Pa. homeowners to benefit from new program

Ed Gruver//November 21, 2022

Pa. homeowners to benefit from new program

Ed Gruver//November 21, 2022

Senators Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County, and Nikil Saval, D-Philadelphia, joined local elected officials and members of the Allentown community on Friday to announce the publication of the Whole-Home Repairs program guidelines. 

The first of its kind in the country, the Whole-Home Repairs Program is creating a one-stop shop for Pennsylvanians to adapt, repair, and weatherize their homes.  

The program provides up to $50,000 for accessibility measures, energy efficiency upgrades, and habitability repairs; allocating support staff to ensure applicants receive the assistance they need in the order they need it; and funding pre-apprenticeship and training programs to build a skilled local workforce capable to meeting the growing statewide demand. 

“The Whole-Home Repairs Program is a $125-million commitment, the largest investment the General Assembly has made in recent history, to improving the quality of our existing housing stock,” Browne said in a statement. “By giving hardworking families the resources necessary to improve their homes and complete needed repairs and energy saving projects, we are directly investing in our neighborhoods and communities. I am proud to have worked with Senator Saval and my colleagues in the General Assembly to enact this vital new program.” 

Senator-Elect Nick Miller, D-Lehigh and Northampton counties joined Browne, who is retiring, and Saval to share updates on the development of the Whole-Home Repairs Program. 

“I was honored to join both Senators Saval and Browne in my new district to support the Whole-Home Repairs Program and the financial relief it will provide homeowners across the Commonwealth,” said Miller. “I’m excited to get started in my new role. Being out here with lawmakers who have actively made a difference in the lives of constituents, makes me even more eager to begin fighting for the 14th Senatorial District.” 

The youngest member to be elected to the Pennsylvania Senate, Miller will be sworn in Jan. 3, 2023. He will represent parts of both Lehigh and Northampton counties. 

The program is administered statewide by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and locally at the county level by designated County Administrators who are responsible for the following: 

  • Administer the program, hire staff, and implement systems and data management tools designed to maximize enrollment in all existing home repair programs administered by nonprofit organizations, government entities, and public utilities; 
  • Invest in workforce development programs that will connect trainees to jobs through committed employer partnerships related to improving the habitability and performance of homes, including cash stipends for trainees and costs related to the design and implementation of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeships and publicly funded on the job training programs; 
  • Work directly with eligible homeowners and landlords on the application process. 

“The Whole-Home Repairs Program was born from the notion that no one should be denied a home that is safe, a home that is healthy, simply because they don’t have the resources they need to fix them,” Saval said. “The publication of the program guidelines is a monumental step toward delivering Whole-Home Repairs Program funds for those who need them. Our work continues until applications for residents open this coming spring. And our work continues after that, too – we’re not finished until all Pennsylvanians have what we need to make our homes whole.” 

Michael Handzo, Housing Manager at Community Action Lehigh Valley, said that as a home is one of the most fundamental human rights for basic human dignity, the timing of the announcement could not have been better. 

“This is the season of thanks, and I’m so grateful for the partnership that brought the Whole-Home Repairs Program into existence and the partnership that is emerging for us to support our communities.” 

Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk thanked Senators Browne and Saval for working to create and move the program through the General Assembly. “Unquestionably, this program will directly impact the lives of Allentown residents, helping them to make vital repairs and improvements to their homes and community.” 

Applications from County Administrators will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis between Dec. 12, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023. All applications and required supplemental information must be received by 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2023.