Help Affording Home Repair

Home repairs can be expensive, as we illustrated in our last post. Did you know that many loan and rebate programs exist to assist with covering these costs? There are even grant programs for low-income homeowners. Solo is here to show you that you are not alone when it comes to repairing your home!

Our realtors are known for making themselves available to their clients after their purchase is complete. If the client has to make an unexpected repair, they can always reach out to their Solo agent for guidance.

As showcased below, Solo has a comprehensive knowledge of home repair assistance programs!

Of course, the easiest and best way to afford home repairs is to save for them.

The solutions below involve applying and being approved for loans, being placed on waitlists for grants, and fronting funds and being reimbursed for rebates—all of which take time.

Having the cash upfront will allow you to address emergency repairs immediately.

But even if you have been diligently setting aside funds, sometimes you may have to use that nest egg for an unexpected expense, or the repair ends up being much more involved than your anticipated, which is where the below programs can help!


Worried you won’t qualify for a loan because of your credit score?

The City offers free credit repair with professional financial counselors. Set-up an appointment with a counselor near you by calling 1-855-FIN-PHIL (1-855-346-7445) or going tohttp://www.phila.gov/fe.



Mini-PHIL and PHIL Plus loans

The Mini-PHIL Home Improvement Loan program helps Philadelphia homeowners with less-than-perfect credit obtain the money needed to make energy conservation improvements, emergency repairs or to do small projects. Leftover funds can be used to pay off existing consumer debt.

For general information call: 215-851-1854.

Must apply through one of the City’s free housing counseling agencies:




Home Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP) Loan

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)

Applies to specific energy related home improvements (roof repair/replacement; caulking, sealing& insulation; heating/cooling systems repair/replacement; window and door replacements). Up to $10,000 for a term of 10 years at a 1% interest rate. Income limitations apply.




Renovate & Repair Loan

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)

Homeowners or homebuyers can borrow up to $35,000 to make home repairs and improvements, as well as accessibility modifications to their home.




ACCESS Home Modification Program

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)

This program provides mortgage loans to assist people with disabilities, or who have a family member(s) with disabilities living in the household, who are purchasing a home that needs accessibility modifications. It provides a deferred payment loan, with no interest and no monthly payment. The loan becomes due and payable upon the sale, transfer, or non-owner occupancy of the property. This program is used in conjunction with a PHFA first mortgage program.

Eligible modification items may include, but are not limited to, bathroom modifications; installation of grab bars and handrails; kitchen modifications; lifting devices; main level bathroom or bedroom addition; ramp addition or repair; sidewalk addition or repair; and widening doorways or hallways.

800-822-1174 or 717-780-3800

TDD for deaf and hard of hearing: 717-780-1869




Keystone HELP Loan

Keystone HELP® offers low-rate loans to help make affordable energy efficiency home improvements. Homeowners in Pennsylvania who own and are making qualifying improvements to their 1 to 2 unit primary residence located in Pennsylvania are eligible. There is a maximum household income limit of $250,000. Homeowners who live Philadelphia County are eligible for even lower rates through the special EnergyWorks program.





Homeowner’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP)

Philadelphia Water

HELP is an emergency plumbing repair program that can be used only when the Philadelphia Water issues a Notice of Defect to the property for a broken water or sewer service line. Loans are zero-interest and payable over a five-year period. Applicant must own and live in the property. Water bill or payment agreement must be current. If a leak has occurred in the water or service line, Philadelphia Water can be called for a home visit to assess the leak and issue a Notice of Defect.






PGW EnergySense

PGW Home Rebates help you lower energy bills and save money. When you invest in a PGW home energy assessment for $150 (a $500 value) and complete eligible work, PGW will pay you a cash rebate up to $3,500 for qualifying improvements.





PECO Smart Home Rebates

PECO Smart Home Rebates offers rebates for replacing older, inefficient appliances, and heating and cooling equipment, with new high efficiency models. PECO rebate applications can be completed online, or mailed along with proof of purchase for the appliance or equipment purchased and installed.


1-888-5-PECO-SAVE (1-888-573-2672)



tool library

West Philadelphia Tool Library

Loans tools to Philadelphia residents so they can perform simple home maintenance, tend their yards and gardens, build furniture, and start projects. Sliding scale annual memberships ($20-50) based on income. Open every Monday through Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

1314 South 47th Street

215-833-3190 or info@westphillytools.org





Habitat for Humanity

The ReStore is a second-hand retail outlet open to the public to shop for quality donated home furnishings, furniture, and building supplies at a fraction of the original cost, with all revenue going directly back into Home Repair Programs for low-income households.

2930 Jasper Street

(215) 739-9300




Building Materials Exchange

Impact Services

Provides new and salvaged materials at low cost to low-, moderate- and middle-income homeowners. Free membership allows homeowners to purchase materials up to 85% off store prices. Available materials include: kitchen cabinets, lumber, mirrors, paint, toilets and sinks, used appliances and other home goods, and windows. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

124 E Indiana Avenue






Rain Check

Philadelphia Water Department

Provides the following for a highly subsidized price: pavement removal, installation of porous paving stones, rain garden installation, and downspout planter boxes.

(215) 971-6151




Basic Systems Repair Program

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation

Free repairs to the electrical, plumbing and heating systems of low-income owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. BSRP may also provide free replacement of a house’s roof if major interior damage such as a collapsing ceiling is evident. Resources are limited and there is a lengthy waiting period (3-5 years). Income limitations apply.


Weatherization Assistance Program

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation

**NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS**Provides free weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements to low-income owner-occupied and rental units. Services include air-sealing measures; window and door repair; wrapping of hot water heaters, heating pipes and ducts; sealing of basement openings, crawlspaces and chaseways; insulating and air sealing of roof area; repair and efficiency modifications to central heating. Resources are limited and income limitations apply.





ECA’s Weatherization Assistance Program

Energy Coordinating Agency

Heating, water heating and electricity conservation treatments and helps families save 20%-40% on energy costs. Can include insulation, heater help, new windows, and more! Income limitations apply.




The Other Carpenter Program

Habitat for Humanity

Home repairs for low-income residents of East and West Parkside, Belmont, Mantua and Cathedral Park, Mill Creek north of Haverford. Only for households willing to organize their entire block to apply, applications for individual households will not be accepted. Income limitations apply.





Homeowner’s Program

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Repairs for low-income homeowners. Critical repairs, energy efficiency modifications, adaptive modifications for older or disabled individuals, removal of environmental hazards (e.g. lead paint). Serves zip codes 19104, 19133, 19122, 19123. Only for households willing to organize their entire block to apply, applications for individual households will not be accepted. Income limitations apply.





Low Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP)


Can help customers lower the amount of gas and electricity used. Installs free weatherization measures and provides conservation education.

PECO Customer Service Center





Low-Income Conservation Assistance Program (LICAP)

Philadelphia Water Department

Provides water conservation to its low-income customers. This program serves over 1,700 households every year and results in average water savings of 28%. To apply, contact your Neighborhood Energy Center:




Adaptive Modification Program

Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation

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. Modifications include stairway elevators, exterior wheelchair lifts and ramps, railings, first floor full- and half-baths, widened doorways, and lowered cabinets, sinks, and countertops. Available to homeowners and renters. Income limitations apply.





Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP)

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging

Home repairs include replacing exterior doors and locks, rebuilding basement steps, making minor plumbing repairs and replacing electrical switches, outlets and fixtures. Service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to low-income senior citizens.





Emergency Heater Hotline

Energy Coordinating Agency

Repairs heating systems for low-income homeowners. Both emergency service and preventative maintenance are provided.





Veteran Weatherization and Home Repair Program

Habitat for Humanity

Low-cost home repair and weatherization services, you or a household member must be a U.S. military veteran and provide proof of honorable or general discharge. Surviving spouses of veterans are not eligible, but veterans awaiting discharge due to injuries sustained in the line of duty may be eligible. Veteran need not own the home, but the home must be owned by an occupant (not rented), and must be the primary residence of the veteran. Limited resources are available.

(215) 765-6000




Lead & Healthy Homes Program

National Nursing Centers Consortium

Helps make homes safe for households with children under the age of 7. Includes free testing for and assistance getting rid of pests (bedbugs, roaches), sources of lead, factors causing asthma in the child, and general unsafe conditions.

267-765-2320 or email shawana@nncc.us

No matter what your situation, there is a way to keep your home in tip-top shape!

Opening image: “Installing a Hardwood Floor – Construction” by Scott Lewis – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-2.0 via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99781513@N04/17316606304.

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