Among Pennsylvania’s many distinctions, the commonwealth has one of the nation’s oldest housing stocks — half of all homes in the state were built before 1959. These old buildings are brimming with architectural character, but redbrick rowhomes and majestic Victorians require lots of maintenance and can be difficult to retrofit to modern sustainable standards. Some residences have dangerous amounts of mold or leadwhich can cause health issues for occupants.
The high cost of updating these homes can cause displacement, demolition, and blight, which destabilizes families and can lead to a broader set of issues in neighborhoods. According to a recent poll of Pennsylvania voters from Data for Progress, a third of respondents said they could not afford their energy bills, and half said they would struggle to afford a critical repair. A quarter have outstanding critical repairs because they can’t pay for them.
In response, State Sen. Nikil