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Press Release
Residential Homeowner Assistance Program (RHAP) Overview and Income Eligibility

RHAP Overview:

PWSA's Residential Homeowner Assistance Program (RHAP) will provide grant/loan assistance to homeowners that fail a dye test to offset the cost of repairing their property.   The program will be administered by Dollar Energy Fund.

The 2004 Consent Order and Agreement (COA) between the PWSA, the City of Pittsburgh, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and

subsequent City Council Ordinance in 2006 mandates residential properties perform and pass a dye test at the time of sale to demonstrate compliance with the requirement to disconnect stormwater connections from sanitary lines prior to the property being sold. The cost to a homeowner to meet the disconnection requirement ranges from $250 to as much as $30,000.

PWSA will utilize the $200,000 Board approved allocation to partner with Dollar Energy Fund to create a combination grant/loan repair assistance program to provide homeowners with financial assistance to make the necessary sewer system connection repairs for compliance.  Dollar Energy Fund will serve as the program’s customer service center and program processing agent.

 

What is a dye test?

Dye testing involves placing a non-staining water soluble dye tablet in the drain or downspout of your property and flushing it with water. The area is then examined for the appearance of traces of dyed water in the sanitary sewer.

 

Are all homes in Pittsburgh non-compliant?

No.  PWSA estimates that about 4,000 homes in Pittsburgh may be non-compliant with the PA DEP and Allegheny County Health Department consent order under the PA Clean Streams Act.

 

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Any homeowner in the City of Pittsburgh, with a non-compliant residential sanitary sewer system connection, that fails a dye-test at the point of sale.

 

RHAP Program Income Eligibility Guidelines:

The RHAP program will provide grant and loan funding to eligible applicants. The income qualification to enter the program will be up to 250% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG).  All levels of participation in the program require a 5% copayment from the property owner.

Income Category
(FPIG)

Grant
Amount

Loan
Guaranty

Copayment

Average
Homes

Family of 1

Family of 2

Family of 3

Family of 4

0-100%

95%

0%

5%

9%

$11,670

$15,730

$19,790 

$23,850

101-150%

75%

20%

5%

13%

$17,505

$23,595

$29,685

$39,325

151-200%

50%

45%

5%

27% 

$23,340

$31,460

$39,580

$49,475

201-250%

0%

95%

5%

(combined
w / above)

$29,175   

$39,325

$49,475

$59,625

*79% of the properties are owned and habituated by the owner

**51% of the homeowners are above 250% of the FPIG

***Data from FPIG based off of 2014 numbers

 

Will a qualified homeowner receive a check to make the repairs?

No.  Dollar Energy Fund will disburse grant funds in the form of a check payable to the contractor.  Homeowners will be required to show proof of an Allegheny County Health Department Plumbing Permit validating work with a registered plumber.

 

What is Dollar Energy Fund?

Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization in Western Pennsylvania whose mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services. Dollar Energy Fund has served the limited-income community by providing $114 million in utility assistance grants to more than 400,000 low-income families and individuals.

 

 

  • Published
  • Friday, January 23, 2015

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