In November of 2019, SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program awarded funds to the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission (A-NPDC) to support an ongoing project in the Gospel Temple/Adams Crossing neighborhood in Accomack County, Virginia. The A-NPDC, located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is providing technical assistance and professional services to Accomack County as the administrator of the County’s Community Improvement Grant (CIG) from the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD). The County is using the funds from the CIG to build, renovate, and/or substantially reconstruct houses for five (5) very low-income households. Two (2) of the households were having particular difficulty with their wastewater disposal, with one household having a failed septic system and one household having to pay for pump-and-haul services for their privy pit. Initially, SERCAP awarded the A-NPDC and the County a $40,000.00 Facilities Development Grant, to assist with the cost of site evaluations from an Alternative On-site Soil Evaluator (AOSE), and to cover the pump-and-haul fees for the household with the privy pit, while the project is on-going.
The AOSE completed their analysis, concluding that four (4) of the five (5) households would require alternative septic systems at approximately $30,000.00 each, (as opposed to $10,000.00 - $15,000.00 each for conventional septic systems). The A-NPDC only anticipated and budgeted for one (1) alternative system in their initial project estimate. Therefore, the CIG award of $700,000.00 had no room in the budget to cover the additional costs of installing four (4) alternative septic systems. In September of 2020, the A-NPDC came back to SERCAP, requesting an additional $50,000.00 in supplemental funding for the project. SERCAP awarded the additional $50,000.00 in supplemental funds to the project, bringing SERCAP’s total grant assistance to $90,000.00 to the A-NPDC and the County. The project is making it possible for two (2) households to gain access to indoor plumbing for the first-time, one (1) household will no longer live in a camper without plumbing, one (1) household will replace their current pump-and-haul privy pit with a permanent septic system, and one (1) household’s septic system will be repaired and restored to full functionality.
Without SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program and other similar programs and services, many communities, low-income individuals, and families would be forced to go without such necessities as water and wastewater infrastructure solutions, community infrastructure needs, indoor plumbing, properly functioning wells and septic systems, safe and affordable housing, and more. It is important to remember that even in the United States in the 21st Century; there are those who do not have reliable access to clean, safe drinking water, environmentally sound septic facilities, and affordable housing. In order to help SERCAP continue to provide assistance to both the individuals and communities in need, please consider making a donation to SERCAP’s Water Life! Fund!
Donate Today: https://sercap.networkforgood.com/projects/27202-sercap-s-water-is-life-fund (opens new window).
*Funding for SERCAP’s Regional Department is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Community Services’ (OCS) Grant, USDA RD’s Technitrain Program, the Drinking Water Compliance Grant through the EPA, and the EPA Private Well Grant. Funding for SERCAP’s Facilities Development Grant Program is provided by a Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD). Additionally, all of SERCAP’s programs and services in Virginia are leveraged by the Budget Appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly, administered by DHCD.