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Date May, 2005
Client Women’s Community
Revitalization Project (WCRP)
Length 13 pages

policy report

Repairing Houses, Preserving Homes

Philadelphia's Home Repair Crisis
and What We Can Do About It

This publication encourages the city of Philadelphia to invest in the preservation of existing privately-owned occupied housing in order to protect the city’s supply of affordable housing, prevent further home abandonment and stabilize its neighborhoods.

The report found that eighty percent of Philadelphia’s housing is over 40 years old and one out of every eight Philadelphia homeowners cannot afford to make needed repairs to their homes. The average public investment required to keep a home viable is $5,300. The cost to the city of not repairing these homes is up to eight times greater when you consider that once a family moves out of a deteriorating house, the public bears the cost of placing the children in foster care, sheltering the family, demolishing the home, or caring for the elderly and disabled family members.

The report also suggests reforms to the City’s Basic System Repair Program which is Philadelphia’s primary housing preservation program. BSRP currently has long waiting lists and slow response times. Several changes to make this program more efficient are detailed.

This report resulted in a significant increase in funding to the Basic Systems Repair Program allowing more homes to be saved.