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Applying for Funds

Does PENNVEST have funding for individual homeowners?
PENNVEST has a program that is being administered in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and a series of local banks. This program offers low interest funding for individual homeowners to pay for repair or replacement of their malfunctioning on-lot system that serves their principle residence. They must obtain a sign-off from the local sewage enforcement officer that the improvements are necessary and the on-lot system will work. The township must also sign-off on the project to ensure that no public sewers will be extended near the home within five years.

How do I apply for the Growing Greener Funds that PENNVEST has available?
The regular single PENNVEST application makes your project eligible for consideration for Growing Greener grant funding. These grant resources are being worked into the application review process in order to provide supplemental grant funding to needy projects based upon the community’s ability to repay a loan and resulting residential user fees.

Can I use PENNVEST to pay for the local share of the Act 537 plan?
PENNVEST is prohibited from funding the costs associated with the Act 537 plan. Any engineering and design that is not covered by the Act 537 plan reimbursement is eligible to be included in the PENNVEST project.

How long will I have to pay back the loan?
The typical repayment is based upon a standard amortization of repayment of principle and interest over a 20-year period. In some cases the term may be extended beyond 20 years to as long as 30 years if needed to keep the user fees in line with other similar systems user rates. The construction period is added to this term in order to allow for an interest only period, principle and interest repayments begin after final inspection.

How do you calculate the interest rate and how much will it be?
The maximum interest rates are based upon a formula outlined in the PENNVEST legislation (Act 16 – 1988). They are calculated on a sliding scale, depending upon the particular county’s unemployment rate, the statewide unemployment rate and the interest rate being charged on the most current state bond issue. In no case will the maximum interest rate charged to project sponsors exceed 75% of the cost of funds to the Commonwealth. If the resulting residential user fee is determined to be higher than similar systems user rate, we can reduce the interest rate to as low as 1%, and perhaps work some grant funding in the project in order to keep the user fees in line with similar systems.

How do I make an application for a grant?
No separate application is needed to be considered for a grant as part of the potential funding package. Each application is reviewed and a financial capability analysis is performed based upon the system’s users. If grant funding is needed to help keep the resulting residential user fees in line with similar system’s user rates, the staff will consider including some grant funding as part of the funding package.

How do I know if I qualify for PENNVEST funding?
The first step in the PENNVEST application process is to participate in a Planning Consultation meeting. This meeting includes the project sponsor and their engineer, PENNVEST and DEP regional staff as well as local planning representatives. This meeting allows an opportunity for the project sponsor to describe their situation, and the potential project. DEP staff will go over the technical aspects of the project, and describe the ranking process and any requirements, permits and time frames relating to their review. The PENNVEST Project Specialists will go over the financial application submittal and review process, and provide an estimate of the potential funding package, based upon certain information that will be provided by the project sponsor. local/county planning agencies will provide comments and guidance relating to land use consistency.

What kinds of projects can PENNVEST fund and who can apply?
PENNVEST can fund any owner and/or operator of a water, sewer or municipal storm-water system with a project to construct a new system or improvements necessary to correct public health, environmental, compliance or safety deficiencies.