Request for Qualifications for Legal Services

Feb 04, 2024 · Requests for Proposals
· Respond by Mar 01, 2024

A. INTRODUCTION

Created in 1975 by Resolution of the Travis County, Texas Commissioner’s Court and governed under the guise of Chapter 392 of the Texas Local Government Code, the Housing Authority of Travis County (HATC) provides safe, decent, and sanitary housing for low-income families in Travis County.

At the Housing Authority of Travis County (HATC), the primary goal is to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families in our community. The organization achieves this by administering a range of programs and services designed to support families in their pursuit of stable housing and self-sufficiency.

One of the organization’s key initiatives is the management and maintenance of HUD Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) units, as well as affordable family and senior developments (non-PBRA). These units offer eligible families access to quality housing options that are within their financial means, thereby promoting stability and well-being. In addition to working closely with property owners and landlords, the organization ensures that each housing unit meets strict quality standards, providing residents with a comfortable and secure living environment.

Another critical aspect of HATC’s mission is the issuance of Housing Choice Vouchers. This program offers qualifying families the flexibility to choose rental units in the private market while receiving financial assistance from HATC. By collaborating with property owners and addressing potential barriers to housing access, HATC help facilitate a smooth transition for voucher holders into their new homes.

Beyond simply providing housing options, HATC is committed to empowering our clients through various supportive services. The organization works in partnership with other community organizations to offer job training, educational programs, and access to essential resources. By fostering self-sufficiency among HATC residents, the organization contributes to building stronger communities and enhancing the overall quality of life for those it serves.

Currently, HATC currently provides services to its clients through:

  • Affordable Housing - HATC maintains multiple affordable housing developments throughout Travis County. Specifically, this includes 5 separate developments with 154 total units (including 33 senior units and 20 additional senior units under construction.)
  • Rental Assistance – HATC administers nearly 700 federally funded Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) providing rental assistance to low-income individuals and families, in addition to special vouchers and program assistance for disabled and homeless individuals.
  • Supportive Services - The HATC Foundation 501(c)3 has outsourced service provision to BiGAustin in order to provide HATC residents and program participants. BiGAustin is an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit organization which has served the Austin area community since 1992 with a mission to assist primarily low- to moderate-income individuals achieve success through entrepreneurship, training and education, and more. Services provided by BiGAustin to the HATC Foundation include but are not limited to financial literacy, digital literacy, career development, youth and senior programming, health screening and education, and scholarship programs.

More background regarding the HATC may be found at www.hatctx.com

B. BACKGROUND

HATC is seeking Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from experienced professional legal firms and/or individual attorneys for the purpose of providing general counsel services in multiple areas of specialization on a contractual basis. Specifically, the firm(s)/individual(s) will be tasked with providing one or more of the following services:

  • General Counsel
  • Real Estate Counsel
  • Litigation Counsel
  • Employment Matters Counsel
  • Landlord / Tenant Matters Counsel

C. SCOPE OF SERVICES SOLICITED

HATC will consider either single or multiple qualified providers of legal services, as described above. Such provider(s) must be qualified to provide the following specific services as would be appropriate (e.g., general counsel, real estate counsel, board governance) and the particular needs and requirements of HATC:

  • Guidance on special projects and advising the HATC Board of Commissioners, the CEO/Executive Director, and the Deputy Executive Director of HATC.
  • Providing a variety of proactive, high-quality, and timely legal opinions to the Board of Commissioners and HATC leadership/staff.
  • Work directly with the Board, CEO/Executive Director, and other consultants of HATC to ensure compliance with governmental and regulatory rules and regulations.
  • Reviewing and drafting rules and regulations, resolutions, contracts, agreements, deeds, orders, interlocal agreements, construction and maintenance agreements, corporate resolutions, agendas, minutes, certificates, notices, and any other documents needed in conjunction with the business of the HATC.
  • Negotiating and administering contracts, as well as assisting with the resolution of contractual disputes.
  • Providing timely advice regarding operations and elections, HATC rules and regulations, Texas state law, contract matters, and real estate matters.
  • Providing proactive legal counsel on issues pertaining to personnel policies and procedures and providing counsel in all compliance employment matters such as, but not limited to, state and federal employment law, Workers Compensation, EEOC, FLSA, FMLA and OSHA requirements.
  • Reviewing agendas and materials for the Board of Commissioners meeting and preparing/delivering legal advice.
  • Attending regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners and occasional special meetings (generally, regular meetings occurs once a month on Thursday mornings).
  • Staying updated on and informing the HATC Board, leadership, and staff of new or proposed local, state, or federal legislation affecting HATC.
  • Knowledge of the Texas Public Information Act, Texas Open Meetings Act, Professional Services Act, and other statutes relevant to HATC policy and operations issues, and advising the organization of such, as needed.
  • Knowledge of laws and methods to facilitate effective enforcement of HATC's rules and regulations.
  • Assisting with legislative and regulatory agency efforts to improve HATC efficiencies.
  • Assisting HATC Board members, leadership, and staff in maintaining awareness of ethical standards and appearance of fairness standards, and to avoid potential conflicts of interest, prohibited transactions and the appearance of prohibited transactions;
  • Conducting or coordination of litigation when required.
  • Compliance with administrative and legal requirements, including applicable rules, regulations, and requirements of local, state and federal agencies, such as open meetings, open records, public funds investment, and financial reporting.
  • Protect and defend the legal interests of the HATC.
  • Work with the Board and CEO/Executive Director in matters related to communications with HATC residents, program participants, and elected officials.
  • Assisting the Board in formulating and executing policy changes.
  • Other legal work which may be required from time to time.

D. RFQ RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS

Responses to this RFQ from experienced professional legal firms and/or individual attorneys should be emailed to, by the deadline indicated in E below, to [email protected]

E. SUBMITTAL DEADLINE / PROCUREMENT SCHEDULE

Responses to this RFQ must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on March 1, 2024.

Interviews of qualified respondents are anticipated to occur no later than April 5, 2024.

Selection of finalists is anticipated to occur no later than April 19, 2024, with contract to be awarded anticipated to be no later than May 3, 2024.

F. INQUIRIES

Please direct all inquiries concerning this RFQ to:

Patrick B. Howard
CEO/ Executive Director
Housing Authority of Travis County
[email protected]

SOLICITATION NO. HATC No.-01 -2024

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