Funding to Install or Replace Water or Wastewater Systems

Background

During the pandemic, some low-income Vermont homeowners saw their income disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and had their on-site water (such as wells) or wastewater systems (such as septic tanks and leach fields) fail. Many of these residents are not able to pay for system replacement or repairs, find it challenging to navigate the regulatory landscape necessary to construct a replacement system, have trouble accessing on-site water and wastewater professionals, or have limited access to information about the true costs of on-site water and wastewater solutions, which in addition to capital costs, often include “hidden” operation and maintenance costs.

To sign up for our mailing list to get updates on potential future rounds of funding, fill out this form. Please note this is not an application.

The first round application period is currently closed and under review. We will be reaching out to first round applicants by May 20, 2022 with more information about their status and next steps.

ARPA Funding Overview

The Governor proposed $3 million in ARPA funding to provide safe and reliable drinking water sources and wastewater disposal systems for Vermonters disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The General Assembly provided an initial $1 million to support this work. Additional funding is anticipated in future fiscal years. This funding will ensure residents have access to safe, reliable drinking water and adequate wastewater disposal.

This program will provide financial assistance to residential property owners, including owner-occupied multi-family properties with up to four units. The Agency of Natural Resources will provide ARPA funding to owner/applicant-occupied single and multi-unit residential properties that have failing or inadequate on-site water and/or wastewater systems. 

Eligibility

The eligibility requirements for this funding source for FY22 are as follows: 

  • A failed or inadequate drinking water or wastewater system
  • Residential property owners who own and reside on the property
  • Single units or owner-occupied multi-family homes, up to four units
  • Low to moderate income households
    • Tier 1 = Households Earning Less than $65,000 per Year
    • Tier 2 = Households Earning Between $65,000 and $80,835 per Year* 

*The United States Treasury has recently changed the financial guidance for ARPA funding and lowered the upper income limit. This may impact your application if your income is above the new limit. Our team has reached out to all first round applicants soon with the final guidance updates and alternative funding sources if your application is no longer eligible.

Application Process, Timelines, and Deadlines:

As of April 16, 2022, the application period has ended for the first round of funding. We will be reaching out to applicants in the next few weeks to verify eligibility or let them know they were not selected for funding.

You can reach out to Rosalie Sharp, a State of Vermont Accessible Assistance Specialist, by email or phone at rosalie.sharp@vermont.gov and (802) 461-7433, if you have questions or problems with the application. 

Equity Considerations

ARPA funds will help disadvantaged communities address the public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and help protect them from future crises.

Many people with failed on-site water or wastewater systems know that they have an expensive problem and can feel powerless. Providing these funds to individuals to cover design and construction and by having a sliding scale for increased assistance as household income decreases, property owners are empowered to solve the situation. We also propose to expand eligibilities and audiences by the creation of a beneficiary program. Multilingual outreach will specifically target underserved and minority applicants to address equity considerations and environmental justice challenges.

Learn more

Current onsite wastewater financing resources are summarized in this fact sheet prepared for the Lake Champlain Basin Program area.

Review the definition of a failed supply and about water quality standards in the Wastewater System and Potable Water Supply Rules

In the fact sheet, the home repair loan program offered by the Champlain Housing Trust for residents in northwestern Vermont is also available in the rest of Vermont by other local groups within The NeighborWorks® Alliance of Vermont http://www.vthomeownership.org/ This NeighborWorks® program and other programs listed on the fact sheet are all offered state-wide.

Other complementary funding sources include the ANR On-Site Loan Program and the USDA