planning grants. The RFQ also includes a unique opportunity for early-career planners who do not have enough experience to qualify on their own; they can submit a “Statement of Experience and Interest” form so that qualified firms looking to expand their teams can consider them. We hope that this will further our Equity Platform and help to address a shortage of planners during this busy Housing Element cycle. The deadline for submissions is February 18. More details can be found on Bonfire at mtc.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/35148.
Housing Technical Assistance Opportunities
MTC and ABAG have released a Call for Letters of Interest for Technical Assistance and Planning Grants to support local Housing Elements as well as PDAs. The solicitation combines the REAP grants and PDA program to streamline the application process and maximize roughly $12 million in available funding. Every jurisdiction in the Bay Area is entitled to non-competitive funding to support Housing Elements, and jurisdictions with locally nominated PDAs are eligible to apply for competitive planning and technical assistance grants. More information is available on the ABAG and MTC websites, including the online application, a detailed guidance document, and recordings of webinars to assist jurisdictions with the application process. The application deadline is February 12. More information can be found on the ABAG Housing Technical Assistance Program webpage at abag.ca.gov/housing-technical-assistance-program.
The Clipper START program has expanded to 21 transit operators as of January 25. We added six transit operators in November and added another 11 on January 25. Transit operators give a discount on single rides, either a 50% discount or a 20% discount. Applicants must have a household income less than 200% of the federal poverty level to be eligible. As an example, for a family of four, that’s $53,000 for 2021. They can apply via a website at clipperstartcard.com or by getting a paper application, available from transit operators and Clipper Customer Service Centers or by calling Clipper START. Since the program’s inception in July 2020, we have received 3,500 applications for the discount.
Items to Note
Through the Agency-wide Website Accessibility Project, the Technology Services Web Program team is working to ensure that all 30+ agency websites are compliant to federal website accessibility standards, as specified by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires agencies to provide disabled employees and members of the public access to information comparable to the access available to those without disabilities. Compliance with these requirements impacts both website technical structure, such as how a site is built and functions, as well as website content, such as text, documents, colors, images, and links.
The project is 75% complete. Websites will be compliant by the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, some websites have been restructured for efficiency and improved customer interface.