Senator Nikil Saval

Senator Saval joins local, state, and federal legislators and community members to share Year 1 updates from the Whole-Home Repairs Program in Allegheny County on February 2, 2024.

Harrisburg, PAFebruary 6, 2024 − Following Governor Shapiro’s announcement of $50 million for Pennsylvania’s nationally acclaimed Whole-Home Repairs Program in his proposed 2024–2025 budget, State Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia), author of the program, issued the following statement:

“Every person has a right to a home that is safe, a home that is healthy. But hundreds of thousands of people across Pennsylvania are denied this right simply because they lack access to the resources they need and deserve to fix their homes.      

“We created the Whole-Home Repairs Program to change this. It’s been less than a year since funds began to flow to counties across Pennsylvania, and already, more than a thousand homes have been fixed and the lives of countless residents have been changed. 

“We’ve received testimonies from across the Commonwealth that show the impact: families who have been able to replace broken heaters and roofs just in time for winter; elderly residents who received modifications to their homes that will allow them to age in place; veterans on fixed incomes who have been able to weatherize their homes and ease their utility burdens. Each of these stories shows a step toward a world where people can finally trust that they are, at long last, safe in the one place where they should never have to doubt it: their homes.

“But in the face of enormous statewide need, demand for the program has quickly outpaced the available funds. Counties are reporting 4 times, 10 times, and even 25 times more eligible applicants than they can serve.

“With his proposed $50 million investment in next year’s budget, Governor Shapiro has shown his commitment to fixing our homes and investing in the long-term health of our Commonwealth.

“Pennsylvania has given our country a blueprint for how we can preserve our homes, create new jobs and a skilled local workforce, and allow people to remain in their communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers, and on both sides of the aisle, to expand this program and make this vision our reality.”

As a first-term legislator in a minority party, Saval led the creation and passage of the groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs Program. The program establishes a one-stop shop in each county for Pennsylvanians to repair and weatherize their homes through the provision of funding for habitability repairs and energy efficiency upgrades, support staff to ensure applicants receive the help they need in the order they need it, and pre-apprenticeship and training programs to build the workforce needed to meet the growing demand. 

Pennsylvania has some of the oldest housing stock in the country. One in four Pennsylvania voters lives in a home that needs a critical repair, and one in three has utility bills that are unaffordable. If confronted with the need to make a critical repair to their home, nearly half of Pennsylvanians indicated they would struggle to afford it.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program passed because of the tireless organizing of a powerful coalition of housing and energy advocates, community organizers, and Pennsylvania residents. Members of the coalition have remained active in supporting its effective administration and its expansion to meet Pennsylvanians’ needs.

Initially established with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, the proposed $50 million state investment for the 2024–2025 budget signals a commitment to the enduring presence of the Whole-Home Repairs Program as a tool to support Pennsylvania families and communities.