SERCAP’s Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation Project in Fluvanna County before (left) and after photos.
By Lauren Mason | SERCAP Planning Manager
Recently, SERCAP’s Housing Department completed an Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation (IPR) collaborative project in Fluvanna County, VA. IPR is a program, funded by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), that assists low-income homeowners whose homes either completely lack indoor plumbing facilities, have no indoor bathroom, or have a failed septic system. DHCD has designated six (6) Regional IPR Providers in Virginia, who qualify clients and provide housing rehabilitation services to ensure that all construction work meets Housing Quality Standards (HQS), and that all funds are spent appropriately. SERCAP is the IPR Regional Provider for region five.
For this IPR Project, the client, a low-income disabled gentleman, was referred to SERCAP back in September 2017 by the Fluvanna Housing Foundation, after he experienced difficulty with his well and septic system. Due to the run-down condition of the house, and the client’s qualification as Extremely-low Income under the HUD Income Guidelines, the project qualified as a Substantial Reconstruction under the IPR Program. However, the cost estimates for the project far exceeded the DHCD’s cost limits for a Substantial Reconstruction through IPR.
Fortunately, SERCAP’s Housing Department was able to work with 1) the agency’s Loan Fund to secure a Project ReInvest Loan of $10,500 through FAHE, 2) the Essential & Critical Needs Program to secure a Grant of $2,500, and 3) was able to access additional agency funds in order to pull together the total $108,618.98 needed to complete the project. The client moved into his new home at the beginning of September 2018, nearly a year after he first contacted SERCAP, and is very satisfied with his new home. However, this is just one example of how stagnant program cost limits and increasing construction costs are making it more and more difficult to fund IPR Projects and eradicate indoor plumbing issues in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
*SERCAP’s Housing Program is primarily made possible through the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation (IPR) Program, through County Funds (Budget Appropriations) from counties across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and through Program Income Funds from the IPR Program. Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs in Virginia are leveraged by support from the Virginia Budget Appropriation, granted by the Virginia General Assembly and administered by DHCD.