In 2022, our Commonwealth made the unprecedented move of dedicating $125 million to create the groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs Program. This investment was the result of the tireless organizing of a statewide coalition of housing and energy advocates, community organizations, Pennsylvania residents, and legislators on both sides of the aisle committed to taking real action on PA’s ongoing housing crisis. It represents one of Pennsylvania’s largest investments in housing in recent history. Now it’s time to build on this bold initial investment by continuing and expanding Whole-Home Repairs for years to come.
The Whole-Home Repairs Program establishes a one-stop shop in each county in our Commonwealth for lifesaving home repairs, weatherization, and adaptive modifications, while simultaneously building up our local workforce and adding new family-sustaining jobs in a growing field. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, helping Pennsylvanians stay warm, safe, and dry in homes they can afford.
Demand for the program has been overwhelming, even before applications have opened to residents. A survey of Pennsylvania voters in Spring 2022 revealed that one in four lives in a home that needs a critical repair, and one in three cannot afford their utility bills. The 2021 American Housing Survey found that hundreds of thousands of PA homes have moderate to severe physical inadequacies. When the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development opened applications to counties, 95% applied to administer Whole-Home Repairs for their residents.
The lack of resources to repair and maintain one’s home is an intractable and deadly epidemic across our country. Pennsylvania is the first state to take meaningful action, providing a model for other states to create and administer their own Whole-Home Repairs programs.
Pennsylvania has led the charge in creating this new tool to combat our housing crisis. Residents who struggle to stay in their homes have new hope. Urban and rural communities that have been decimated by cycles of blight and abandonment see a path to stabilization. But after decades of disinvestment, the need is enormous.
With less than 1% of the state budget annually, we can repair 50,000 PA homes in just five years, bringing safety and stability to hundreds of thousands of people, in communities in every county. This is how we can begin to meet the scale of the crisis.
The undersigned organizations call on the General Assembly to allocate $300 million for the Whole-Home Repairs Program in the 2023-2024 budget and to make funding for this program permanent.
The Whole-Home Repairs Program is a housing security initiative, an energy and climate resiliency initiative, an anti-blight initiative, a jobs initiative, and a community safety initiative. It will enable children to grow up in homes free from lead and mold, families to build generational wealth and wellness, and seniors to remain in their homes as they experience changes in their abilities.
We must secure permanent funding for Whole-Home Repairs to meet the level of need statewide, and we won’t stop until every household has what they need to make their home whole.
Berks Stands Up
Borough of Liberty
Borough of Munhall
Centennial Parkside CDC
Center for Coalfield Justice
Clean Air Council
CMC Energy Services
Community Justice Project
Community Legal Services
Conservation Voters of PA
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Inc
Green Building United
Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County
Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County
Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Inc.
Hill District Consensus Group
Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
Hunting Park Community Revitalization Corp.
Hunting Park Community Solar Initiative
Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia
Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance
Lancaster Stands Up
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Lehigh Valley Stands Up
Make the Road PA
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northern Tier Community Action Corp.
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
Pennsylvania Stands Up
Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
Philadelphia Energy Authority
Philadelphia Green Capital Corp.
Philadelphia Solar Energy Association
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
Rebuilding Together Philadelphia
Regional Housing Legal Services
Renew 412 LLC
Sierra Club, Pennsylvania
Somerset County Habitat for Humanity
Sunrise Movement Pennsylvania
Sunrise Movement Philly
Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia
The Public Interest Law Center
Women for a Healthy Environment
York Habitat for Humanity
Borough of Elizabeth