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Homes and Community Renewal

Questions & Answers

The Agencies may periodically receive questions in response to Request for Proposals and/or Request for Qualifications issued by the Agencies. The Agencies may respond to these questions by means of "Questions and Answers" (Q&A) posted on this page. Firms/Companies responding to a Request for Proposals and/or Request for Qualifications of the Agencies are advised to review this page regularly.

Q & A for Arbitrage Rebate Services ("RFP"):

  1. Who is the current provider? (April 21, 2014)
    Bond Logistics and Hawkins, Delafield & Wood LLP. (April 23, 2014)

  2. Can you disclose its annual budget for arbitrage rebate services? (April 21, 2014)
    No. (April 23, 2014)

  3. Can you confirm that these Agencies will only require calculations as of their 5-year anniversary dates and final redemption/maturity dates? (April 21, 2014)
    For the most part, calculations are only required on the 5 year anniversary dates and final redemption/maturity dates although there may be rare circumstances where it may also be required at other times. (April 23, 2014)

  4. If annual reports are required, are they as of the fiscal year end or as of each bond issues annual anniversary date? (April 21, 2014)
    Generally, Bond issue anniversary dates. (April 23, 2014)

  5. Scope of Services: #7 asks for selected proponent to Legally Opine on the calculations provided.  If calculations are required on any dates other than IRS Filing dates, would an opinion be required to accompany all calculations or only calculations required as of an IRS filing date. (April 21, 2014)
    An opinion will always be required. (April 23, 2014)

  6. How will data be transmitted to the selected proponent?   (i.e. will access be provided to accounts held by trustees, electronic in excel, electronic in the form of pdf statements or data provided from the agencies accounting system?)  (April 21, 2014)
    PDF statements. (April 23, 2014)

  7. How are bond proceeds typically invested?  For instance, are separate accounts set up for each bond issue, or are proceeds of multiple bond issues invested together? (April 21, 2014)
    Separate accounts for each series and, to some extent, each project. (April 23, 2014)

  8. The RFQ only appears to address arbitrage rebate, would you also be looking for the selected provider to cover excess earnings on the single family purpose obligations? (April 21, 2014)
    No. (April 23, 2014)

  9. Are any of the issues requiring work a Single Family Bond issued prior to 1989? (April 21, 2014)
    No. (April 23, 2014)

  10. Would a firm receive any credit, in term of satisfying the 20% MWBE participation goal, for partnering with a Minority-Owned or Women-Owned Business Enterprise that is not registered in the State of New York and that is not located in the State of New York? (April 21, 2014)        
    No. (April 23, 2014)   

  11. 11. Would a firm receive any credit, in term of satisfying the 20% MWBE participation goal, if we were to partner with a Minority-Owned or Women-Owned Business Enterprise that would agree to register with the State of New York if we were awarded a contract? (April 21, 2014)
    No, however the Agencies may take into consideration MWBEs that have applied for certification prior to May 1, 2014, but have not yet been certified by the State of New York.  (April 23, 2014)

  12. What firms are currently providing arbitrage rebate compliance services to each agency and what is the current fee structures from each provider? (April 21, 2014)
    Refer to response in Question 1 above for firms currently providing arbitrage rebate compliance services to the Agencies.  Current fees are paid either per transaction or per a fee schedule. (April 23, 2014)

  13. How frequent are the arbitrage rebate compliance reports for each agency being prepared (i.e., annually, only on required IRS installment dates, etc.)? (April 21, 2014)
    Refer to responses in Questions 3 and 4 above.  (April 23, 2014)

Q & A for Insurance Brokerage Services ("RFP"):

Pursuant to Section VI. of the RFP, proposals will undergo a two-step evaluation process.  The following questions and answers pertain to phase one of this RFP process.   (March 27, 2014)

  1. Who is the current incumbent Broker or Brokers? (March 14, 2014)
    E.G. Bowman Co., Inc.  (March 27, 2014)  

  2. Who is the current Carrier or Carriers?  (March 14, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list.   (March 27, 2014)

  3. How much is the enforced insurance premium? (March 14, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list. (March 27, 2014)

  4. Will current in forced insurance documents be available?  (March 14, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list.  (March 27, 2014)

  5. May we print the response double sided?   (March 14, 2014)
    Yes.  (March 27, 2014)

  6. Is this requirement offered to carriers or consulting firms directly without brokers? (March 14, 2014)
    No, the Agencies desire to work with a broker.  (March 27, 2014)

  7.  In terms of the RFP response, I need to clarify if you are looking for bindable quotes from the various insurers or just proposed coverages, limits, deductibles, and what carriers we would approach to get those quotes (similar to a market pick)?  (March 19, 2014)
    The successful broker will represent the Agencies with respect to all internal Agency related insurance needs and will have the responsibility of providing the Agencies with three bids for each coverage.  The Agencies will select a carrier based on the  proposed coverages.  Carriers must have a specific rating as indicated in Section IV. the RFP. (March 27, 2014)

  8. Is there any baseline underwriting information you have already provided to potential respondents? (March 19, 2014)
    The underwriting information is provided in Section IV of the RFP.  (March 27, 2014)

  9.  Is the broker the current broker on a flat fee basis or receiving commission from the carriers the coverage is placed with? (March 19, 2014)
    The Agencies desire that responses include the most cost effective fees. (March 27, 2014)

  10. Do you have a current schedule of insurance for each entity including the present premiums, limits of coverage, and deductables? (March 19, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list.  This response will include a current schedule of insurance for each entity, limits of coverage and deductible, but will not include premiums.  (March 27, 2014)

  11. Do you have a comprehensive statement of values, vehicle/equipment list, payrolls, etc.? (March 19, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list; however, a statement of payrolls will be excluded.  (March 27, 2014)

  12. Who currently provides the insurance brokerage services applicable to this request for proposals?  (March 20, 2014)
    Refer to the Agencies’ response in question number 1 above.  (March 27, 2014)

  13. If an MBE firm is certified in the State of New York by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, would that be acceptable under this request for proposal or would registration with the New York State Department of Economic  Development still be required?  (March 20, 2014)
    Firms must be certified by New York State’s Economic State Development (“ESD”); however, the Agencies recommend that if an MBE (or WBE) firm is not certified by ESD, that such firm file an application with ESD as soon as possible and forward the Agencies a confirmation of such application filing for “Fast Tracking” purposes.  (March 27, 2014)

  14. Are we required to provide an analysis pursuant to Section V. Contents of Proposal Item B.1.1 Basic Information, even though the Agencies’ insurance policy and/or underwriting information has not been made available at this time?  (March 20, 2014)
    Yes.  (March 27, 2014)  

  15. Once the “Short List” is created, will the Committee make any other underwriting information available upon request in addition to the electronic copy of the Agencies’ insurance policies?  Will exposure data and current loss information also be made available?  (March 20, 2014)
     In addition to firms on the Short List receiving an electronic copy of the full terms of the Agencies’ insurance policies, the Agencies will also provide these firms with the items listed in their responses to questions numbered 10 and 11 above.  (March 27, 2014)

  16. Due to its sensitive nature of the information, can financial statements and/or tax forms be submitted separately?  (March 20, 2014)
    Yes.  (March 27, 2014)

  17. Section IV Scope of Services includes a variety of Property and Casualty coverages, and also includes Long Term Disability and Dental coverage?  What other coverages carried by the Agency are applicable to this RFP at this time?  Must all  be addressed and serviced by the proposer? (March 20, 2014)
    Currently, the Agencies do not have any coverages other than those described in Section IV of the RFP.  Proposers are required to address all coverages.  The services will be provided by the successful firm.  (March 27, 2014)

  18. Responses are limited to 20 pages in length.  As respects Section IV. Scope of Services and V.B. Tabs 1 and 2, do we have to restate the questions, or can we simply refer to them as “Section IV.  Read and Acknowledged”  and “V.B.1.1, 1.2, etc.”, to save space? (March 20, 2014)
    Questions do not have to be restated; however, responses should be clearly stated.  (March 27, 2014)

  19. Several responses alone (1.6, Audited Financial Statements: Biographies under Tax 2; Compliance documents under Tax 4) will exhaust and exceed the 20-page limitation.  May such response documents be supplied as “appendixes” beyond the 20-page limitation ? (March 20, 2014)
    Yes.  (March 27, 2014)

  20. Without a clear understanding of the complexity and scope of exposures and coverages currently addressed by the Agency, it will be challenging to address Tab 3 – Fees and Costs?  Can you provide any guidance on the current cost of the risk management, loss control and brokerages services as outlined in Section IV Scope of Services, Items A through H?  (March 20, 2014)
     The information is included in the RFP.  (March 27, 2014)

  21. Would NYSHCR welcome sole or individual MBE participation with respect to providing the insurance brokerage services (either whole or in part) under this request for proposal?  (March 21, 2014)
    Yes.    (March 27, 2014)

  22. Can we obtain a current schedule of insurance for the Agencies involved in this RFP?  (March 24, 2014)
    The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list.  (March 27, 2014)

  23. Who is the current Broker?  (March 24, 2014)
     Refer to the Agencies’ response in question number 1 above.  (March 27, 2014)

  24. What is the reason this program was put to bid (standard bid process or displeasure with current situation)?  (March 24, 2014)
     Standard bid process.  (March 27, 2014)

  25. Can we get an idea of the total insurance spend?  (March 24, 2014)
     The Agencies’ response will be forwarded, via email, to firms selected for the Agencies’ short list.  (March 27, 2014)

  26. Can we see Loss History information or information about loss experience?  (March 24, 2014)
     The Agencies will not be disclosing this information.   (March 27, 2014)

  27. What are the most critical concerns to the Agencies when choosing a broker to work with (price? Day to day servicing?  Loss control services? Etc.)  (March 24, 2014)
     Refer to the Section VI of the RFP entitled “Evaluation and Criteria for Selection.   (March 27, 2014)


Q & A for HFA Tax Consultant Services Request for Bids ("RFP"):

For clarification purposes relating to the materials anticipated to be provided in connection with each refinancing for the tax consultant’s review, it is expected that the existing partnership will provide, at a minimum, a schedule broken out by individual partner that identifies:  (a) partner’s share of projected sale price; (b) partner’s adjusted basis; (c) partner’s share of capital gain; (d) applicable tax rates; and (e) partner’s tax liability attributable to capital gain.  (March 11, 2014)

  1. Regarding the RFB, one of the requirements of bid responses is a fee proposal for the above described services on a per project basis.  I assume the projects are the 6 different tasks listed in Scope of Services.  My question is can an hourly rate by staff be submitted for the fee proposal since there is very little information provided to determine what is going to be required on a per project basis?  Can you provide more information on each project so I can try to estimate the amount of time needed to complete each project? (March 5, 2014)
    The six different tasks listed in the Scope of Services (Section II of the RFB) refer to the services to be provided to the Agency by the successful Firm(s) on a per project basis.  Projects refer to actual real estate refinancings.  In order to adequately evaluate responses to that portion of the bid, fee proposals need to be submitted in a manner that facilitates comparison. For this engagement, all fee proposals must be submitted on a per project basis. The ownership structures for the projects to be reviewed under this engagement can include any number of the entities described in the first paragraph of the RFB.  (March 11, 2014)

  2. What was the previous total fee awarded on the per project fee basis for the RFB?  [ IV. Requirements of Bid Responses C. Fee proposal] (March 5, 2014)
    This is the first RFB for tax consultant services issued by HFA. (March 11, 2014)

  3. Does the review of tax forms, other documentation, and tax liability calculations cover both federal and state(s) tax computations? (March 9, 2014)
    Yes. (March 11, 2014)

  4. The RFB requires that the firm provide a fee proposal for the services on a per project basis - as many of the projects may have different set of facts such as a various number of investors, multiple states, various forms of ownership,
    etc, is the fee proposal a rate per hour fee quote or a flat fee quote per project?  (March 9, 2014)
    The fee proposal is a flat fee quote per project.  (March 11, 2014)

  5. Please confirm that an accounting firm tax opinion is not sought. (March 9, 2014)
    We will not require an accounting firm tax opinion. (March 11, 2014)

  6. What format will the materials/documents to be reviewed be provided? Will it be electronic or paper? (March 9, 2014)
    The materials will be provided electronically.  (March 11, 2014)

  7. Will the selected firm be able to communicate with the project owners? (March 9, 2014)
    The selected firm will communicate directly with HFA. Should any clarification be necessary for any project, HFA will facilitate a conversation between the firm and the owner. (March 11, 2014)

  8. Is the work project provided to the Agency shared with the project owners? (March 9, 2014)
    The results of the firm’s work will be used by the Agency to evaluate the proposed budgets of projects.  (March 11, 2014)

  9. In general, what is the expected turnaround to the Agency of the project once documentation is received by the service provider? (March 9, 2014)
    Generally, it’s expected that the successful firm’s review will be completed within two weeks of receipt of all the materials necessary to review the calculations provided; although, there may be certain circumstances under which the Agency may
    require a quicker turnaround. In the event the Agency is on a tighter review timeline, HFA will advise the selected firm of these circumstances as soon as the Agency becomes aware of them. (March 11, 2014)

  10. If we meet the 10% MBE requirement, are we required to meet the 10% WBE requirement as well?  (March 10, 2014)
    A State certified MBE firm or WBE firm will satisfy the Agency’s overall 20% MWBE participation goal.  (March 11, 2014)

  11. Could you provide an estimate of the typical size of the owners? (March 10, 2014)
    Projects may contain several owners and the assets of these owners may vary.  (March 11, 2014)

  12. Is our advice considered advice given solely to HFA or to HFA and the owners'? (March 10, 2014)
    The successful firm will solely advise HFA.  (March 11, 2014)

Q & A for SONYMA Liquidity Solution Services Request for Proposals ("RFP"):

  1. Please provide a copy of the HMB indenture’s most recently updated quarterly financial statements (last year SONYMA’s financials became available at the end of January.  Is there currently a draft available?)  (January 9, 2014)
    Click here for a copy of the most recently updated financial statements of the HMB indentures, Attachment 1. (January 21, 2014)

  2. Please provide an updated HMB portfolio cut (updated since May 2011).  (January 9, 2014)
    Not currently available but expected to be made available on the Governor’s website. (January 21, 2014)

  3. Please provide an updated swap marks for the HMB portfolio.  (January 9, 2014)
    Click here for a copy of an updated swap marks for the HMB portfolio as of December 31, 2013, Attachment 2. (January 21, 2014)

  4. Please provide a copy of updated financial statements for the SONYMA Mortgage Insurance Pool Insurance Account.   (January 9, 2014)
    Click here for a copy of a unaudited financial statements as of October 31, 2013 for the SONYMA Mortgage Insurance Pool Insurance Account, Attachment 3.  (January 21, 2014)

  5. For any investment agreements (e.g., GICs) held in the MRB indenture, please provide the following information for each agreement:  (i) balance; (ii) investment agreement provider; (iii) rate; and (iv) maturity.  (January 9, 2014)
    Click here for a copy of the requested information for investment agreements held in the MRB indenture, Attachment 4. (January 21, 2014)

  6.  Please provide a liquidity summary for facilities not included in the RFP, including (i) bank provider; (ii) expiration date; and (iii) term out details.  (January 9, 2014)
    Click here for a copy of the requested liquidity summary, Attachment 5.   For term out details, please see Agency’s response to question number 17 below.  (January 21, 2014)

  7.  Please provide a copy of the indenture’s most recent cash flow analysis from cfX.  (January 9, 2014)
    For purposes limited to formulating responses to this RFP, proposers should send an email requesting such information to .  (January 21, 2014)

  8. Have there been any changes in access to the PMI market for new policies?  What has been the outcome of the discussions that Genworth would provide upfront reserves for new policies?  (January 9, 2014)
    The PMI companies have eased some of their restrictions and are insuring loans with credit scores down to 620 and 660.  If the Genworth question is regarding discussions MIF had with Genworth a couple of years ago, the concern was related to the impact that Moody’s downgrading of all PMI companies would have on the SONYMA bonds.  Moody’s has subsequently downgraded all of the insurers below “A” ratings but this has not had any impact on Moody’s rating of the SONYMA bond indentures. (January 21, 2014)

  9. What has been SONYMA’s recent prepayment experience.  (January 9, 2014)
    Over the past several months, prepayment volume has fluctuated but for the most part, we have seen a general trending down to a monthly average of between $12m to $15m. (January 21, 2014)

  10. Is there information available to better understand the trust parity ratio, such as an updated trust balance sheet?  The quarterly investor report does not seem to include all assets.  It would also be helpful to see that information over some period of time, perhaps the past few years.  (January 14, 2014)
    Balance sheet as of October 31, 2013 is included in Q&A number 1 above as Attachment 1. (January 21, 2014)

  11.  Please provide additional details for the individual swaps. More particularly, state whether the swap would need to be terminated should its associated bond series be refunded or whether the swap may be applied as a hedge to an alternative variable rate product.  (January 16, 2014)
    Swaps may not have to be terminated if we convert the underlying bonds to an alternative product and under certain circumstances they may be applied to an alternative rate product or to another eligible variable rate issue of the Agency. (January 21, 2014)

  12.  Is the Jan 31, 2013 Financial Information/Operating Data the most recent financial information available from SONYMA.  (January 17, 2014)
    Yes.  Current unaudited versions are included in response to Q&A number 1 above in Attachment 1. (January 21, 2014)

  13. Will remarketing services be available if the Liquidity Bank is to provide the SBPA?  (January 17, 2014)
    Yes. (January 21, 2014)

  14. What is the expectation for future underwriting?  (January 17, 2014)
    The Agency is always actively considering different options for funding. (January 21, 2014)

  15. Who provides general banking services to the Authority?  (January 17, 2014)
    The Bank of New York Mellon is the Trustee for the Resolution.  The Agency also uses JP Morgan Chase Bank for lockbox services. (January 21, 2014)

  16. What are standard margins (as referenced in III B Tab 1 of the RFP)?  Is the page limit for Tab 1 OR Tabs 1, 2 and 3 (as referenced in III B Tab 1 of the RFP) ?  (January 17, 2014)
    The standard margins are 1” by 1”.   The 10 page limit is for Tabs 1 and 2.  (January 21, 2014)

  17. Under a SBPA or LOC proposal, what lien will the facility term out be?  (January 17, 2014)
    All payments of principal in connection with the Bank Bonds (other than maturing principal and sinking fund requirements) payable during any Term Loan Period shall be made solely from Revenues available in the General Fund after the payments required pursuant to clauses (i) through and including (iv) of Section 411 of the General Resolution have been satisfied in full to redeem Bonds, subject to the rights of Bondowners, the pari passu rights of other liquidity providers, if any, the Code, and Sections 607 and 608 of the General Resolution . (January 21, 2014)

  18. Can you confirm that this submission is electronic only ?  (January 17, 2014)
    The submission is electronic form only.  (January 21, 2014)


Q & A for Bond Counsel Services Request for Proposals ("RFP"):

  1. For purposes of meeting the Agencies' 25% MWBE participation goal, can the Agencies provide a list of Agency-prequalified firms that would be available for partnering arrangements? (April 23, 2013)

    Click here for a list of Agency-prequalified co-bond counsel firms (Revised, May 23, 2013). Firms may also search the State's directory of certified MWBEs by clicking here . (April 24, 2013)

  2. If a proposal is submitted by two law firms, are both firms required to have a New York State presence? (Section II of the RFP) (April 30, 2013)

    Yes. (May 1, 2013)

  3. Are certified MBEs and WBEs required to respond to the information requested in subsections 1.14 & 1.15 of Section IV.B. of the RFP? Are certified M/WBEs required to complete the M/WBE Utilization Form? Are certified M/WBEs required to submit information and complete forms related to equal employment opportunities (such as the firm's Demographic Profile and Staffing Plan)? (May 8, 2013)

    While the Agencies are not requiring NYS certified MWBEs to submit the information requested in Subsections 1.14 and 1.15 of Section IV.B. of the RFP, M/WBEs must submit a statement stating that the M/WBE is certified by NYS and intends to maintain its certification the earlier of a five year period or the selection of a new prequalified bond counsel panel pursuant to a subsequent solicitation process by the Agencies for bond counsel services. NYS certified M/WBEs are required to complete the M/WBE Utilization Form inserting the firm's name as the M/WBE Firm. All information and forms relating to equal employment opportunities, such as the firm's Demographic Profile and Staffing Plan, must be submitted with the proposal. (May 15, 2013)

  4. Subsection 1.6 of Section IV.B. of the RFP requests "detailed descriptions of innovative work you have done in financings of the type that the Agencies undertake or in financings where you faced issues that would be faced by the Agencies." Should this information be included in Schedule I or should the response be part of responses provided in TAB 1? (May 13, 2013)

    This information should be included in TAB 1 with the firm's other responses to Section IV.B of the RFP and should not be included in Schedule I. (May 16, 2013)

  5. The RFP requires a list of up to 10 single-family housing, multi-family housing, municipal bond bank financings or tobacco securitization transactions in which the proposer has acted as Bond Counsel. This information is to be set forth in the format of Schedule I attached to the Request. Must the information in Schedule I be presented in at least 12 point type? In which column should the name of the issuer be included? (May 13, 2013)

    The information to be presented in Schedule I may be less than 12 point type. The name of the issuer should be included under the first column entitled "Name." (May 16, 2013)

Q & A for Audit Services Request for Qualifications ("RFQ"):

  1. Does the 25 page limit for the response to Tabs 1 and 2 include resumes? (May 15, 2013)

    Yes. (May 16, 2013)

  2. Are appendices permitted that do not count against the 25 page limt? (May 15, 2013)

    A document such as evidence of insurance would not be included in the 25 page limit, but appendices such as resumes, firm brochures, and similar items are included in the 25 page limit. (May 16, 2013)

  3. Will AHC plan to meet the 15% for Minority-Owned Business Enterprises and 5% for Women-Owned Business Enterprises participation through awarding of contracts directly to MBE/WBE firms? (May 16, 2013)

    Yes, AHC plans to meet the MWBE participation goals through awarding of contracts directly to NYS certified MBE/WBE firms. (May 16, 2013)

  4. Are non-MWBE firms required to propose with a subcontractor? (May 16, 2013)

    A majority firm would be required to subcontract with a MWBE firm for any contract award exceeding $25,000 in amount. In those instances, AHC reserves the right to select a NYS certified MBE or WBE to partner with the majority firm. (May 16, 2013).

Q & A for Technical Services and Assistance Providers Request for Qualifications ("RFQ"):

  1. With respect to the section entitled "Business Participation Opportunities for MWBEs" on page 14 (at the last sentence in the first paragraph): (i) Is the TAP required to ensure 15% minority as well as 5% women minimum participation rates for each project? and (ii) Will the participation rate still be determined as a percentage of the total project cost or just the TAP portion? (May 8, 2013)

    The TAP will be responsible for ensuring an overall 20% MWBE participation goal for each project. The 20% MWBE participation will be based on the total project cost. (May 17, 2013)

  2. With respect to the section entitled "Business Participation Opportunities for MWBEs" on page 14 (at the last sentence in the second paragraph): (i) How does HFA define the term "substantive tasks"?; (ii) What constitutes "appropriate credit"?; and (iii) What is appropriate "compensation"? How is it quantified? (May 8, 2013)

    Substantial shall be defined as substantive tasks relating to the contract that would enable the MWBE firm to glean meaningful knowledge and experiences relating to said contract. As a result, compensation should be determined at a rate that is comparable and appropriate for the work performed. (May 17, 2013)

  3. Will HFA make available its list of pre-qualified M/WBE contractors from which the TAP may select M/WBE firms to participate in various projects? (May 8, 2013)

    Yes. (May 17, 2013)

Last updated: 03/27/14