Blog NKCDC How to support healthy home repair in Kensington

Leonard Gentry was a home repair client—and volunteer—for NKCDC’s partnership with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia.

An opportunity to preserve generational wealth

“This was my grandfather’s house,” Leonard Gentry told NKCDC. “And then it was my mother’s house.” 

“I remember the day we moved my mom in. … Me and my brother fixed it up for her. We painted, put in drop ceilings, paneling—whatever was needed.” 

Mr. Gentry has seven grown children now, and his mom’s house needed some repairs. The upstairs windows were drafty, and when it rained, water trickled down beside his chimney. 

“I tried to patch it but I could never find the spot,” he said. 

Home repair is health care

In 2019, Mr. Gentry was one of 25 Kensington homeowners who participated in a home repair partnership between NKCDC and Rebuilding Together Philadelphia.  

NKCDC believes that connecting neighbors to repairs is one of the most important ways we can improve our community’s health. Household hazards like drafty windows or a leaky roof can cause a long list of injury and illness, from flu or broken bones to asthma or lung disease.  

For more than 35 years, NKCDC has been helping Philadelphians buy, rent, repair, weatherize and heat their homes so everyone can have a healthy home, capitalize on neighborhood growth, and build wealth that lasts for generations. As new development springs up across Kensington, and rents and property taxes rise, home repair also keeps families in their homes and holds the neighborhood together. 

Mr. Gentry worked with NKCDC housing advisors to qualify for his home for repairs. “At the time I was changing the deed from my mother’s name to my name, so that was a little bit of a process, but I got it done in time to get repairs this year,” he said.  

Repairing Kensington together

Over the past five years, NKCDC has repaired 100 Kensington homes in partnership with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, and has connected hundreds more to other repair services across the city.

At NKCDC we believe that neighborhood development can and should benefit all residents. But no one person or organization can do it alone. We, as a community, must support one another.  

In addition to receiving repairs, Mr. Gentry volunteered at a two-day Block Build to help fix up his neighbor’s homes. Neighbors helping neighbors build strong, healthy communities that can weather the storms. 

We should all be a little more like Mr. Gentry. Will you help us get there? Your contribution—whatever the size—plays a significant role in leveraging support from other individuals, businesses, and foundations. You can make a donation at  

Together, we can provide exceptional housing counseling services, bring in home repair partners, support local businesses, build affordable housing, strengthen community leadership, and grow sustainable communities.

Please consider making NKCDC a part of your charitable contributions this year. You can make a one-time or monthly gift at

Donate Here

Thank you for supporting your neighbors, like Leonard Gentry, by supporting NKCDC.