Property Owner Assistance Program for Basement Backup Protection
The City of East Lansing's Property Owner Assistance Program for Basement Backup Protection is a reimbursement program to financially assist eligible East Lansing property owners in reducing the potential for sewer backups into their basements. The program has been made possible by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocated to the City of East Lansing and will be available through June 30, 2024 or until all allocated funds are expended. In the event that demand exceeds funding, the City may consider allocating additional funding to the program.
How the Program Works
Eligible East Lansing property owners can apply to receive a full or partial reimbursement for the installation of a backflow prevention valve or equivalent private infrastructure by a licensed plumber or contractor.
Prior to applying for a reimbursement, the property owner will need to hire a licensed plumber/contractor to perform the work and the plumber/contractor will need to obtain a plumbing permit from the City of East Lansing's Building Division. Once the installation is completed, it will also need to be inspected by the City's Building Division prior to submittal of the program application.
Upon receipt, review and approval of a program application, the City of East Lansing will reimburse:
- 100 percent of the first $1,000 of the eligible cost and 75 percent of the eligible cost exceeding $1,000, up to a total reimbursement of $3,000.
- EXAMPLE: If a property owner's actual cost is $2,500, then the City will reimburse $2,125 (100 percent of $1,000 and 75 percent of $1,500).
Reimbursement is limited to one total payment of $3,000 per property owner and per property:
- If two or more individuals or businesses jointly own property, the total maximum reimbursement for that property is $3,000.
- If an individual or business owns more than one property, the individual or business is entitled to a total maximum reimbursement of $3,000, regardless of the number of properties owned.
Please note that this program is also being offered retroactively to property owners who have already hired a licensed plumber/contractor to have this work done, as long as the work was completed on or after March 3, 2021 and meets all eligibility and application requirements.
Eligibility & How to Apply for Reimbursement
To be eligible for this program, individuals must own property within East Lansing's city limits (including homeowners, businesses, rental property owners, etc.)
Eligible East Lansing property owners can complete and submit the Property Owner Assistance Program for Basement Backup Protection Application ( PDF*) after the work has been completed at their property and all required attachments have been secured. Required attachments include:
- An itemized project invoice from the licensed contractor/plumber
- Proof of payment by the property owner
- Copy of the plumbing permit issued by the City of East Lansing's Building Division
- Proof of an approved final inspection by the City of East Lansing's Building Division
Printed copies of the application can also be picked up at East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road, or the East Lansing Department of Public Works, 1800 E. State Road.
*Download and open in Adobe Acrobat for electronic signature field.
Understanding the Causes of Basement Flooding & Solutions
While installing a backflow prevention valve or equivalent private infrastructure can greatly reduce the chance of basement sewer backups, it's important for property owners to understand that no solution is completely fail-safe. It's also important to note that there may be several different approaches/solutions, based on a property's layout, for protecting the basement from flooding. Property owners are encouraged to talk with a licensed plumber/contractor to determine the best approach for their specific property. Learn more about the causes, prevention and cleanup methods for basement flooding (PDF).
Getting a Basement Proposal
It's advisable to get multiple proposals prior to hiring a licensed plumber/contractor. A good proposal will:
- Explain the solution and how it will look
- Outline your basement sewer connections
- Discuss maintenance issues
- Disclose all related costs, including parts and labor
Prospective applicants with questions about the City of East Lansing's application process for the Property Owner Assistance Program for Basement Backup Protection can contact the East Lansing Department of Public Works at (517) 337-9459 ext. 0. For questions related to plumbing permits/inspections, applicants can call the City of East Lansing's Building Division at (517) 319-6871 or (517) 319-6810.