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Program offers indoor plumbing aid

Members of the community have an opportunity to receive support and potential rehabilitation for homes that do not have working or inadequate plumbing and septic systems.

This program, the Indoor Plumbing Rehabilitation Program (IRP), is being conducted by the Southside Outreach Group, a nonprofit based in South Boston. Funding for the program has come from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The program is set to benefit residents of Region 3, which includes Cumberland and Prince Edward counties.

According to a news release from the Southside Outreach Group, “we assist homeowners in repairing inadequate plumbing systems, septic systems and indoor/ outdoor home repairs.”

In order to qualify for the program, Southside Outreach Group officials cited that individuals must own the home, must meet income eligibility requirements that include that household income must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income, must be living in the house as a primary residence, meet the requirements of a house lacking a bathroom failing/failed septic system in accordance with the DHCD.

The IPR Program, according to Southside Outreach Group officials, only assist units where residents utilize pit privies, or have a septic system which meets the DHCD definition of a failing system as follows: “A failed septic system is a malfunctioning system in need of repair to the absorption system, deemed a health hazard by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) due to presence of sewage on the surface of the ground, or in need of a VDH permit for repair to the absorption system.”

According to a news release, Southside Outreach Group has spent approximately $3,843,857.67 in 15 counties in the region, including Cumberland and Prince Edward.

“Our mission is to assist income eligible persons in obtaining affordable, safe, decent and sanitary housing,” Southside Outreach Group officials cited in the release.

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2016 cite that Prince Edward has an estimated 22.6 percent of its population of all ages who live in poverty, with an estimated 18.2 percent in Cumberland and an estimated 17.6 percent in Buckingham County.

To learn more about the program, contact the Southside Outreach Group at (434) 572-9556 or visit www.ssorg.org.