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RFP: Legal Services

Request for Legal Services

Proposal Due Date: March 23, 2023
2:00 PM EST

Table of Contents:
Part I - Introduction
1.1 General
1.2 Background

Part II - Statement of Work
2.1 Scope of Services
2.2 Firm Qualifications

Part III - Special Conditions
3.1 Contract Term
3.2 Standards of Conduct
3.3 Section 3 and Minority/Women Business Participation

Part IV - Submission Requirements
4.1 General Conditions
4.2 Proposal Requirements

Part V - Proposal Selection
5.1 Evaluation Factors
5.2 Submission Instructions
5.3 Timetable

Part VI - Forms and Attachments 
(Please contact our office for necessary HUD forms)
Form HUD-2992: Certification Regarding Debarment and Suspension
Form HUD-50071: Certification of Payments to Influence Federal Transaction
Form HUD-5369-B: Instructions to Offerors Non-Construction
Form HUD 5369-C: Certifications and Representations of Offerors
Form HUD 5370-C: General Conditions Non-Construction Contracts
Acknowledgment of Addenda and Responses to Written Questions (If Applicable)

Part I - Introduction

1.1 General

Beaufort Housing Authority (BHA) is seeking Statements of Qualifications from qualified legal firms to provide services in all legal matters. BHA intends to award contract(s) to one or more firms that have extensive experience in providing legal services to public and non-profit organizations, specifically to Housing Authorities and their related affiliates or instrumentalities. The selected respondent( s) must have expertise in a wide array of legal services that meet the needs of the organization, including real estate development with Low Income Housing Tax Credit; Tax Exempt bond and other financing methods; Federal and State Employer Labor and Benefits Laws; South Carolina State Housing Authority and other related state statues; South Carolina Tenant/Landlord Laws; and knowledge of HUD Federal Subsidy Programs.

1.2 Background

Beaufort Housing Authority - The Beaufort Housing Authority is a public entity that was formed in 1968 to provide federally subsidized housing and housing assistance to low-income families within Beaufort County, SC. The Agency is headed by an Executive Director (ED) and is governed by a seven-person board of commissioners, and is subject to the requirements of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations (hereinafter, "CFR") and the Agency's procurement policy. Though brought into existence by a Resolution of the City of Beaufort, it is a separate entity from the City and County.

Currently, the Agency owns and/or manages:

  1. 7 developments totaling 293 units of HUD Public Housing; and
  2. 642 Housing Choice Vouchers, which includes 28 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers (VASH);
  3. A non-profit affiliate Lowcountry Housing and Redevelopment Corporation (LHRC), consisting of 25 units of affordable housing and
  4. 13 single-family Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) homes.

The Agency currently has approximately 19 employees.

A seven-person Board of Commissioners authorized by laws of the State of South Carolina is responsible for the development of housing policy and the authorization of expenditures.

BHA is under an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must follow all federal laws and regulations applicable to the HUD Programs operated by BHA. BHA is also subject to all applicable South Carolina State and local governmental laws and regulations.

Part II - Statement of Work

2.1 Scope of Services

The Beaufort Housing Authority requests proposals from qualified legal firms to provide services in all legal matters. BHA is looking for a firm with experience in the following areas of legal services:

  • Real estate development with tax-exempt bonds and other financing;
  • South Carolina State Housing Authority and other related state statutes;
  • Federal and State Employer Labor and Benefits Laws;
  • South Carolina Tenant/Landlord Laws;
  • Working knowledge of HUD Federal Subsidy Programs, including Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers.

Legal services under the contract(s) which BHA shall be entered into by and between BHA and the successful respondent(s) shall include, but not be limited to the services:


  • Advise and consult with the Authority on all matters of a legal nature.
  • Upon request, attend Board of Commissioner meetings and other meetings providing guidance to Board Members and Executive Staff as needed.
  • Provide guidance as to the legality of the official records and minutes of the Authority pursuant to the South Carolina Housing Authority Act and Public Record Freedom of Information requirements.
  • Confer with and advise the officers, employees, and members of the Board of Commissioners of the Authority on legal matters and issues when requested.
  • Handle all legal questions and matters arising under contracts of the Authority and render legal opinions on all matters submitted by the Authority.
  • Provide other legal services as may be requested by the Board of Commissioners and/or Executive Director.

Real Estate Transactions

  • Represent Beaufort Housing Authority in all matters of real estate transactions.
  • Conduct all necessary legal work in connection with the acquisition and/or disposition of land and improvements, including the examination of abstracts of title and the furnishing of a consolidated opinion of title in accordance with State regulations and lender/investor requirements.
  • Prepare draft and final legal documents, contracts, agreements, certifications, resolutions, and other related documents in accordance with closing checklists provided by lenders and/or investors, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Participate in closing transaction calls with all parties related to Low Income Housing Tax Credit Financing, Tax Exempt Bond Financing, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) or Section 18 Conversions, HUD Mixed Finance, and any other financial transactions related to the disposition, acquisition, or new construction of affordable housing.
  • Finalize closing dockets for all real estate transactions and distribute them in electronic format to all parties of the related transaction.

Personnel Matters

  • Advise and represent Beaufort Housing Authority with regard to issues involving Labor Law.
  • Provide guidance to Executive Staff, as well as representation when necessary, regarding personnel actions, policies, and procedures, including but not limited to employment compensation hearings, worker compensation claims, employment discrimination claims, and equal employment hearings.
  • Review of employee benefits contracts, including but not limited to retirement plan documents, group medical insurance contracts, life insurance contracts, and disability contracts as applicable.
  • Review all potential personnel terminations and make recommendations as to appropriate actions, as well as draft notices of termination.


  • Defense of the Authority during litigation arising out of the course of operations of the Authority.
  • Consult with other attorneys representing the Authority in litigation in which the Authority's liability insurance carrier has retained counsel to represent the Authority and, if needed, make an appearance in said litigation on behalf of the Authority.
  • Representation of the Authority on appeals of lower court decisions to the Federal or State Appellate Courts.
  • Review of requirements, obligations, and procedures for complete and efficient processing of bankruptcy notices related to a) Employee matters (payroll) and b) Current or previous public housing residents and/or Section 8 assisted residents.

Tenant-Landlord Actions

  • Review lease termination documentation and file corresponding actions in local court; represent Beaufort Housing Authority in court hearings as needed.
  • Institute and bring a conclusion in the court of original jurisdiction, as needed actions for the recovery of possession of dwelling units or for the collection of rent.
  • Review, prepare, and modify all apartment lease agreements and corresponding addenda for compliance with South Carolina State law.
  • Advise and assist the Authority on all matters subject to the Federal, State, and Fair Housing Act of 1968. (Equal Housing Opportunity)
  • Advice and assistance to the Authority in connection with the tenant grievance hearings, including appearances at hearings if requested.

Procurement and Contracts

  • Approval of the legality of contracts and all payments thereunder.
  • Reviewing, advising, and representing the Authority in connection with disputes arising out of the bid process.
  • Reviewing, advising, and representing the Authority with regard to disputes arising out of contracts between the Authority and its vendors.
  • Advising and representing the Authority with regard to issues and claims arising out of construction contracts.

2.2 Firm Qualifications

The description of the respondent's qualifications and experience shall evidence/demonstrate that respondent possesses the following:

  1. Extensive experience in the closing of complex real estate transactions, including 9% and 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax Exempt Bond Financing, Tax Exempt Housing Program; the National Housing Trust Fund Program; the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program; HUD Mixed Finance Program; and other State and Local "soft" financing programs.
  2. Broad knowledge of the South Carolina State Code of Laws impacting the operations of a Public Housing Authority, including the South Carolina Public Housing Authority Law; South Carolina Freedom of Information Act; South Carolina Assessment of Property Tax Law; South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Law; and all other related State of South Carolina laws.
  3. Practical knowledge and experience working with HUD regulations, requirements, law, and related procedures; knowledge of various housing programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with particular emphasis on Public Housing disposition, demolition, and conversion.
  4. Demonstrated experience working in Magistrate Court; Circuit Court; and Court of Appeals in the State of South Carolina, including litigation experience in the areas of Landlord Law; Employment Law, and Contract Law.
  5. Strong analytical and interpretive skills, as well as verbal and written communication expertise, particularly with regard to housing and urban development matters, and experience in applying the same.
  6. Skills, capabilities, capacity, and work experience of a demonstrated level that would assure completion of the scope of work in a timely and satisfactory manner.
  7. All necessary and/or required licenses, registrations, and certifications; and certification that the firm/individual is not debarred and has all necessary and/or required insurance coverage in effect.
  8. A minimum of five years of experience representing public and governmental entities, particularly a Public Housing Authority in the State of South Carolina.

Part III - Special Conditions

3.1 Contract Term

The successful Offeror(s) shall be expected to execute a standard professional service contract with Beaufort Housing Authority. The term of the contract shall be effective when executed by BHA and shall continue for five years (specific dates to be identified in contract negotiations) unless sooner terminated in accordance with the contract. Contract negotiations and renewals will be discussed upon selection of the firm(s) under this solicitation.

The contract with the selected legal firm(s) will include a ninety (90) day term extension at the existing billing rates after contract expiration (if convenient to BHA). This extension may be necessary if the current legal firm is not selected for the next legal services contract.

3.2 Standards of Conduct

The successful Offeror(s) shall be responsible for maintaining satisfactory standards of employees' competency, conduct, courtesy, appearance, honesty, and integrity and shall be responsible for taking such disciplinary action with respect to any employee as may be necessary.

3.3 Section 3 and Minority/Women Business Participation

The firm(s) awarded the contract(s) agree to use best efforts to subcontract and employ Section 3 and minority business enterprises and/or women business enterprises, certified as such or recognized by Beaufort Housing Authority as such. BHA is an equal opportunity employer and requires all of its contractors to comply with policies and regulations concerning equal employment opportunity. Beaufort Housing Authority has a goal of 30% for Section 3 and MBE/WBE participation.

Part IV - Submission Requirements

4.1 General Conditions

The RFQ will be available on Beaufort Housing Authority's website on the HOME Page under About US under Procurement.

All addenda and responses to written questions will be posted on the website. It is the respondents' responsibility to check the website for addenda changes and written question responses.

All proposals must conform to the requirements outlined herein. BHA reserves the option to require or to request additional information from selected candidates. There may be subsequent instructions, if any, issued to the selected candidates.

The successful Offeror(s) will be expected to execute a standard professional service contract with Beaufort Housing Authority based on the proposal submitted and the requirements of this RFQ and any future addenda thereto.

Any amendment or addenda may be issued prior to the opening of proposals for the purpose of changing or clarifying the intent of this RFQ. All amendments or addenda shall be binding in the same way as if originally written in this RFQ.

The Offeror (s) shall identify any conflicts of interest which may arise if the Offeror(s) serve as Beaufort Housing Authority's counsel and shall describe how it proposes to avoid such conflicts. The contract will require the Offeror(s) to notify BHA immediately of any potential conflicts of interest and to undertake immediate action to eliminate the source of the potential conflict. Beaufort Housing Authority will reserve the right to make the Offeror( s) aware of situations that may present a conflict of interest and require the Offeror(s) to promptly remedy the situation to the satisfaction of Beaufort Housing Authority.

Offerors shall be responsible for informing themselves with respect to all conditions which might in any way affect the cost or performance of any of the work. Failure to do so shall be at the sole risk of the Offeror(s), and no relief shall be given for errors or omissions by the Offeror(s). An authorized representative of the Offeror(s) must sign proposals.

This RFQ does not represent a commitment or offer by BHA to enter into a contract or other agreement with the proposer(s). The proposal and any information made a part of the proposal will become a part of Beaufort Housing Authority's official files without any obligation on BHA's part to return it to the individual proposer. This RFQ and the selected firm's proposal will, by reference, become a part of any formal agreement between the firm and BHA resulting from this solicitation. BHA reserves the right to waive any irregularities or formalities in any or all proposals. Failure to furnish all information requested may disqualify a proposer.

The U.S. Department of HUD, the US Government Accounting Office, the State of South Carolina, and any duly authorized representatives of each shall have access to and the right to examine any and all pertinent books, records, documents, invoices, papers, and the like, of the firm, which shall relate to the performance of the services provided.

The Offeror(s) shall not collude in any manner or engage in any practices with any other proposer(s) which may restrict or eliminate competition. Violations of this instruction will cause the proposal to be rejected. This prohibition is not intended to preclude joint ventures or subcontracts.

4.2 Proposal Requirements
The following is a description of the minimum information which must be supplied in your proposal. You may give supplementary facts or other materials that you consider may be of assistance in the evaluation.

  1. Executive Summary
    Provide a brief summary of your firm's approach to the work associated with the requested services, and demonstrate an understanding of the scope of services required and approaches to be utilized in performing these services.

  2. Experience
    Describe how long the Attorney or Law Firm has been in business and its current structure. Provide any other names under which the firm has done business and the dates it operated under each name, and the locations at which it operated under each name. Describe the experience of the Offeror conducting comparable services during the most recent five-year period similar in scope to the services required by Beaufort Housing Authority. Provide a list of companies or governmental agencies or organizations to which your firm is currently providing services. If this does not include at least three entities, then provide the names of the entities for which similar services have been provided.
    • For each client entity include:
      • The term (beginning and ending dates) of your contract agreement(s)
      • A brief description of the scope of work
      • The name and contact information of the individual that administered your contract(s)
      • Explain the roles performed by the proposer for the client entity
    • If the proposal includes subcontractors with other legal firms, provide the same information for each firm serving as a subcontractor in the proposal.

  3. Qualifications
    Provide the qualifications and experience the film has in providing services outlined in the Scope of Services. Describe a minimum of three complex large-scale Real Estate transactions that the firm has closed, including the type of financing, the lender, and the investor in the transaction, as applicable.
    List all key members of the firm who will be committed to this contract. Indicate the level of effort and function of each member of the firm toward the execution of this contract. Prepare an organizational structure to show how the key members will be involved and include resumes for these individuals.

  4. Affirmative Action Plans
    Explain the method and procedures that your firm will use to achieve meaningful Section 3, Minority and Women Business participation in the contract.

  5. Cost
    Provide hourly billing rates for services. Provide the structure of rates for partners, associates, paralegals, couriers, etc. Selected proposer(s) must be capable of tracking and billing (invoicing) all work hours and materials (if reimbursable) by a specific program or funding source as required by Beaufort Housing Authority. Preferred formatting will be agreed upon during contract negotiations.

    Costs, as described in the following section, shall be underwritten by the Authority subject to the approval process described herein in addition to amounts bid on the basis of this specification:
    1. All reasonable and necessary expenses paid out or incurred on behalf of the Authority in the provision of required services as described, such as court costs, witness fees, recording fees, etc., but not including the Attorney's office or overhead expenses.
    2. All reasonable and necessary expenses for traveling and subsistence in connection with the performance of the duties of said Attorney outside the area within which the Authority is authorized by law to operate. Such compensation shall be limited to the amount allowed in accordance with the terms of the Authority Travel Policy current at the time the expense is incurred.
    3. Fees and costs for litigation, which, in the agreed opinion of both the Authority and the Attorney, are extraordinary or lengthy and beyond the Scope of Services in this RFQ. In each case, the Attorney shall notify the Authority in writing, and the matter will be reviewed. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Authority will submit the matter to the Regional Counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and in the event, any such litigation is in the opinion of the Office of the Regional Counsel extraordinary, the Attorney shall upon written request of the Authority, perform such litigation which, for the purpose of this specification, is considered extra services.
      In the event the Regional Counsel is of the opinion that such litigation is not extraordinary, it shall so notify the Authority and its Attorney before the opinion, and the final determination of Regional Counsel shall be or become binding upon said Authority and its Attorney. Law firms responding to this Request for Proposal shall include as part of their proposal a separate hourly rate to cover special or extraordinary litigation, which the Authority from time to time may request of the Attorney. This litigation shall be beyond the scope of Section 2.1 of this RFQ.

The successful Offeror shall provide Beaufort Housing Authority with evidence of all appropriate and applicable insurance coverage carried by the firm, including policy coverage periods. Offerors shall furnish BHA with certificates of insurance showing that the following insurance is in force and will insure all operations under this RFQ.

  • Professional Liability Insurance - The successful Offeror shall maintain a policy of professional liability insurance in the amount of at least $2,000,000 per occurrence.
  • Workers' Compensation in accordance with the State of Georgia rules and regulations.
  • General Liability Insurance with a single limit for bodily injury of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a property damage limit of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.
  • Automobile liability on owned and non-owned motor vehicles used on the site(s) or in connection herewith for a combined single limit of bodily injury and property damage of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.

All insurance shall be carried with companies that are financially responsible and admitted to doing business in the State of South Carolina. Offeror shall not permit the insurance policies required to lapse during the period for which the Agreement is in effect. All certificates of insurance shall provide that no coverage may be canceled or non-renewed by the insurance company until at least thirty days prior to written notice.

Part V - Proposal Selection

5.1 Evaluation Factors

Selection of a successful Offeror(s) will be at the sole discretion of Beaufort Housing Authority. Proposals will be evaluated using the following evaluation criteria. Offerors will be selected based on the highest cumulative score, as provided below. The Authority, however, reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive any informality in proposals received for any reason whatsoever.

Evaluation Criteria Maximum

General Counsel and Litigation - 20
Experience working with Governmental and Public agencies, particularly Public Housing Authorities in the State of South Carolina, and working knowledge of South Carolina State Law applicable to the operations of Public Housing Authorities.

Affordable Housing Development - 30
Relevant experience closing large-scale complex real estate transactions, including Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Tax Exempt Bond Financing, RAD, and HUD Mixed Finance Transactions.

Labor and Employment Matters - 20
Relevant experience and qualifications with SC state and federal statutes and regulations regarding labor and employment matters relating to public agency law. Relevant experience and qualifications in alternative dispute resolution regarding employment matters.

References - 20
Satisfaction of current and previous clients in the same or similar services provided under this solicitation.

Costs - 10
Competitiveness of hourly rates with firms providing similar or the same services to other Housing Authorities in the State of South Carolina.

Total Points - 100

MBE/Section 3 Bonus Points - 10
The Prime Contractor is a Minority, Woman, or Section 3 business enterprise.

Maximum Possible Points - 110

During proposal evaluation, Beaufort Housing Authority reserves the right to call for supplementary information from Offerors and to meet with all or any one of them to clarify points of uncertainty or ambiguity.

If selected, candidates may be requested to attend an interview to discuss the proposed scope of work, including the availability of equipment and staffing, accounting and payment procedures, schedules, qualification of subcontractors proposed for portions of the work, and such other items as are directly related to the proposal prior to being awarded the contract.

Interviews and negotiations may be conducted with contractors who have a reasonable chance of being selected for award. After evaluation of the proposal revisions, if any, the contract(s) will be awarded to the responsible firm whose qualifications, price, and other factors considered are advantageous to Beaufort Housing Authority.

5.2 Submissions Instructions

Prospective Offerors desiring any explanation or interpretation of the solicitation must request it by March 13, 2023. Any request for additional information must be submitted electronically to Christa Taylor via email.

Any information given to a prospective Offeror(s) about this solicitation will be furnished to all other prospective Offerors as a written amendment to the solicitation. All communication for this RFQ shall be in writing via e-mail.

All responses to the RFQ must be submitted electronically on a flash/jump drive in an enclosed in a sealed envelope and labeled as follows:

Beaufort Housing Authority
Post Office Box 1104
1009 Prince Street
Beaufort, South Carolina 29901
ATTN: Christa Taylor
All Proposals are due by 2:00 PM EST, Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Any proposal received after this deadline will not be considered. Beaufort Housing reserves the right to reject any or all proposals with or without cause.

5.3 Timetable

  1. RFQ Available - 2/2/2023
  2. Deadline for Written Questions - 3/13/2023
  3. Response to Written Questions Completed -3/17/2023
  4. Submittals Due - 3/23/2023
  5. Interviews (if determined by Beaufort Housing Authority) Completed - 3/31/2023
  6. Recommendation to Board of Commissioners Completed - 4/19/2023
  7. Contract(s) to be awarded - 5/1/2023

Part VI - Forms and Attachments
Submit the following Forms and HUD Certifications, which shall constitute a part of the RFQ and any contract. All work will be performed in accordance with professional standards, HUD regulations, requirements and criteria, local codes, regulations, ordinances, and statutes.

(Please contact our office for necessary HUD forms)