Senators Look to Create National Whole-Home Repairs Pilot Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Whether you live in a rural or urban area, maintaining your home can be difficult and costly. With rising repair and utility costs, homeowners and renters are often forced to live with leaky roofs, lead paint, mold and other health and safety risks. 

Now, some lawmakers in Washington are trying to provide homeowners and landlords with some assistance for home repairs. The national effort mirrors a state program in Pennsylvania, which was signed into law two years ago.

In 2022, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state lawmakers, led by state Senator Nikil Saval (D- Philadelphia), came up with a solution to help working families repair their homes. It’s called the Whole-Home Repairs Program and it provides grants and loans for needed repairs. 

“It establishes a one stop shop for home repairs and weatherization, while building out our local workforce and adding new family sustaining jobs in a growing field,” said state Senator Saval when the program was first created. 

U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D- PA) says the program has been so successful in all corners of Pennsylvania that he now wants to take it to the national level. 

“It’s very popular and it’s very important that we help people to maintain the dignity of staying in their homes and to preserve our housing stock,” said Fetterman. “It’s a win-win-win for everybody.” 

Sen. Fetterman, who previously served as Lieutenant Governor in Pennsylvania, said the concept resonated with both sides of the aisle. 

“It resonated with the very conservative members of the legislature, and they decided that this really is a great thing and we need to make it a law. And that’s what they did,” said Fetterman. 

Since its creation, 95% of Pennsylvania counties have applied for funding. Fetterman believes a national whole-home repairs program would be just as popular. He recently introduced the National Whole Home Repairs Act with Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). 

“We are excited, we have Republican co-sponsors here, actually a Senator from Wyoming. They see the value in this, and that has resonated the same way that it has in Pennsylvania,” said Fetterman. 

Proponents for the national five-year pilot program say it would drive down utility costs, make homes safer and create more jobs. 

You can find more information on Pennsylvania’s Whole-Home Repairs Program here.