Fetterman again pushes Congress to create nationwide Whole Home Repairs Act modeled off PA state program

17 April 2024- On Tuesday, Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman spoke at a Senate Housing, Transportation, and Community Development subcommittee hearing about the importance of passing the Whole-Home Repairs Act, a bill he introduced with Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) that would scale a popular and successful Pennsylvania program to the national level. The Whole-Home Repairs Act would help homeowners and apartment owners with critical home repairs. Senator Lummis also attended the hearing and highlighted the value of the Whole-Home Repairs Act, demonstrating the bipartisan pressure to get the legislation passed.

“We have a housing crisis in Pennsylvania and across the country. We need a crisis-level response,” said Senator Fetterman.

The Whole-Home Repairs Act is a crucial piece of solving the broader housing shortage the country is facing, said Fetterman during his testimony. When families can’t afford repairs, housing units are lost to blight, which further exacerbates the housing crisis. The bill, he says, helps address this issue by allowing more families to keep their homes in good condition. The bill will also create a one-stop shop that will help ensure that money allocated through existing programs is efficiently spent.

“We have a housing crisis no matter where you live – in a blue county or a red county. This is a smart and proven way to target that crisis. We’ve got to help people live in dignity and preserve our much-needed housing stock.” said Senator Fetterman.

Senator Fetterman introduced the witness from Pennsylvania, Jesse Ergott, who serves as President and CEO of NeighborWorks Northeastern PA. Senator Fetterman spoke about the important role that Mr. Ergott and NeighborWorks Northeastern PA have played in reducing blight in NEPA and administering the state-level whole-home repairs program in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Led by State Senator Nikil Saval, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers passed the Whole-Home Repairs program in 2022 to create a one-stop shop to help with repairs. Nearly every county that applied for funding had to create a waitlist to deal with the overwhelming demand for the program.