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Homeowner’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP)

Helping homeowners afford repairs to water and sewer service pipes.


The Homeowner’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP) offers zero-interest loans for repairs to water service lines and sewer lines.

Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) customers are responsible for repairing the pipes and fixtures that carry water from the City’s water mains to their home.

You can use the customer responsibility diagram (PDF) to figure out if you’re responsible for specific repairs.

Customers often use HELP loans to fix problems with water service lines or sewer lines that connect your home to City pipes. You can also use this loan to replace water service lines that are made of lead, which may pose a health risk.


HELP Loan - Philadelphia Water Department
1101 Market St., 6th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Process and eligibility

To apply for the HELP loan program:


Meet HELP loan qualifications.

To qualify for HELP, you must either:

  • Receive a Notice of Defect (NOD) from PWD and need repairs; or
  • Want to replace a water service line that is made of lead. A Notice of Defect is not required for replacing a lead service line.

You may apply for a HELP loan if:

  • You are the applicant, and you own the property (it may be tenant occupied).
  • The property is residential, or if mixed-use, it is primarily residential.
  • The property does not contain more than four units.
  • The payment agreements (if applicable) for the property are current.
  • The property is served by an operable water meter.
  • The applicant is not delinquent on their monthly water bill(s) for more than 2 cycles, for the property with the NOD and other properties owned by the applicant.
  • You consent to the placement of a lien on the property for the amount of the total cost of the work.
Submit a pre-application.

There are different ways to submit your pre-application.

You can:

  • Fill out an online form.
  • Download the paper form, fill it out by hand, and return via email or regular mail.
  • Start the process over the phone by calling PWD at (215) 685-4901. You will be directed to leave a message, and someone will call you back on the next business day or sooner.
PWD will contact you to schedule an inspection.

After they get your application, PWD will reach out within two business days.

PWD will give you a cost estimate for the repair work.

You’ll also get to review the HELP loan agreement.

If you decide to accept the loan, sign the documents and schedule the repairs you need.

Your water bill will include the loan details and show your payments. You’ll have 60 months to pay off the loan. It will remain interest-free unless you fail to make payments on time.

HELP loan pre-application

Ready to apply? Use the online form to send in your request.