Spring has finally arrived and I know many are preparing to do urgent home repairs and cleanup after an extremely harsh winter.
Some will have to invest sizeable dollars in major repairs involving roofs, sidewalks, and even the removal of trees and fallen fences.
For those already economically challenged to keep up with their mortgages, there are several programs available to help ease the financial burden of putting your home back in shape.
The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, for example, has a Basic Systems Repair Program that provides free repairs to “the electrical, plumbing and heating systems of owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia,” as well as “free replacement of a house’s roof if major interior damage such as a collapsing ceiling is evident”.
Certain income restrictions and other requirements regarding residency must be met, but the program is certainly worth exploring, especially if you are a senior living on a fixed income.
Also, the City’s Office of Supportive Housing has a “Rapid Re-Housing” program that “may include cash assistance with rent, utilities and security deposits too”.
Another great resource is the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at (215) 334-4663, that sets you up with a housing counselor if your home is in default. This is the first step to applying for possible assistance from the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, commonly known as HEMAP.
We are also working on putting together a resource page on our web site that lists numerous agencies and programs that may help you not only save your home, but improve it as well and possibly increase its value.
As the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, I have directed my staff to increase the number of workshops and seminars we conduct in the community, and to continue with our twice monthly classes on How To Purchase Property At A Sheriff’s Sale conducted in English and Spanish at 100 S. Broad Street.
Finally, I look forward to visiting individual blocks and neighborhoods through the fall as part of our support of the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee and the hundreds of individuals who work so diligently to maintain not only their property, but the community as a whole.