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Environmental Loans Hardship assistance calculation

Note: the Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) Hardship Program will cease after the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 funding cycle, with an exception for one (1) municipality for which a complete application for SFY 2019 funding can still be submitted by June 30, 2018.

The Clean Water Fund Program (CWFP) provides hardship financial assistance to reduce residential user charges to an amount equal to 2 percent of the municipality's median household income (MHI). Assistance is provided in the form of a reduced interest rate loan.

If reducing the loan interest rate to 0 percent is not sufficient to decrease residential user costs to 2 percent of the municipality's adjusted MHI, the CWFP may award a grant of up to 70% of the costs eligible for the below-market interest rate. If the CWFP provides the municipality with a grant for a portion of the project, the remaining costs eligible for CWFP below-market rate interest are at a 0 percent loan.

Other factors

When determining the amount of CWFP assistance needed to bring residential user charges down to 2 percent of the municipality's adjusted MHI, the CWFP must consider any grants the municipality receives from another source, such as Rural Development or the Department of Commerce. If the amount of grant assistance received from another source would bring the charges below 2 percent of the MHI, the CWFP must deduct the appropriate amount of extra grant assistance from the total project costs as ineligible for CWFP funding.

The final determination of the amount of hardship assistance that can be provided, if any, is made when the Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) is prepared. This determination is a one-time decision. If a municipality is not eligible for hardship financial assistance at the time of the FAA, and the municipality receives a regular CWFP loan, the CWFP cannot later refinance that loan with hardship financial assistance if the municipality meets the criteria in future years.

Calculating the assistance

To approximate the type and amount of assistance a municipality could receive through the CWFP, use the hardship calculation worksheet [PDF]. The worksheet assumes the availability of a financial calculator or spreadsheet program capable of calculating interest, payments, and interest rates. As an alternative, the municipality may also submit a Hardship Financial Assistance Preliminary Calculation Request form [PDF] to determine whether or not the municipality is eligible for hardship assistance as well as the type and amount of financial assistance the CWFP may provide. The information on the form must be as complete and accurate as possible. The department will notify the municipality of the results of the calculation.

Contact information
Direct questions about Hardship Financial Assistance to:
Michelle Eis
Financial assistance specialist
EL section, Bureau of CFA
Last revised: Monday September 25 2017