July 24, 2024

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Governor Shapiro Visits Harrisburg Homeowner, Promotes Proposed Budget Investments in the Whole-Home Repairs Program to Continue Cutting Costs for Pennsylvanians

6 min read

Since taking office, Governor Shapiro has been focused on cutting costs and helping Pennsylvanians maintain – and stay in – their homes, and his 2024-25 budget proposes investing $50 million in the Whole-Home Repairs Program.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program has the capacity to improve housing affordability and stability, health and safety, as well as energy savings, for thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Harrisburg, PA – Highlighting the importance of safe, healthy, and affordable housing and his Administration’s ongoing efforts to cut costs for Pennsylvanians, Governor Josh Shapiro today visited Dauphin County homeowners to see firsthand how their home will be improved through the Whole-Home Repairs Program. During the visit, Governor Shapiro shared how his proposed 2024-25 budget invests $50 million for the Whole-Home Repairs program to continue providing direct assistance to homeowners and keep more families in their homes.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program gives grants to low- and moderate-income homeowners for essential home repairs, safety measures, and resident accessibility – as well as energy efficient upgrades including heating and insulation. The program also offers loans to small landlords to enable them to provide safe, affordable housing units to tenants. Program allocations are made to local county governments or nonprofits which distribute the grants or loans to qualifying applicants.

“At a time when it seems like the price of everything – from rent and childcare, to groceries and medicine – is making it harder for people to make ends meet, I wanted to be here today to highlight a practical, commonsense way that we can cut costs and deliver real relief for folks all across Pennsylvania by helping them stay in – and take care of – their homes,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Whole-Home Repairs are making a big difference for homeowners in communities all across the Commonwealth – so far, grants have been awarded for nearly 1,150 properties across the Commonwealth through this initiative. My budget invests $50 million in Whole-Home Repairs because the need is clear, and we know it works – we’ve seen it deliver for so many Pennsylvanians all across this Commonwealth. We’ve got to do our part to keep cutting costs for homeowners and help them maintain and stay in their homes.”

Dauphin County alone received 128 applications in total for the first round of Whole-Home Repairs Program funding in 2023 and was forced to close its application period after only four hours due to volume. A February 2024 survey of 59 Pennsylvania Counties who received program funding showed that more than 22,000 applications had been received with 2,468 units/homes expected to be funded. Due to overwhelming response for limited program funding, nearly 17,000 applicants for the program are currently on wait lists.

The Whole-Home Repairs Program, administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), provides funding for county-wide agencies to address habitability and safety concerns, fund measures to improve energy or water efficiency, and make units accessible for individuals with disabilities. The program also provides funding to counties for construction-related workforce development. If you are an individual or a household looking to apply for funding through the Whole-Home Repairs program, you can go directly to Pennsylvania Whole Home Repairs website for info on how to apply in your home county.

“This isn’t simply about home improvement, it’s a commitment to the long-term health of Pennsylvania,” said DCED Secretary Rick Siger. “Help from the Whole-Home Repairs Program to cover the cost of essential repairs can be life-changing for families and individuals on tight budgets or fixed incomes. Thousands of our neighbors across the Commonwealth are now living in safer, more affordable homes thanks to the program, but the need remains enormous.”

During the visit, Governor Shapiro met with residents Rick and Pebbles Seay, who are receiving funding from the Whole Home Repairs Program. Rick and Pebbles Seay are planning to use the funds for new gutters, new windows, porch repairs, replacing a back door, assessing and fixing water damage, and making their upstairs bathroom handicap accessible.

“I moved here in 1998 and these houses were basically constructed in the early-to-late 1950s. A few years ago, someone informed me that I could qualify for grant money that would make repairs to my home. I submitted that application in the Fall of 2022 for the Whole-Home Repairs Program. I will be using the money to repair gutters around the house, replace all the windows in the first and second floors, help repair a section of the roof that needs work, install a new walk-in shower and flooring, and do a renovation to the main bathroom. For my wife and I, these renovations are a true blessing,” said homeowner Rick Seay. “I truly want to encourage other people in Pennsylvania to apply to the Whole-Home Repairs Program. My advice to others is: if you want to apply for the Whole-Home Repairs Program, stick with the process and be patient – because for my situation they did what they said they were going to do and now my home is being repaired.”

A nonprofit or governmental entity awarded funds under the Whole-Home Repairs Program must use the money for the following purposes:

  • Make funding available through grants to homeowners and loans to landlords (up to $50,000) where the household’s income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income to be eligible for a homeowner grant or where a small landlord provides an affordable unit to its tenants.
  • Make an investment in workforce development programs that will connect trainees to jobs through committed employer partnerships related to improving the habitability and performance of home.

In addition to the $50 million in funding for the Whole-Home Repairs Program, the Governor’s 2024-25 budget also increasing the resources available for the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation and Enhancement (PHARE) Fund by $10 million every year for the next 4 years to help rehabilitate properties in need of repair and build new homes and apartments and $5 million in flexible grant funding for cities and counties to address immediate housing needs at the local level until disaster relief or other funding can be identified and be made available.

“The $50 million allocated to the Whole Home Repairs program is a crucial investment in Pennsylvania’s future, offering essential support to our seniors on fixed incomes and preserving the historic charm of our region’s homes,” said Representative Dave Madsen. “By providing grants for necessary repairs and loans for energy-efficient upgrades, this initiative not only ensures the safety and comfort of our residents but also safeguards the heritage of Pennsylvania for generations to come.”

“Pennsylvania should build upon its WHR program because this investment has already had a large and lasting impact on so many facets of life in Dauphin County: from family stability and the local economy to energy, education and health care,” said Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick. “Knowing that the average homeowner spends a hefty $6,000 a year on home maintenance and repairs, this funding allows Pennsylvanians to live in safer, healthier, more energy-efficient homes, without fear of crippling repair bills or dangerous living conditions. By helping to prevent eyesores, foreclosures and financial distress, WHR programs open the doors of opportunity for families, jobs and neighborhoods all across the Commonwealth.”

Governor Shapiro has been focused on cutting costs and helping Pennsylvanians stay in their homes since taking office – expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program to provide a lifeline for Pennsylvania renters and homeowners who need it most.

For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget creates opportunity and cuts costs for Pennsylvanians, visit Governor Josh Shapiro’s Budget website. To apply for funding through the Whole-Homes Repairs Program, visit Pennsylvania Whole Home Repairs website.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook