Harrisburg, PA − July 8, 2022 − Today State Senator Nikil Saval (D–Philadelphia) announced a $125-million appropriation in Pennsylvania’s 2022–2023 budget to establish his groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs Program. He issued the following statement:
“Every person has a right to a home that is safe—a home that is healthy. But right now, across our Commonwealth, hundreds of thousands of households are denied this right simply because they don’t have access to the resources they need to repair their homes.
“For decades, urban, suburban, and rural communities alike have suffered from disinvestment from their government at all levels. The creation of the Whole-Home Repairs Program in this year’s budget changes that.
“This is a hard-fought victory for every Pennsylvanian who is struggling to stay in their home. This program is a direct investment in our people and our communities, whose needs have been ignored, and whose voices have gone unheard. At this time of protracted hardship across the Commonwealth, we have seized a historic opportunity to move the needle on our housing crisis—permanently.
“What we have done sets a new standard. Today we have a program to preserve housing across the Commonwealth, to stabilize our communities, to prevent blight and abandonment and displacement, to build a skilled workforce to keep our state at the forefront of the industries of the future, and to protect the place that is most dear to all of us: home. I’m committed to fighting for every household to have what they need to make their home whole.
“The United States needs a model for how to preserve its aging housing stock and create new jobs, and with the Whole-Home Repairs Program, Pennsylvania has positioned itself as a leader.”
The Whole-Home Repairs Program is the first of its kind in the nation, creating a one-stop shop for Pennsylvanians to repair and weatherize their homes by providing up to $50,000 for habitability repairs and energy efficiency upgrades, allocating support staff to ensure applicants receive the help they need in the order they need it, and funding pre-apprenticeship and training programs to build a skilled local workforce capable of meeting the growing demand.
Pennsylvania has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and the data show the human impact: one out of every four Pennsylvania voters lives in a home that needs a critical repair, while one out of every three describes their utility bills as “unaffordable.” And if confronted with the need to make a critical repair to their home, nearly half of Pennsylvanians say they would struggle to afford it.
The Whole-Home Repairs program was championed by a bipartisan, bicameral group of Pennsylvania legislators committed to taking action to combat Pennsylvania’s ongoing housing crisis. Senator Saval, who serves as Democratic Chair of the Senate’s Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, introduced the legislation in the Senate with the entire Democratic Caucus and five Republican Senators as co-sponsors. State Representatives Sara Innamorato (D–Allegheny), Rick Krajewski (D–Philadelphia), and Jordan Harris (D–Philadelphia), who serves as the House Democratic Whip, introduced and advanced companion legislation in the House.
The creation of the Whole-Home Repairs Program is the direct result of tireless organizing by a powerful coalition of housing and energy advocates, community organizers, and Pennsylvania residents. This $125-million appropriation marks an unprecedented investment in housing by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
The campaign for the Whole-Home Repairs Program was a collective effort of the following organizations:
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)
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, Inc
Green Building United
Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County
Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley
Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery and Delaware Counties
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia
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
Make the Road PA
National Energy Improvement Fund
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
Natural Resources Defense Council
Neighbors Against the Gas Plants
Northern Tier Community Action Corporation
Northumberland County Weatherization
Pennsylvania Stands Up
Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
Performance Systems Development
Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC)
Philadelphia Energy Authority
Philadelphia Rent Control Coalition
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
Rebuilding Together Philadelphia
Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh
Regional Housing Legal Services
Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania
Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter
Sunrise Movement Pennsylvania
Sunrise Movement Philly
The Public Interest Law Center
Women for a Healthy Environment