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On-site sewage/septic system loans and grants

There are different programs that offer financial help if your sewage/septic system fails and needs repair or replacement.

Clean Water Loans to finance septic repairs

Craft3, a nonprofit lender, offers Clean Water Loans to allow homeowners to borrow the entire cost of eligible design, permitting and installation. Lower interest rates may be available for qualified lower-income borrowers, and there are no up-front loan fees or pre-payment penalties. Please visit Craft3's website for rates and terms, to check eligibility, and begin your application.

Other grants or loans for low-income homeowners

King County Housing Repair Program

The Housing Repair Program provides interest-free loan and emergency grant services to low- and moderate-income homeowners in King County. This allows homeowners 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.

Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program

Habitat's Home Repair Program works with homeowners who need help with critical repairs that will ease health and safety issues. Any King County property owner can apply for financial help for a septic repair.

USDA Rural Housing Service Program

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

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan requirements

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 on-site sewage/septic systems 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 1-888-827-5605.

Veteran Administration (VA) loan requirements

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.

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