Providing Low Interest Home Repair Loans for Working Philadelphians
On July 12th, Philadelphia city officials announced the relaunch of the Restore Repair Renew (RRR) program. This program is a partnership between Clarifi, PHDC, and nonprofit service providers to offer affordable home repair loans of up to $50,000 to eligible homeowners.
“Programs like RRR are important to working families across the city to grant them access to the financial assistance they need to keep their homes in great condition,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I am looking forward to even more homes being renovated or restored with the updates made to the program, so even more homeowners can benefit.”
Restore Repair Renew was proposed by City Council and created by PHDC. RRR first launched in March 2019. Since then, the program has helped over 200 individuals and families with their home improvement needs. Over $3 million dollars has been invested to help preserve homes.
“Housing preservation is an integral part of addressing Philadelphia’s affordable housing crisis,” said Councilmember Cherelle Parker. “In order to stabilize our neighborhoods, we must invest in them now. As we know, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. With the cost of materials and contracting services ever-increasing, we are so pleased to be able to keep up with the times and double the amount that can be borrowed while keeping the same low 3% interest rate. This will help Philadelphians keep and enjoy their most-prized possession – their homes.”
RRR supports the City’s goal of developing and preserving affordable, quality homes in neighborhoods where the markets are rapidly changing, and in stable neighborhoods at risk of decline. RRR is part of a wide-ranging effort to increase housing security for low-income people, working-class families, and seniors in Philadelphia. PHDC has one community partner (Program Navigator) and two lenders to support this program.
“Philadelphia has long been a city of homeowners – far outpacing the homeownership rate of our peer cities up and down the east coast,” said Jill Roberts, Director of Advocacy for Clarifi. “Yet, inequitable access to capital has put hundreds of low-to-moderate income homeowners at-risk of losing their most important asset and greatest chance of passing on intergenerational wealth to their children. When initially launched, Restore, Repair, Renew was a bright spot on the horizon for these families. Today, Clarifi is proud to stand with this coalition of public and private partners to make Restore, Repair, Renew even better by reducing barriers to access and increasing our collective impact. Together, we’re ensuring that Philadelphians for generations to come will have a safe, sustainable and healthy place to call home.”
Significant Program Changes:
- Increased maximum loan amount of $50,000 from $24,999
- Construction period extended to 12 months from 3 months to allow homeowners more time to find quality contractors and have the work completed
- Removal of requirement for loan pre-approval; clients will apply directly for a loan after they are deemed eligible by the Program Navigator and have received a home assessment
- Removal of requirement for a comprehensive work scope prior to loan approval; replaced by 1) home assessment and 2) Program Navigator oversight of loan draws
- Ability to pay contractors up to 50% of estimated cost upfront instead of just 30%
“Univest Bank and Trust Co. is excited for the relaunch of the Restore, Repair, Renew program and proud to again be serving as a lending partner,” said Dana Brown, President of Consumer Services for Univest. “Univest is dedicated to giving back and one way we do that is by supporting programs and organizations that are making a difference in local communities across the city. With the significant changes to the RRR program, we look forward to helping provide affordable financial options to even more Philadelphia homeowners.”
“As a bank dedicated to the people we serve, we take great pride in offering services that will help our customers accomplish their financial goals,” said Steve McWilliams, Market President for Metro Philadelphia, Republic Bank. “Home ownership and affordable home repairs are critical components of lifting up individuals and communities, and we’re honored to be one of the lenders supporting the city’s revamped RRR program.”
For eligibility information and additional details, visit: https://phdcphila.org/residents/home-repair/restore-repair-renew/.