The Whole-Home Repairs Program is Pennsylvania’s one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program helps preserve Pennsylvania homes and stabilize Pennsylvania communities while building out our local workforce and adding new family-sustaining jobs in a fast-growing field. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, making it so that Pennsylvanians can stay warm, safe, and dry in homes they can afford. 

Applications for the Whole-Home Repairs Program are coming Spring/Summer 2023! Sign up for updates by becoming a supporter  of this program. It’s not just Pennsylvania residents who are supporting Whole-Home Repairs—view the list of community organizations and housing and energy advocates  who helped make this program a reality.

Whole-Home Repairs Community Co-Sponsorship

 

Pennsylvania has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation. One in four Pennsylvania voters lives in a home that needs a critical repair, and one in three reports that their energy bills are unaffordable. We know that the need is massive, and the solutions must meet the magnitude of the demand. Please add your name below to support the Whole-Home Repairs Program and affirm Pennsylvanians’ right to housing that is warm, safe, and dry. We’re fighting until every household has what they need to make their home whole.

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I Support Senator the  Whole-Home Repairs Program

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If you, your organization or business, or your office would like to become involved, please let us know!

Whole-Home Repairs Coalition

The Whole-Home Repairs Program is a result of the tireless organizing of a coalition of housing and energy advocates, community organizers, Pennsylvania residents, and legislators committed to taking action on our state’s ongoing housing crisis. The following organizations were part of this coalition:

5th Square

ACTION-Housing

Berks Stands Up

Carbon County Action Committee for Human Services

Clean Air Council

Commission on Economic Opportunity

Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc.

Community Justice Project

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Ebony Suns Enterprises LLC

Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA)

Franklin Energy

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Inc

Green Building United

Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County

Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia

Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties

Health, Education and Legal assistance Project: A Medical-Legal Partnership (HELP: MLP)

Hill District Consensus Group

Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia

Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance

Lancaster Lebanon Habitat for Humanity

Lancaster Stands Up

Lehigh Valley Stands Up

MaGrann Associates

Make the Road PA

National Energy Improvement Fund

Natural Resources Defense Council

Neighbors Against the Gas Plants

Northern Tier Community Action Corporation

Northumberland County Weatherization

Omicelo Cares

One Pennsylvania

PennFuture

Pennsylvania Stands Up

Pennsylvania Utility Law Project

Performance Systems Development

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC)

Philadelphia Energy Authority

Philadelphia Rent Control Coalition

Philly DSA

Philly Thrive

Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group

POWER Interfaith

Preservation Alliance

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh

Reclaim Philadelphia

Regional Housing Legal Services

Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania

Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter

Sunrise Movement Pennsylvania

Sunrise Movement Philly

The Public Interest Law Center

Trehab

Women for a Healthy Environment

About

The Whole-Home Repairs Program was introduced by Pennsylvania State Senator Nikil Saval in March 2022 as Senate Bill 1135 and passed into law in July 2022 with an unprecedented $125-million appropriation in the 2022–2023 state budget. The program language is enshrined in the state’s fiscal code.

Pennsylvania has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of homes across the Commonwealth have moderate to severe physical inadequacies, including leaky roofs or windows, blown fuses or exposed wiring, unreliable heat, or the lack of a flushing toilet. As people struggle to simply hold on to their homes, they may be forced to forgo regular maintenance and small repairs and upgrades, deferring until a repair is more urgently needed, and far more expensive.

Deferred maintenance and system upgrades can result in homes with energy inefficiencies, which impose utility burdens on communities that can least afford them. Black and brown Pennsylvanians typically pay more in utilities than white Pennsylvanians, and in Philadelphia, low-income households spend an average of 23% of their household’s income on utilities alone. A household that cannot afford urgent repairs or upgrades may be forced into an untenable situation: living in a home that is fundamentally unsafe, abandoning it, or selling it to a speculator.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program meets the real, material needs of Pennsylvania residents. This is a direct investment in our people and in their homes and communities. 

The Whole-Home Repairs Program establishes a one-stop shop for home repairs and weatherization while building out our local workforce and adding new family-sustaining jobs in a growing field. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, making it so that Pennsylvanians can stay warm, safe, and dry in homes they can afford. 

This program:  

  1. Provides up to $50,000 to repair, update, and adapt homes throughout Pennsylvania.
  2. Allocates resources for support staff to help people access the assistance they need in the order they need it.
  3. Funds training and pre-apprenticeship programs and provides stipends to trainees to build up the local workforce needed to meet the demand.

Dozens of stakeholders were involved in drafting and editing and finalizing the program logistics.

This is the largest investment in housing that the legislature has made in recent history. At a time of incredible hardship for people across the Commonwealth, the General Assembly has seized a historic opportunity to permanently move the needle on our housing crisis. The United States needs a model for how to preserve its aging housing stock and create new jobs. By passing the Whole-Home Repairs Program, Pennsylvania has positioned itself as a leader.

  • The need for home repairs and weatherization far exceeds the available funding. Right now, the federally funded Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has a 10,000 person waiting list, and many eligible households have been deferred because their homes have underlying habitability issues, like a hole in the roof or mold from water damage, that need to be addressed first.
  • There is also no way to address the structural problems of a home holistically. If a home has a leaky roof or mold, the homeowner or landlord must address that before any weatherization can happen. The lack of coordination among programs means that people who are eligible don’t get any assistance at all.
  • Throughout the housing field, experts, practitioners, and organizations all report that even if home repair and weatherization were fully funded to meet the need, our Commonwealth simply doesn’t have the workforce needed to scale up. More than four out of every five builders nationally indicate cost and availability of labor as their main concerns. Our team has heard from individuals across the public and private sectors that one of the biggest barriers to successful home repair programs is a shortage of workers—a trend that bears out at the national level, too. Of the builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders, 88% indicated labor cost and availability as their primary concern in 2020, as compared to 13% in 2011.

FAQ

How does it work?

The Whole-Home Repairs Program builds on existing federal, state, and local home repair and weatherization programs to fill the three main gaps identified by practitioners working in housing and energy fields: (1) funding for home repairs, (2) coordination and technical assistance, and (3) workforce development.

Funding for repairs: The Whole-Home Repairs Program provides $50,000 grants for homeowners and loans to small landlords with affordability restrictions so that they can make habitability repairs and upgrades for energy efficiency and accessibility.

Coordination and technical assistance: The Whole-Home Repairs program allocates resources for support staff to ensure that eligible applicants are accessing the right programs in the right order to meet their needs and maximizing their access to holistic repairs.

Workforce development: The Whole-Home Repairs Program provides resources to increase retention in home repair and weatherization training programs and pre-apprenticeship programs, including with the provision of cash stipends to trainees, so that our state can build up the workforce needed to meet the demand and keep our skilled workers, and the jobs they do, local.

The Whole-Home Repairs program is a housing security initiative, an energy initiative, an anti-blight initiative, a jobs initiative, and a community safety initiative. The cumulative effect of all of these things means that this program can tackle many of the root causes of community instability by keeping people in their homes and keeping these homes safe and healthy.

My home needs repairs! Am I eligible?

Homeowners may be eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to repair, update, and adapt their homes if they (1) live in a home that needs a qualified repair and (2) have a household income that is no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI). The income eligibility requirement will be set by the county, but it is likely to be that a household make no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI).

I rent my home—am I eligible?

Renters can have their homes repaired and adapted, too! If you rent your home and your landlord (1) is a small landlord (owns no more than 15 rental units in no more than 5 properties) and (2) commits to keeping the rent affordable, then your landlord can apply to receive a forgivable loan of up to $50,000 for each unit.

When can I apply?

The Whole-Home Repairs Program is administered by Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, which is currently at work creating the program guidelines for counties to apply for Whole-Home Repairs Program funding. The program guidelines are expected in early 2023, and applications will open in Spring/Summer 2023.  See the announcement from the Department of Community and Economic Development here.

How can I receive updates?

When you sign on as a supporter of the Whole-Home Repairs Program, your name will be added to our email list to receive updates on the status of the program, informational events and actions, notification on when it becomes available, and information on when, where, and how to apply. If you provide your phone number as well as your email address, we will call you.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program was created because Pennsylvania housing is in crisis, and Pennsylvania residents deserve their government to invest in their health and wellbeing and that of their communities. We want to make sure that every person who needs Whole-Home Repairs and who is eligible knows about this program and applies.

How does it work?

The Whole-Home Repairs Program builds on existing federal, state, and local home repair and weatherization programs to fill the three main gaps identified by practitioners working in housing and energy fields: (1) funding for home repairs, (2) coordination and technical assistance, and (3) workforce development.

Funding for repairs: The Whole-Home Repairs Program provides $50,000 grants for homeowners and loans to small landlords with affordability restrictions so that they can make habitability repairs and upgrades for energy efficiency and accessibility.

Coordination and technical assistance: The Whole-Home Repairs program allocates resources for support staff to ensure that eligible applicants are accessing the right programs in the right order to meet their needs and maximizing their access to holistic repairs.

Workforce development: The Whole-Home Repairs Program provides resources to increase retention in home repair and weatherization training programs and pre-apprenticeship programs, including with the provision of cash stipends to trainees, so that our state can build up the workforce needed to meet the demand and keep our skilled workers, and the jobs they do, local.

The Whole-Home Repairs program is a housing security initiative, an energy initiative, an anti-blight initiative, a jobs initiative, and a community safety initiative. The cumulative effect of all of these things means that this program can tackle many of the root causes of community instability by keeping people in their homes and keeping these homes safe and healthy.  

My home needs repairs! Am I eligible?

Homeowners may be eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to repair, update, and adapt their homes if they (1) live in a home that needs a qualified repair and (2) have a household income that is no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI). The income eligibility requirement will be set by the county, but it is likely to be that a household make no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI).

I rent my home—am I eligible?

Renters can have their homes repaired and adapted, too! If you rent your home and your landlord (1) is a small landlord (owns no more than 15 rental units in no more than 5 properties) and (2) commits to keeping the rent affordable, then your landlord can apply to receive a forgivable loan of up to $50,000 for each unit.

When can I apply?

The Whole-Home Repairs Program is administered by Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, which is currently at work creating the program guidelines for counties to apply for Whole-Home Repairs Program funding. The program guidelines are expected in early 2023, and applications will open in Spring/Summer 2023.  See the announcement from the Department of Community and Economic Development here.

How can I receive updates?

When you sign on as a supporter of the Whole-Home Repairs Program, your name will be added to our email list to receive updates on the status of the program, informational events and actions, notification on when it becomes available, and information on when, where, and how to apply. If you provide your phone number as well as your email address, we will call you.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program was created because Pennsylvania housing is in crisis, and Pennsylvania residents deserve their government to invest in their health and wellbeing and that of their communities. We want to make sure that every person who needs Whole-Home Repairs and who is eligible knows about this program and applies.

1.  Repairs: The Whole-Home Repairs Fund provides $50,000 grants for homeowners and loans to small landlords with affordability restrictions so that they can make habitability repairs and upgrades for energy efficiency.

2.  Coordination and technical assistance: The Whole-Home Repairs Fund allocates resources for support staff to help people access the right programs in the right order to meet their needs and maximize their access to holistic repairs.

3. Workforce development: The Whole-Home Repairs Fund provides resources to increase retention in home repair and weatherization training programs and pre-apprenticeship programs, including cash stipends to trainees, so that our state can build up the workforce needed to meet the demand.

The problem is massive, but the solution is within our grasp.

Passing the Whole-Home Repairs Act will mean that no Pennsylvanian will fall through the cracks. It will preserve our housing stock, reduce utility burdens, foster neighborhood safety, and prevent community displacement, all while creating a skilled workforce and new family-sustaining jobs in a rapidly growing field.

Statewide Actions

The campaign to pass the Whole-Home Repairs Program kicked off in March 2022 with a week of action: in counties across the Commonwealth, residents came together to raise the alarm on the state of Pennsylvania’s housing, demanding that the General Assembly take action. Since then, additional rallies and actions have been held, and at each event, area residents shared their experiences and struggles with their homes, their love for their communities, and the support that they and their neighbors need.

After decades of disinvestment, the need is enormous: one in four Pennsylvania voters lives in a home that needs a critical repair, while one in three can’t afford their utility bills. We are committed to continuing the fight to fund this program to meet the demand statewide—until all households have what they need to make their homes whole.

Philadelphia | Friday, August 12

Housing investment press conference with Governor Wolf

Harrisburg | Tuesday, May 24

Partners: Make the Road Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Stands Up, POWER Interfaith, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Sunrise Movement Pennsylvania, Regional Housing Legal Services, and CASA

Lehigh Valley | Thursday, March 24

Lehigh Valley Stands Up, Make the Road, POWER Interfaith, Lehigh Valley DSA, Sunrise Movement


Berks County | Wednesday, March 23

Partners: Berks Stands Up, Make the Road, Sunrise Movement, Berks DSA 

Lancaster | Tuesday, March 22

Partners: Lancaster Stands Up, POWER Interfaith, Sunrise Movement


Philadelphia | Monday, March 21

Partners: Philly Thrive, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, POWER Interfaith, Reclaim Philadelphia, Sunrise Movement, Philly DSA


Watch the Policy Hearing

Whole-Home Repairs: Preserving Pennsylvania’s Homes, Stabilizing Communities, and Reducing Utility Bills

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