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How to Acquire Federal Surplus Real Property For Public Health Purposes

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Introduction

The Federal Real Property Assistance Program (FRPAP) is a public benefit conveyance program whereby certain Federal surplus real property may be transferred to eligible organizations for public health and homeless assistance purposes.

Under the authority of 40 U.S.C. § 550 and Title V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 11411), the FRPAP transfers Federal surplus real property, including buildings, fixtures and equipment situated thereon, to States, their political subdivisions and instrumentalities, other tax-supported institutions, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, for public health and homeless assistance purposes, respectively, which has been assigned to this Department at the discretion of the designated Federal disposal agency.

The FRPAP implements the applicable provisions of 40 U.S.C. § 550 under the authority of this Department’s governing regulations. The FRPAP transfers Federal Surplus real property for public health purposes under this Department’s regulation at 45 C.F.R. Part 12. The FRPAP transfers Federal surplus real property for homeless assistance purposes under the joint Federal agency regulation at 45 C.F.R. Part 12a.

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What is Surplus Federal Property?

Surplus property is any excess real property not required by any Federal landholding agency for its needs or responsibilities, as determined by the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). Surplus property can be both “on-site” and “off-site” real property. “On-site”property refers to: land; buildings, such as houses, hospitals, or barracks; and other types of structures. “Off-site” property is buildings and structures which are surplus but located on land which is not surplus and therefore, must be relocated.

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Where Can Surplus Property Listings/Information be Found?

In accordance with Title V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the suitability of Federal properties for use to assist the homeless and provides notice of its determinations in the Federal Register every Friday. The notice is titled “Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless,” and includes a listing of Federal property determined to be suitable and available for use to assist the homeless. The Federal Register may be available for viewing at local public libraries. Alternatively, you can access the Federal Register online by following this link. Tips for searching the Federal Register online can be found here. If interested in receiving email notifications of available McKinney-Vento properties, you may sign up here. Additional information regarding these properties, as well as the Title V process, can be obtained by calling HUD's toll-free number, 1-800-927-7588.

To obtain specific information related to certain Federal surplus property available for public health and homeless assistance purposes, please contact the General Services Administration at the appropriate address listed here .

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Who is Eligible to Acquire Surplus Property Through This Program?

Pursuant to 45 C.F.R. § 12.3(b), “[t]ransfers [of Federal surplus property] may be made only to States, their political subdivision and instrumentalities, tax-supported public health institutions, and nonprofit public health institutions which (except for institutions which lease property to assist the homeless under Title V of Pub. L. 100-77) have been held tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.” 

Pursuant to 45 C.F.R. § 12.3(e ), “[o]rganizations which may be eligible include those which provide care and training for the physically and mentally ill, including medical care of the aged and infirm; clinical services; services (including shelter) to homeless individuals; other public health services (including water and sewer); or similar services devoted primarily to the promotion and protection of public health. In addition, organizations which provide assistance to homeless individuals may be eligible for leases under title V of Public Law 100-77. Except for the provision of services (including shelter) to homeless individuals, organizations which have as their principal purpose the providing of custodial or domiciliary care are not eligible.

To be eligible, institutions must also meet the following criteria as determined by HHS:

  1. Propose a health or homeless program that is within the meaning of HHS’ statutes and regulations. Some potentially eligible programs include: hospitals; public health clinics; homeless services; public water and sewage systems; research; rehabilitation of the mentally or physically disabled; juvenile delinquent diagnostic evaluation and rehabilitation centers; animal control facilities; and other basic health programs.
  2. Request an amount of property that is within normal operating requirements of the proposed program.
  3. Have both the organizational and financial abilities to maintain the property and carry out the proposed program.

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How Can Eligible Organizations Apply for Surplus Properties?

Upon the identification of available Federal surplus real property, interested parties meeting the organizational eligibility requirement described above should submit a formal written expression of interest to this Department through the Program Support Center  (PSC). The expression of interest should:

 

  1. Identify the property by name;
  2. State the date of publication in the Federal Register;
  3. State any property identification numbers contained in the Federal Register listing which relates to the property of interest;
  4. Identify the interested party by name and provide contact information;
  5. Identify the interested party as a public body or a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization; and,
  6. Describe briefly the proposed program of use.

 

Your complete expression of interest should be submitted by email to rpb@psc.hhs.gov. Electronic submission allows for more expeditious processing of your request; however, to the extent that you are unable to submit your expression of interest electronically, such may be submitted in hard copy to: 

 

Federal Real Property Assistance Program
5600 Fishers Lane, 7th Floor – 07W01
Rockville, MD  20857

 

Upon receipt of your expression of interest, PSC will send you an Application Instruction Booklet. Should you not receive a response to your emailed expression of interest within 3 business days, or should you have questions related to submitting an expression of interest or completing an application, please contact our office at rpb@psc.hhs.gov or by phone on (301) 443-2265.

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Are there any Restrictions and/or Conditions Placed on Properties Transferred Under this Program?

Various other laws and regulations apply to transfers of these properties, besides the previously mentioned statutes, including: The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, The National Historic Preservation Act, The Archeological Resources Protection Act, and statutes which forbid discrimination because of race, religion, color, sex, disability, age or national origin.

The United States must receive the full fair market value of any property to be transferred either through cash payment or a public benefit allowance which accrues over a predetermined period of years. In the case of land, with or without improvements, the accrual period is thirty (30) years. In the case of facilities acquired separately from land, whether for on-site or off-site use, the accrual period is the estimated remaining useful life of the facilities.

The public benefit allowance (PBA) varies from 50% to 100%, depending on the type of facility and the proposed program. To assure accrual of the PBA, the property may only be used for the approved program and must not be sold, leased, mortgaged, or otherwise encumbered, without the prior approval of PSC. Transferees must also submit yearly reports regarding the use of the property. Failure to comply with any of the conditions and restrictions, may cause title to the property to revert to the United States.

Property will not be approved for transfer unless it is needed at the time of application or in the near future. A property must be placed into its intended use within 12 months of transfer, or within 36 months where construction or major renovation is contemplated. If the time limits are not met, or a property ceases to be properly utilized for any period of time, the transferee will be required to pay for each month of nonuse, the percentage of the current value of the property which otherwise would have been earned through use. Payments will cease when the property is used as intended. Any property not properly utilized must be returned to the Government, re-transferred to another eligible public health institution, or sold for the benefit of the Government.

Deed restrictions may be released with the consent of the Government upon payment of the current fair market value of the property minus the value of the already accrued PBA.

Transferees are required to pay all external administrative costs incidental to transfers which include, but are not limited to, surveys, appraisals, legal fees, title search, and closing fees.

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Where is Detailed Advice Regarding the Real Property Program Available?

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ regulations governing the program are found in Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 12and 12a.

Information concerning the surplus real property program may be obtained by telephone, email, letter, or personal visit to the address below.

Federal Real Property Assistance Program
5600 Fishers Lane, 7th Floor – 07W01
Rockville, MD 20857
(301) 443-2265
rpb@psc.gov