Community Engagement Consultant for Housing Discussion

Town of Peterborough, NH
Contact Email:

This is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from individuals or firms interested in providing professional services on a contract basis for the proposed project described below. Qualifications will be received until the date and at the location indicated below.
PROJECT NAME:                    Housing for All: Community Engagement
PROJECT SPONSOR:            Office of Community Development, Town of Peterborough, NH
DEADLINE:                              Thursday, September 12, 2019 @ 4:00 PM

The Town of Peterborough is proposing a project to engage our community in a process designed to strengthen community while identifying current and future housing needs and building consensus about how to best meet those needs. This request for qualifications seeks to identify a qualified consultant/facilitator to assist with the design and implementation of the project.

In 2014 the Planning Board proposed a zoning “in-fill” overlay zone surrounding the downtown with the intent of increasing opportunities to create new housing on smaller lots than the minimum lot size required for the underlying district. These infill lots would be granted provided that the lots would connect to municipal water and sewer and the residential buildings would be designed to be consistent with “Traditional Neighborhood Site and Building Design Guidelines.” This amendment was adopted by the Town.  
In 2016, the Planning Board initiated a project with the intent of creating a new mixed-use village district on a soon to be abandoned gravel pit. This project evolved into a proposed amendment that expanded the area covered by the original infill overlay zone but with more lenient standards. While this proposal drew more criticism from residents, it also was adopted at town meeting  
Last year the Planning Board proposed to eliminate the underlying zoning districts and the overlay zones in favor of adopting a comprehensive Form Based Code largely based on the second overlay zone.  This zoning amendment overwhelmingly failed at town meeting, largely as a result of lobbying activities by a resident advocacy group. This year, a group of residents filed a petition zoning amendment to repeal one of the overlay zones and increase dimensional standards in the other overlay zone.  Over the course of the last three years, the discourse within the community has become increasingly contentious and divisive.  
In an effort to rebuild trust within the community, to achieve consensus around our community’s housing wants and needs and how best to meet those needs, the Select Board has decided to form a Community Task Force on Housing.  This task force will include a diverse cross section of stakeholders and community members and will work with the selected consultant/facilitator to design and implement the project. 

This project and RFQ is the first phase in a larger project that will ultimately result in the development of new housing policies or amendments to the Peterborough Zoning Ordinance. This project will focus primarily on a broad public engagement process, using large group methodology and restorative practices, that is designed to strengthen the community. These community conversations will first engage a task force made up of community members tasked with aiding the Town in this project, then be employed to engage the greater community to understand community values for how the town should evolve to meet the wants and needs as it relates to housing. There is intent to structure these conversations using restorative practices to change the nature of community discourse and rise above community discontent associated with earlier efforts. The intended outcome of this project is envisioned to generate community consensus and cohesiveness that serves as a foundation for developing approaches to realize the housing solutions that serve to create the kind of community expressly desired by the greater community of Peterborough.

Respondents to the RFQ should have a proven track record in designing and executing community engagement using large group methodology and restorative practices.

1. Submission Requirements shall include the following:
● Qualifications and prior history of performance, including any experience with similar types of projects.
● Proposed approaches for accomplishing the goals identified in the proposal scope, and estimated costs associated to their completion.
● Responses should be sent electronically by email Supporting materials should be attached in a PDF format.
● The application, statement of qualifications and proposals will be accepted by the Town of Peterborough until Thursday, September 12, 2019 @ 4:00 PM.
● Questions about this RFQ should be addressed to Community Development Director, Peter Throop, 1 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH, 03458 or via email 
● Any costs associated with preparing the submittal shall be the sole responsibility of the respondent.
2. The Statement of Qualifications shall include the following:
● A brief (one page) cover letter with a paragraph indicating why you are interested in being considered for this contract and a brief summary paragraph indicating why you believe you are well suited for the project.
● A summary outline of your qualifications, experiences, and skills you will bring to the project that will contribute to the project success. Please provide specific examples that demonstrate your ability to meet the minimum qualifications above.
● A list of related educational degrees you have attained, focus areas of study, and any relevant specialized training.
● A list of towns that you have worked with and descriptions of the projects completed.  Respondents should provide a list of reference contacts within each town who have knowledge of their project.
● Samples of past work you have done that demonstrate your capabilities and understanding of the target audience.
3. Project Proposal
● Describe your overall recommended approach to achieve the Town’s desired results.
● Outline specific activities you feel will be necessary to accomplish for each step of the project and the role you anticipate playing.
● Provide an estimate for the hours of consultant time that will be expended for each activity and an itemized cost estimate for the work you will be performing for each activity.

4. Selection Process
● In selecting a contractor, the Town of Peterborough will consider:
– Qualifications, prior history of performance, and experience with similar types of projects
– Experience working with the principles of civic engagement, large group methodology, and restorative practices
– The consultants proposed approach to the project
● Candidate review will be completed by a team made up of Town Staff and a Select Board liaison. Candidates will be invited to participate in a phone interview with review team members.
● The review team will make a recommendation to the Town Select Board for final approval. The selected consultant will also need to be approved by grant funders. The project is expected to begin as soon as possible after the contract is awarded.

1. Contract Value and Term:
● The contract resulting from this RFQ will take into consideration the Provider’s recommendations for how best to accomplish the project goals.  
● The Town of Peterborough reserves the right to terminate, modify, or suspend the process, reject any or all submittals, modify the terms and conditions of this selection process, and/or waive any informalities.
2. Insurance
● The successful firm or individual must obtain and provide to the Town a certificate of insurance certifying proof of insurance coverages as required by the Town of Peterborough.
3. Addenda
● If the Town deems appropriate to modify or supplement this RFQ, addenda will be posted on the Town of Peterborough website at www.townofpeterborough.comunder the “Employment and Contractor Opportunities” menu item. It is the sole responsibility of the proposer to read all addenda and any other items relevant to this RFQ prior to submittal. 
4. All submittals received by the deadline will be considered without regard to age, race, creed, color, gender, disability, or national origin.