Philly home repair and climate resilience program gets big funding boost
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Philly home repair and climate resilience program gets big funding boost

Built to Last, run by the quasi-governmental Philadelphia Energy Authority, began as a pilot in 2021. Since then, the program has repaired over 100 homes and has around 200 more in process.

It’s designed to be a “one-stop shop” that brings together existing programs for low-income homeowners and fills in the gaps. It offers basic home repairs, weatherization, installation of efficient, electric appliances and renewable energy.

“We’re opening up the ability for folks to get that whole-home treatment, but we’re also giving them the opportunity to kind of future-proof, to adapt to the climate needs of the future — [for example], to add air conditioning to their home through a heat pump,” said Alon Abramson, director of residential programs at the Philadelphia Energy Authority.

But the program has not been able to keep up with demand. Its current waitlist stands at around 1,600 families, said Emily Schapira, president and CEO of Philadelphia Energy Authority. Staff hope to serve 400 more homes next fiscal year, she said.

The program has received federal and state funding, including from Pennsylvania’s Whole-Home Repairs program, but never funding from the city. The Philadelphia Energy Authority did receive around $2 million in the city budget this fiscal year, but the money did not go to the Built to Last program, officials said.