Connecting neighbors to home repairs is one of the best ways to improve health and grow generational wealth.
Housing Counselors provide referrals for home repair for Homeowners Ages 62 or Older.
Housing is health care
That’s the growing belief of many health care providers, who are working with organizations like NKCDC to eliminate household hazards like lead, mold, pests, or poor air quality, which are leading causes of chronic disease.
In 2013-2014, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health partnered with St. Christopher’s Hospital to remove asthma triggers from homes at an average cost of $3,500 per home. It found that hospitalizations dropped 70% within six months and school absences were cut in half.
Home repairs also preserve affordable housing and prevent families from being displaced. In a 2009 review of home repair programs run by the City of Philadelphia, Karen Black wrote: “Public investment of $6,911 under the Basic Systems Repair Program can in many cases prevent residential abandonment and keep workforce housing viable. The cost to the City of not repairing these occupied homes is up to six times greater.”
Home repair is health care
Philadelphia home repair programs
NKCDC staff can help you find affordable home repair based on your repair needs and income. Here are some of the local programs we direct people to.
The City of Philadelphia runs several repair programs:
- Basic Systems Repair Program provides free repairs to correct electrical, plumbing, heating, structural and roofing emergencies in eligible owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia.
- Weatherization Assistance Program provides free weatherization and energy efficiency improvements to owner-occupied houses and tenant-occupied rental units located in the Philadelphia. Eligibility requirements apply.
- Adaptive Modifications Program is designed to help individuals with permanent physical disabilities live more independently in their homes. It provides free adaptations to a house or an apartment, allowing easier access to and mobility within the home.
- Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) is a minor home repair program provided by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging for Philadelphia homeowners ages 60 and older.
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia works alongside low-income owner-occupied homes to make free or highly-subsidized repairs that improve quality of life, keep homes warm, safe, and dry, and allow homeowners to “age in place.” Anyone can register on the Habitat website or by leaving a message at 215-765-6000 x18 or email@example.com.
The Heater Hotline provides free emergency heater repairs for eligible households. If the Heater Hotline staff determine that your heater needs to be replaced, they will forward your application to the Basic Systems Repair Program above. To apply for heater repairs only, call the Heater Hotline at 215-609-1443.
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging provides minor and major home repairs and carries out modifications to make homes more accessible to older adults and those with disabilities. Seniors must be age 60+ and own their home. For more information, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.
Restore, Repair, Renew is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to help Philadelphia homeowners access low-interest loans to invest in their properties. Loans can fun a range of home repairs. Call 215-866-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebuilding Together Philadelphia home repairs
In 2017, NKCDC and Rebuilding Together Philadelphia began a multi-year partnership to bring healthy home repairs to Kensington. Professional contractors and volunteers completed an average of $15,000 of repairs on 33 homes on Somerset Street in the first year.
Since then we have repaired 100 homes. Each year kicks off with a “Block Build” event that includes more than 200 neighbors, volunteers and professionals.
Unfortunately, we do not have funding to provide this needed service in 2023, but we are hopeful that we can collaborate again in the future!
Request a Housing Appointment
Many repair programs require you to own your home, be listed on the deed, and be in good shape with your property taxes. Some also have income or credit score requirements. NKCDC housing advisors can help—by phone or online!