Accessibility Program Expectations

What can I expect if I participate in the Accessibility Housing Rehab Program?

The City Accessibility Program helps low- and moderate-income households with a person that is disabled install ramps, accessible bathrooms, handrails, and other items that help people remain safely in their home. We offer a maximum $5,000 grant with a 5-year forgiveness period to eligible households.

Who is Eligible?

The household must be located in the Williamsport City Limits, contain a person with a disability, and household income at or below 80% of median incomes. This is gross income, before taxes. For income levels, contact the City of Williamsport Community Development Office or visit our website. All household member income is counted. The property must be insured, and property taxes paid to date.

Extreme delinquency in taxes or other obligations may make you ineligible for funds. Rental units may be eligible if the property owner agrees to participate in the program, provide requested information, and sign all necessary paperwork, including security documents.

How does the Process Work?

There is often a Waiting List because demand exceeds our capacity and funding. We take applications, first in first out, unless there is a serious, health-threatening situation. When you are next on the Waiting List, we send you an introduction letter and application. You must complete the application and allow us to make a determination of your household’s eligibility.

  • We verify property ownership, property insurance, debt and obligations, and all household income.
  • After we have this information, we will tell you if you are eligible.
  • If you are not eligible, we will explain why. You will have an opportunity to respond.
  • If this is a rental unit, your landlord must also complete an application and give approval for the work.
  • If you are eligible and you want to proceed, we will schedule a Housing Inspection.
  • After the inspection, we compile a list of the accessibility work needed and review it with you.
  • We will write specifications for the work and review the specifications with you. A Lead Paint Assessment may or may not be needed based upon the work proposed. We make that determination.

When the final specifications are ready you select contractors to solicit for bids. We require competitive bidding. We must try to get at least 2 bids, so you must select 3 or more contractors. Permits are required and are included as part of the bid price. We mail bid requests to contractors and give them a bid due date. They will come to your home to look at the work. You must cooperate with them. When we have suitable bids, contractors are selected. The low bidder is usually selected. Contracts and security papers are signed. There are some fees for filing and mortgages. We will review these with you. They vary but average $100 to $140. We do not charge for our services, these are fees charged by the County. If your bid is over $5,000, we will try to reduce the scope of work and still provide the needed service, or you can pay the balance yourself.

The Accessibility program has a grant with a 5-year forgiveness period. After 5 years, the grant or money you received is forgiven.

After you sign the final documents, we mail Proceed Order to your contractor, and work on your house can begin. The contractor has his own schedule. We only require that the work be completed within 90 days. The contractor will need your cooperation.

When the work starts, we will perform inspections, but if you have any problems with the work, notify your rehabilitation specialist right away. When the work is complete or if your contractor requests a progress payment, we perform an inspection and if the work is acceptable, we will ask you to sign a release to pay the contractor. We will not pay bills without your approval. We will not pay the final bill until all the work is completed and you approve the payment.

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