SUPPORT FOR BUILT TO LAST
The Philadelphia Energy Authority is rethinking how Philadelphia can improve housing for low-income individuals by coordinating the layering and streamlining of existing housing program services while closing gaps in funding. Through administering the program’s grant and invoice management, PGCC facilitates the closing of these monetary gaps, which are necessary for Built to Last’s holistic approach to restoring homes and ensuring their affordability and climate-resiliency for years to come.
What is Built to Last and why is it necessary?
There are over 60,000 low-income homeowners in Philadelphia who cannot afford critical home repairs, creating pressure on the health and financial stability of occupants and, in some cases, leading to involuntary displacement. Dozens of home repair programs provide crucial services to low-income homeowners in Philadelphia. However, their scopes vary and can be difficult to decipher, which leads to deferrals and missed opportunities to achieve holistic retrofits.
Built to Last coordinates these housing repair programs and layers on sustainable and resilient technologies to further future-proof homes.
The work performed beyond the monetary cap of existing home repair programs is essential to making homes resilient to climate change and uncertain energy markets by ensuring the entire structure of homes are stable and basic systems are functional. In doing so, Built to Last seeks to restore the safety, health, affordability, and comfort of existing affordable housing in a way that:
(1) improves the long-term quality of Philadelphia’s housing
(2) builds community wealth, and
(3) helps families avoid displacement and stay in their homes.
Where is the program now?
The Philadelphia Energy Authority began its first pilot in late 2021, servicing 50 homes in Philadelphia, and is wrapping up construction on these homes. PEA, with the support of PGCC, launched the second phase of Built to Last in Fall 2022 with a new round of 50 homes, continuing the program’s focus on working with low-income homeowners who are living in neighborhoods with high poverty rates.