City Unveils Low-Interest Home-Repair Loans for Philadelphia

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MAYOR Jim Kenney hailed the launch of low-interest home-improvement loans for needy homeowners.

City officials on Wednesday announced the launch of Restore Repair Renew, a program partnership between the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and nonprofit service providers to offer low-interest home repair loans of up to $24,999 to eligible homeowners.

“Today is a great day for middle-income individuals and families in the City of Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “We understand that there are some families that work every day, and still need assistance in maintaining and preserving their home. These Philadelphians may not be able to qualify for a traditional home repair loan, and may need some assistance. The Philadelphia Neighborhood Home Preservation Loan Program, better known as Restore Repair Renew or RRR, is the answer.”

Restore Repair Renew was proposed by Council, and created by PRA, in support of the City’s goal of creating and preserving affordable, quality homes in neighborhoods where the markets are rapidly changing, as well as in stable neighborhoods at risk of decline. Restore Repair Renew is part of a wide-ranging effort to increase housing security for low-income people, working-class families, and seniors.

“The Restore Repair Renew program is a critical part of Council’s strategic plan to support equitable growth and inclusive neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said. “People with lower incomes shouldn’t pay proportionately more for basic home repairs and modifications, yet many do when the only financing options available to them are precious savings or high-interest credit cards. I’m grateful to our lending and nonprofit partners who recognize that people’s ability to maintain their homes and age in place helps keep neighborhoods stable and primed for investment.”

The partners selected by PRA to support Restore Repair Renew are program intermediaries Clarifi, Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, and Public Health Management Corp.; and lenders FINANTA and Univest.

“For too long, government has overlooked the ‘middle’ — homeowners in working-class neighborhoods who are not poor enough for grant programs but who are also denied loans by big banks. I am proud to have been able to take the lead on behalf of the City Council of Philadelphia in helping to design Restore Repair Renew with these households, along with all Philadelphians, in mind,” Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District) said. “This program provides an affordable tool for residents in middle neighborhoods and throughout our great city to preserve their most prized asset – their home. In order to stabilize neighborhoods, we need to invest in them now. As we know, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”

“Clarifi is one of three intermediaries that will be providing direct services to homeowners for the RRR program,” Healthy RowHouse Project Executive Director Jill Roberts said. “Over our 53-year history, Clarifi has delivered budget, credit and housing counseling, financial education workshops, and a comprehensive continuum of outcome-driven financial capability services. The program was a perfect fit for our agency, and the clients we serve.”

“PCCA’s long-term commitment to the revitalization of Philadelphia and surrounding counties and the economic well-being of the people we serve was the perfect fit for planning, testing, implementation, and participation in the Restore Repair Renew program,” said Alfredo de la Peña, president of PCCA and CEO of Mission First Housing Group. “We are looking forward to the launch of this program.”

“There is an undeniable correlation between physical and mental health and financial stability,” said Richard J. Cohen, president and CEO of PHMC. “Helping individuals access the funds to improve the safety and quality of their homes increases individual wellness, stabilizes neighborhoods, and supports overall community health. We are proud to partner with the City and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to assist local homeowners to maintain and improve one of their most important assets.”

“Univest Bank and Trust Co. is excited to serve as a partner for the Restore Repair Renew program,” said Dana Brown, executive vice president of Consumer Banking for Univest. “Since entering the city in 2015, Univest continues to expand its presence in Philadelphia, and a large part of those efforts is to support programs and organizations that are making a difference in local communities across the city. The RRR program is a perfect fit with our mission, which challenges us to be a strong leader in our markets and to be active in our communities.”

“We are thrilled to be a partner of the Restore Repair Renew Philadelphia Home Preservation Loan Program, and to be able to provide an affordable home repair financing option for Philadelphia home owners,” Michael Alles, vice president of Lending for FINANTA, said.

Information about Restore Repair Renew can be found on City Council’s and PRA’s websites.

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