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The Craft3 Clean Water Loan Program
Septic system failing? Help is available!

Craft3 is a local nonprofit, non-bank, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing loans that strengthen businesses, families and the environment throughout Oregon and Washington.

Craft3 is proud to offer Clean Water Loans to repair or replace failing on-site sewage systems. The loans are offered with support from many public and private partners, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Washington. Since 2002, Craft3 has helped more than 650 property owners with failing on-site sewage systems through its Clean Water Loans. Learn more about Craft3 at www.craft3.org and www.craft3.org/videos.

Qualified applicants may use the loans to repair or replace failing on-site sewage systems. The loans may cover the full cost of designing, permitting, installing and maintaining your system, including the cost of connecting to a public sewer, when permitted by the County.

Owner and non-owner occupied properties are eligible to apply, including commercial, secondary, rental and vacation properties. Businesses, nonprofits and individuals, including those without access to traditional financing, are eligible to apply if they meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • The on-site sewage system is failing
  • The on-site sewage system is at least 25 years old
  • Property owner has been contacted by Health Officials and/or is under order to fix the on-site sewage system

Special rates and deferred payment options may be available for homeowners with lower incomes.

Program details

Learn more and apply at www.Craft3.org/CleanWater or contact Craft3 at CleanWater@Craft3.org and 888-231-2170.

APPLY NOW


Other grants or loans for low-income homeowners

The Housing Repair Program provides interest-free loan and emergency grant services directly to low- and moderate-income home owners in King County, outside the city of Seattle, to repair their homes and help preserve our region's stock of affordable housing. This program also provides grants to individual low-income renters with a disability to help make their housing more accessible.

For more information, call 206-263-9095 or visit the Housing Repairs Programs website.

Habitat's Home Repair Program works with homeowners who need assistance with critical repairs that will alleviate health and safety issues. A property owner from anywhere in King County can apply for financial assistance for a septic repair through Habitat for Humanity. This is not limited to their designated focus areas.

For more information, call 206-453-2950 or visit the Habitat for Humanity's Home Repair Program website.

Also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, this provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes or provides grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

For more information, call 360-428-4322 ext. 4 or visit the USDA Housing Service Program website.

Lending institutions have the responsibility to determine who is of 'due diligence' or 'qualified' to perform an inspection.

  • In 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Circular Letter 96-01SF was issued by the HUD Seattle Office. It stated:

    On-site Well and Septic Inspections. FHA's policy of requiring the local Health Authority's approval of the well and septic systems has been revised. Now, FHA will accept on-site inspections performed by either the local health authority or "state licensed engineers." In the State of Washington, "state licensed engineers" included State licensed sanitarians, and county approved well drillers and septic system designers. Licensed sanitarians are qualified to inspect both private well and septic systems, while the "approved" well drillers may inspect only wells and septic designers may inspect only septic systems. (January 26, 1996, page 10.)

  • In 1997, the HUD Home Ownership Center issued a new policy guidance document stating that it is the lender's responsibility to ensure the OSS are permitted/approved and "adequate to service the property.

    While the current policy does not list qualified individuals, the past Circular Letter 96-01SF noted above is used as guidance by the lending institutions.

For more information, contact the HUD's Processing and Underwriting Division in the Home Ownership Center toll free at 888-827-5605.

VA loans allow only local health department sanitarians to perform an inspection, if requested by the appraiser.

  • In 2001, Circular 26-01-5, "Local" Requirements for VA Notices of Value was issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It states:

    Every Washington state property with an individual sewage disposal system requires evidence from the local health authority (or other source authorized by VA) that the system is acceptable. (June 20, 2001, page 9.)

No other source has been authorized by the VA for Washington state.

For more information, contact the VA's Washington Regional Office at 206-220-6163.