Recently, SERCAP’s Housing Department assisted a low-income single elderly woman living in Buckingham County, VA, to gain potable water in her home. The family home was built in 1920, and the client has been living in the house for the past 94 years. Due to its age, the structure was in desperate need of extensive rehabilitation in order to bring it back into compliance with HUD Housing Quality Standards (HQS). However, because of the client’s low-income status, she was unable to afford the cost of the rehabilitation on her own, without suffering significant financial hardship. She was referred to SERCAP by Social Services, and fortunately the agency’s Housing Department was able to qualify the client for assistance through the IPR-Flex Program.
During the initial inspection SERCAP staff identified numerous sub-par components of the structure, including: uneven and sinking floors, buckling tiles, cracks and leaks in the ceiling and wall panels, chipped and peeling paint throughout the house, rotted porch wood, broken steps, and much more. SERCAP staff also determined that the client needed several accessibility features, including an ADA ramp, to be added to the home. Due to the extremely poor condition of the structure, SERCAP also determined that the house qualified for Substantial Reconstruction under the IPR-Flex program. Substantial Reconstruction is when the existing structure is demolished and a new home, with fully functioning indoor plumbing facilities and meeting all HUD HQS, is built in its place. Construction for the project was awarded to Michael Yoder Construction, for the full $124,859.23 project cost. The work was completed recently, and the client once again has an affordable home that is warm, safe, and dry, with reliable access to potable water.
Without SERCAP’s full slate of Programs and Services, many rural communities and low-to-moderate income (LMI) individuals would be forced to go without such necessities as reliable access to potable water, indoor plumbing, safe and affordable housing, community development and infrastructure needs, water/wastewater infrastructure solutions, and more. It is important to remember that even in the US 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!
*SERCAP’s Housing Program is primarily made possible by the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) new Indoor Plumbing & Rehabilitation Flex (IPR-Flex) Program, by County Funds (Budget Appropriations) from counties across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and by Program Income Funds from the older 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.