By Mike Lynn
On Friday, government officials, housing advocates, and stakeholders met in Philadelphia to celebrate the $375 million allocation in the 2022-23 budget that addresses the affordable housing crisis.
The $375 million comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. With affordable housing needs, the commonwealth has already invested in creating new units, repairing existing units, and funding home repairs. The award will be through the competitive bid process.
“Safe, affordable housing is essential for families, for our communities, and for our commonwealth. That’s why my administration and the General Assembly worked so hard to fund programs that support safe, affordable housing in this year’s budget,” said Gov. Wolf.
“We made a transformative investment in housing in Pennsylvania using federal American Rescue Plan Act funding which is exactly why that money was given to states – to help our neighbors – and that’s exactly what we are going to do.”
Funding Budget Breakdown
$125 million for the Whole-Home Repair Program
- A program to address loan forgiveness to small landlords and homeowners to make home repairs and address habitability concerns, improve energy or water efficiency, or make units accessible for individuals with disabilities.
$150 million Development Cost Relief
- A program to help offset higher development costs for affordable multifamily rental properties due to Covid.
$100 million Affordable Housing Construction
- This program provides grants for developing affordable housing units, including new units, rehabbing existing properties for affordable housing construction, or preserving existing affordable housing for low-income tenants.
“We heard the calls from people across Pennsylvania to address the workforce and affordable housing crisis,” said Senator Vincent Hughes.
“We fought for change and won with this major and historic $375 million housing investment, on top of the $55 million already in the budget. We can’t wait to roll out these programs and we will continue to fight to make sure Pennsylvanians have access and the right to safe and affordable housing.”
“So much of a family’s health and wellness is tied to the health and safety of their home. Yet, many in Pennsylvania can’t afford to make repairs to their homes to keep them safe or make improvements to boost energy efficiency,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton.
“The Whole Homes-Repair Program will help our neighbors restore their homes, strengthen our communities, and give residents a sense of security that their home is safe and healthy.”
“I am so proud to be celebrating the $375 million the General Assembly secured to address the housing crisis in Pennsylvania,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa.
“There is nothing more important than our homes. It’s where we raise our families, cook meals, work on homework, rest, build wealth, and make memories. But as the housing crisis has pushed families into uncertainty, financial distress, and homelessness, my colleagues and I put our power to good use and invested seriously in making sure everyone has a safe home they can afford. These investments will help families repair and weatherize their homes, as well as increase the supply of affordable housing units.”
“This past spring, we saw a groundswell of grassroots advocacy from communities across the commonwealth to demand that the General Assembly take action on our housing crisis,” said Senator Nikil Saval.
“I’m proud to say that we heard these demands, securing historic funding to expand affordable housing and to keep Pennsylvanians warm, safe, and dry in their homes by passing the groundbreaking Whole-Home Repairs program. The need is great, and we are ready for the fight. Pennsylvanians flourish when we invest in them.”
“Investments in housing, such as through the Whole Home Repairs Program, are a direct investment in our communities and the future of the folks who live there,” Representative Jordan Harris said.
“Quality and affordable housing is a right, and working families invest far too much time and energy into finding that housing to be denied simply from a lack of access or the skyrocketing cost of home repairs. I’m proud to have worked with Governor Wolf and my colleagues in the legislature to make this affordable housing funding a reality.”
“Looming gentrification in under-resourced communities, aging infrastructure in our oldest neighborhoods, and rapidly increasing property values are some of the major challenges were seeing here in West Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth,” said Representative Morgan Cephas.
“Given today’s housing climate, it is crucial for us to ensure that we not only continue to build new housing, but we must maintain current infrastructure and support safe and affordable living for all residents and families. These investments will help us turn this vision into reality.”
“Housing was a budget priority for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus because we believe investments in housing can build Pennsylvania’s Black middle class, narrow the racial wealth gap, and uplift distressed communities,” said Representative Donna Bullock.
“This historic investment of more than $400 million will have a significant impact on the lives of Black homeowners, homebuyers, and renters.”