Our vision of a city where everyone has a decent place to live, cannot be reached simply by building and repairing more homes. It requires real systemic change in local, state, and federal policy. In 2022, Habitat Philadelphia was proud to support one such initiative: The Whole Home Repairs Act. After months of work organizing and building support, the Whole Home Repairs Act officially passed into the Pennsylvania state budget on July 8, 2022. This new state fund was introduced by Senator Nikil Saval and aims to support critical home repairs and weatherization.
Pennsylvania is known to have some of the oldest housing stock in the country with over 280,000 housing units with moderate to severe physical inadequacies. The demand for safe housing is high and the lack of funds has made it difficult to keep up with over the years. Now, the newly secured Whole Home Repairs Act will provide eligible residents with grants up to $50,000, small landlords with forgivable loans, as well as workforce training and support staff to help coordinate repairs.
Proper home repairs and weatherization mean more residents can age in place and more families can maintain generational wealth. That is why Habitat Philadelphia led a coalition of statewide Habitat affiliates to back Whole Home Repairs, and called on our supporters to do the same.
Beginning in April 2022, we launched a sustained outreach plan to spread the word about the legislation. Recurring calls to action through our advocacy newsletter helped build momentum. In addition, CEO Corinne O’Connell penned an op-ed that ran in the Philadelphia Citizen that called on elected officials to pass Whole Home Repairs.
With the help of many engaged residents across the state, and the more than 150 messages sent to elected officials by Habitat Philadelphia supporters, the Whole Home Repairs Act successfully passed with $125 million allocated in the 2022-2023 state budget. This win is significant for affordable housing in Pennsylvania and we are excited to see more residents receive the help they need for a safe, warm and dry place to live.
Wins like this are not possible without you. To join us in pursuit of our vision of a city where everyone has a decent place to live, sign up to receive our advocacy alerts today.
Watch this State of Young Philly conversation on Whole Home Repairs featuring Senator Nikil Saval and Habitat Philadelphia’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Carrie Rathmann.
Learn more about our Advocacy actions here and for more about Whole Home Repairs, visit their website.