Fetterman wants to make Pennsylvania’s Whole-Home Repair Program nationwide

05 March 2024- Today, U.S. Senators John Fetterman (D-PA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the Whole-Home Repairs Act. The bill would create a national five-year pilot program to expand on a wildly successful and popular Pennsylvania program designed to help homeowners with critical home repairs.

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

“Pennsylvania’s Whole-Homes program was an incredible success,” said Sen. Fetterman. “This bill will make it so that more working families can afford repairs for their homes and help ensure money that goes out through existing programs goes further. We are in a housing crisis – and this is one, critical piece of the solution. It’s a perfect example of how government can work in concrete ways to meaningfully improve people’s lives. I’m so proud to introduce a bill to bring this program to the federal level.”

Years of deferred maintenance—largely due to high and rising repair and utility costs—have led to homeowners and renters being forced to live with leaky or collapsed roofs, exposed wiring, mold, unsafe heating, lead paint, drafty windows, faulty plumbing, and other health and safety risks. And in both rural and urban communities, existing programs are overly bureaucratic, inefficient, and have failed to fully address the scope of these problems.

In response to these known problems, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers passed the Whole-Home Repairs program in 2022 to create a one-stop shop to help with repairs, weatherization, and adaptions in homes for older residents or individuals with disabilities. The program allows low- and moderate-income homeowners and small landlords to apply for grants and loans to make needed repairs. The program was both successful and popular and has helped thousands of people address urgent repair needs. An incredible 95% of Pennsylvania counties applied for funding, demonstrating the breadth and enormity of the need.

The Whole-Homes Repairs Act creates a national version of this popular state program.

Senator Fetterman has spoken about the success of Pennsylvania’s Whole-Homes Program at Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development hearings as a way of addressing the housing shortage and disinvestment in forgotten communities across Pennsylvania.

The Whole-Home Repairs Act has been endorsed by the Housing Affordability Council, National NeighborWorks Association, LISC, Habitat for Humanity, Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Housing Law Project, People’s Action, National Association of Towns and Townships, Window and Door Manufacturers Association, and Pennsylvania Stands Up.