Homeowner Septic Program changes help those faced with high costs of septic work

By Kim Shindle | March 18, 2016 | 3 min. read

New changes to the Homeowner Septic Program make it more beneficial for homeowners facing high costs associated with on-lot septic system repairs or first-time sewer connections. The changes were announced by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) board and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), which administers the loan program.

The changes include:

  • Expanded eligibility criteria
  • A more streamlined application process
  • Loan amounts now up to $25,000 for all homes (including manufactured homes, which previously were capped at $17,500)
  • Now covers making a first-time connection to a public sewer.

“The income guidelines were expanded for this program making more people eligible,” said Renae Hodges, PHFA Communications Officer. “Homeowners who are thinking of selling their homes can make the sewer changes prior to selling with this loan program. There’s no penalty for paying the loan early so those selling a home can pay the loan off once the house is sold.”

One of the significant changes made to the program eligibility is allowing homeowners to use the funding to connect for the first time to a public sewer system. “This can be a significant cost but this program now provides for first-time connection costs,” she said.

Homeowners who continue to live in their property are also eligible for the loan program. “The process can take several weeks to allow time for the permitting process and working with an engineer to design the system,” Hodges explained. “We encourage homeowners to apply and recognize that it may take a little more time.”

The PENNVEST loan continues to pay for the repair and replacement of on-lot septic systems, has a low interest rate, and has no prepayment penalties if the loan is paid off early. Other advantages to replacing an on-lot septic system include increasing the value and marketability of a seller’s home, eliminating worries about septic system problems, and improving the environmental health of one’s property.

“Here at PENNVEST we look forward to increased participation in the Homeowners Septic Program by people facing on-lot septic system failures and first-time connections to public sewer,” said Paul Marchetti, PENNVEST executive director.

PHFA’s CEO and Executive Director Brian Hudson added, “PHFA appreciates this partnership with PENNVEST so that our two agencies can finance water quality improvements that are so integral to housing in communities across Pennsylvania.”

For more information or to start the PENNVEST application process, contact a participating lender or PHFA at (855) U-Are-Home (827-3466); press “0” to be connected with the Customer Solutions Center. Information is also available on the PHFA website.

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