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Federal Real Property Assistance Program

Program Support Center (PSC), in coordination with the General Services Administration (GSA), administers the Federal Real Property Assistance Program for HHS. The HHS Federal Real Property Assistance Program oversees government-wide requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and monitors and oversee the proper use of the property after it is transferred.

Albert Gallatin statue and the National Treasury Building, Washington DC, USA.

Title V Overview

Title V of the Stewart B. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Title V) was enacted in 1987 to make suitable Federal surplus real property available to representatives of the homeless. 42 U.S.C. § 11411. Title V authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transfer declared suitable and available Federal surplus properties, to States, political subdivisions of the State, and private non-profit tax exempt organizations for homeless assistance purposes. HHS transfers property to approved applicants as no-cost public benefit conveyances under the terms of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 ("The Property Act"). 40 U.S.C. § 550. HHS requires Title V transferees to us the property for the approved purpose for a period of 30 years, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the disposal. The disposal provisions of Title V are implemented by HHS through the joint Federal agency regulation, 45 C.F.R. Part 12a.The public benefit conveyance implementing regulations are set forth at 45 C.F.R. Part 12.

HHS Title V Roles

In order to fulfill the Title V mandate, HHS provides the following core services:

  • Provides Title V information to the public.
  • Reviews and approves applications for suitable and available surplus real property listed in the Federal Register, and recommends assignment of those properties from Federal disposal agencies to approved Title V applicants.
  • Provides technical assistance in preparing Title V applications, and advises applicants and potential applicants on the Title V disposal process.
  • Coordinates the disposal of surplus Federal real property to qualified applicants for homeless assistance purposes.
  • Implements an oversight and compliance program to ensure that Title V grantees fulfill the terms and conditions of transfer.
  • Reports on the progress of the Title V program and its achievements.

Eligible Homeless Programs

The following is a partial listing of the common types of homeless programs HHS considers eligible for real property assignments. This list is not exclusive; additional homeless programs not listed may also be eligible. Please contact the HHS Title V program to learn if your homeless assistance program is eligible. Please note that all individuals served must meet the definition of homeless promulgated by the joint Federal agency Title V regulation contained in the Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, 45 C.F.R. Part 12a.

  • Emergency shelters
  • Transitional housing (length of stay not to exceed 24 months)
  • Job training
  • Food banks
  • Clothing depots
  • Basic life skills training
  • Case management
  • Mental and medical health screening and programs
  • Drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation programs
  • Homeless administrative offices
  • Permanent supportive housing

How to Apply

HHS will provide interested parties with an application to acquire suitable and available properties published in the Federal Register. When an interested organization identifies available surplus real property, suitable for its program, a formal written expression of interest must be submitted to HHS through the Program Support Center (PSC).

Expressions of interest must be submitted within 60 days after a property is published in the Federal Register. An expression of interest need only be a short letter identifying the specific property by name and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and/or General Service Administration (GSA) numbers; the date the property was published in the Federal Register; the name of the interested organization, and indicate whether it is a public body or a private nonprofit organization tax exempt under 501(c)(3) of the 1986 Internal Revenue Code. Please include a brief description of the proposed use of the property. A sample letter (PDF, 44KB, 1 page) has been provided for your applications.

Upon receipt of the expression of interest, HHS will provide an application packet to the interested organization and the HHS Title V program will be able to provide any assistance with the application process. (A contact for the landholding agency will be provided with the application packet.) Completed applications must be received by HHS within 90 days after receipt of written expressions of interest. Accordingly, each applicant may have a different deadline. HHS will inform the applicant as soon as a decision on the application has been reached. However, pursuant to Title V, HHS is required to make determinations on completed applications within 25 days after receipt in our office. Please note that HHS does not have the final authority for disposition of property. The disposal agency, subsequent to HHS's determination, will either approve or deny HHS' request for assignment.

Please mail expressions of interest to the following address:

Division of Property Management, PSC
Department of Health and Human Services
Room 5B-17, Parklawn Building
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Phone: (301) 443-2265
Fax: (301) 443-0084

Contact Information

HHS's Title V program is located within the Program Support Center, Division of Property Management, and can be reached on (301) 443-2265.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty is available to assist all homeless providers in resolving any problems that may arise in the application and transfer processes. The Center may be reached on (202) 638-2535.

Application Review Criteria

All applicants are reviewed on the basis of the following elements;

  • Services offered. The extent and range of proposed services, such as meals, shelter, job training, and counseling.
  • Need. The demand for the program and the degree to which the available property will be fully utilized.
  • Implementation Time. The amount of time necessary for the proposed program to become operational.
  • Experience. Demonstrated prior success in operating similar programs and recommendations attesting to that fact by Federal, State, and local authorities.
  • Financial Ability. The adequacy of funding that will likely be available to run the program fully and properly and to operate the facility.

* Additional evaluation factors may be added as deemed necessary by HHS. If additional factors are added, the application packet will be revised to include a description of these additional factors.

Approved Applicants (Transferees) Responsibilities

HHS may transfer Title V property by either quitclaim deed or lease. Transfers are subject to the following conditions (many of which are contained in the conveyance document):

  • Grantee is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the property during the time that they possess the property. Upon termination of the lease term or reversion of title to the Federal Government, grantee is responsible for restoration of the property.
  • Although, surplus Federal real property is deeded or leased at "no cost" to the approved applicant, the grantee may be responsible for fees or costs associated with: renovating or refurbishing the property (this may include abatement of asbestos or lead-based paint), as necessary, to make the property fully operational for the approved program; program operations; property management; transfer costs for the property (i.e., surveys, title searches, appraisals, recordation of instruments, etc.); payment to HHS in the event of nonuse or deferral of use of the property.
  • For the specified period of years (usually 30 years) from the date of the initial conveyance document, the grantee must utilize the property in accordance with the approved application.
  • Where construction or major renovation is not required or proposed, the grantee must place the property into use within twelve (12) months from the date of the conveyance document. Where construction or major renovation is contemplated at the time of transfer, the property must be placed into use within thirty-six (36) months from the date of the conveyance instrument.
  • Grantee may not sell, lease, sublease, or otherwise encumber the property without prior consent of HHS in writing.
  • Grantee must submit annual utilization reports on the operation and maintenance of the property. AUR Format (PDF, 14KB, 2 pages)
  • Grantee must insure compliance with nondiscrimination requirements.
  • Grantee must remain tax supported or a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 throughout the period of restriction.
  • Lessees are required to carry all perils and liability insurance to protect the Federal Government and the Federal Government's residual interest in the property. Grantee is required to carry flood insurance as may be required by HHS.
  • Other conditions may apply, concerning various other laws and regulations, specific to the particular property in question.

Frequently Asked Questions

HHS can be reached on (301) 443-2265 to assist with concerns regarding the environmental questionnaire. In addition, the disposal agency is required to provide applicants with existing information relevant to the environmental condition of the requested property. HHS provides disposal agency contact information with the letter providing application instructions. Other possible sources for environmental information include the landholding agency (property owner), HUD, local governmental organizations, the local public library, and City/County planning offices.
"On-site" property refers to real and related personal property, to be transferred for use in place (i.e., land; buildings, such as houses, hospitals, barracks and other types of structures). "Off-site" property refers to surplus buildings, utilities and other removable structures that are located on land which is not surplus and therefore, must be removed and relocated to a different location for the approved program. Approved applicants are responsible for the costs associated with relocation of "off-site" property and for clean-up and restoration of the land from which it is removed.
HHS determines that an application is complete when a satisfactory response has been provided for every item in the application packet. However, please note that a response must provide sufficient information for HHS to make a determination on the application. HHS may request additional information from the applicant as needed.
No. Only States, political subdivisions of the State, and private non-profit organizations tax exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible to receive Federal surplus real property under Title V.
If an extension is needed to complete an application, the applicant must submit a formal written request to HHS. The request should include the name of the applicant, the name of the subject property, an explanation for the additional time needed and the amount of time being requested. HHS must receive concurrence from the disposal agency prior to granting an extension request.
No, unless the property is readvertised in the Federal Register on a later date for which another 60-day period has been established, or the disposal agency is willing to accept an application for the property for homeless purposes. Once the 60-day homeless screening period has expired the disposal agency will proceed with its routine disposal process, in accordance with applicable law.
Applications are evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis. HHS will notify all organizations which have submitted an expression of interest in a particular property when an application has been approved. If HHS receives one or more competing applications within 5 days of the initial one, HHS will evaluate all completed applications simultaneously. HHS will submit the applications to an objective review panel to be evaluated and ranked based on the criteria published in the joint Federal agency implementing regulations at 45 C.F.R. § 12a.9(e)(2).
Nonprofit corporations must have the authority to acquire, hold, and convey title to real estate. These powers are usually stated in the entity's corporate charter, articles of incorporation, or by-laws. Please note that the articles of incorporation must contain the official acceptance stamp (or other proof of state registration) of the applicable state government office.
An annual utilization report is a narrative account of the transferee's operation and maintenance of Federal surplus real property conveyed for public health or homeless purposes. It is a requirement under section 12.9 of the Department of Health and Human Services' regulation at 45 C.F.R. Part 12 and is one of the conditions of the transfer document. The reporting requirement extends to the end of the period of restrictions (usually 30 years for quitclaim deeds and not to exceed 20 years for leases).

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