Frequently Asked Questions
Updated October 11, 2023
Who can apply for Whole-Home Repairs Program funding?
To qualify, an applicant must:
- Own and live in a house needing repairs in Allegheny County.
- Be living in a home with significant habitability issues like roof damage, unsafe electric wiring, or accessibility concerns.
- Have a total income that doesn’t exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Allegheny County.
How do I apply?
Please apply online at:
https://actionhousing.org/our-services/allegheny-county-whole-home-repairs-program/. Online applications will be processed more quickly.
What if I don’t have internet access?
Those without WiFi or computer access can contact ACTION-Housing at (412) 248-0021 for help completing an application over the phone or walk into the Housing Stabilization Center at 415 Seventh Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The Center is open on Monday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..
Paper applications will not be accepted.
When can I apply?
Applications will be accepted October 16 at 8 a.m. – November 17, 2023 at 4 p.m..
What kind of information do I have to submit?
You will need to show the following:
- Proof of home ownership
- That your total income doesn’t exceed 80% of the Area Median Income for Allegheny County
What is Area Median Income?
Area Median Income (AMI) is a metric in affordable housing based on the total number of people
living in a household. Please refer to the chart below to see what the AMI is for Allegheny
County, and visit the U.S. Housing and Urban Development site here for more detailed
How do I show my income doesn’t exceed 80% of the Area Median Income?
You can show your income in one of two ways:
- 2022 Yearly Income
Show your yearly income from 2022 using documents like an IRS 1040 form or a W2.
- Current Income Verify your current income by providing two months of your most recent income. This could include two months of current pay stubs, an award letter from the Social Security Office, a welfare office, or a letter from your employer. If you verify your income this way, you WILL need to recertify your income every six months if you get ongoing emergency rental assistance (payments after your first payment is made.
Regardless of your chosen method, you must show gross (pre-tax) income documentation. Acceptable forms include, but are not limited to:
- IRS Form 1040 for the 2022 Tax Year
- W-2 Form for the 2022 Tax Year
- Pay stubs.
- Letter from your employer with pay rate and hours worked.
- An award letter from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, PA Department of Labor and Industry, PA Department of Human Services, or other government agencies that show recurring income from any public benefit program.
- Award letters for pension or retirement benefits
I do not have pay stubs because I only get paid in cash. How can I show my salary and hours worked?
We will accept self-certification on income. For more detailed information, please reference our Whole-Home Repairs Program guidebook.
How descriptive should I be when explaining my housing issues? Should I only describe the major issues?
Focus on issues that affect the safety and habitability of your home, as those are the ones we can help with. A sentence or two description is all that is necessary.
What if my repair type is not on the list to select?
We realize our list of repair types may not meet your needs. If your repairs do not correspond to any options on the list within the application, please do your best to choose the repair type closest to what you wish to request. Once selected, type out a response and clarify anything confusing
Can I still add repair requests once I submit my application?
Yes. To do this, you must log back into your application. Once you reach your applicant dashboard, select the blue button on the right-hand side labeled “Add Additional Repairs” and add any other repairs you request. Please be aware that once we complete an eligibility review of your application, you cannot add any additional repair requests.
I completed an application but still need to upload loan documentation. Should I wait for outreach or go back in and upload it now?
It will save time if you can upload it now, but someone will be in touch soon.
I am completing an online application but only have hard copies of my income documentation. Can I mail it to you?
You can take photos of the documents and upload them into your application. Log back into your application here: https://wholehomerepair.alleghenycounty.us/RESIDENT/Security/CitizenSignIn.
To prove homeownership, would a county or local tax receipt work?
The primary documentation needed is income documentation. We will be checking the county real estate portal to verify ownership. You are welcome to add other documentation.
What if the project is more than $50,000, but you also have a waiver donation for a child with special needs?
We can work with other programs but are limited to only doing up to $50,000 worth of work with this funding.
What if it is determined the repairs to my home will cost less than $50,000?
While $50,000 is the most we can spend per project, we’re bound only to make repairs that improve the habitability of the house. To help as many people as possible, we’ll fund and repair only what is necessary to make your home safe.
If someone else lives in your house, do you require their income also?
Yes, we must review the entire household income, which means every adult over 18 who is not a full-time high school student.
My only source of income is child support. Am I eligible for Whole-Home Repairs funding?
Child support is not considered a source of income for the Whole-Home Repairs Program. A complete list of what is and is not income can be found in the Income definition of the local guidelines.
I do not have a Social Security number. Can I still apply?
Absolutely! A Social Security number is requested in the application but is optional.
Is citizenship required for this program?
No, citizenship status is not a factor.
I know someone who wants to apply, but English isn’t their native language.
Call ACTION-Housing at 412-248-0021, and we will get a translator to meet with you in person or complete an application over the phone.
I, or someone I know, have a physical or mental impairment that makes applying challenging.
Call ACTION-Housing at 412-248-0021 to talk about accommodating your needs.
What if I’m not safe in my home and need additional assistance?
We have added protections for anyone who is a victim of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Call ACTION-Housing at 412-248-0021 and ask to speak to the Whole-Home Repairs Program administrator. You will not be asked for identifying details.
I am completing applications for more than one person. Can I use the same username and password to apply?
While you can apply on behalf of others, with their permission and appropriate documentation, the system will only allow one application per person. Therefore, if you are helping someone with an application, use their email address and a unique user name and password.
I already applied for Whole-Home Repairs funding and got an email about my application still being considered. What should I do next?
If you are interested in continuing to be considered for financial assistance, you must re-certify your application. Please do one of the following:
- Log back into your application here: https://wholehomerepair.alleghenycounty.us/RESIDENT/Security/CitizenSignIn. If you need help resetting your password, please call the Help Desk at (412) 350-3457 #2.
- Click the blue “Re-certify” button, and complete a recertification of your application. At this time, you will be able to change your income, add additional repair requests, and modify your household. This process should take 5-10 minutes.
- Call ACTION-Housing at (412) 248-0021 to complete a re-certification over the phone.
While we’re pleased to be able to offer assistance to more people, many will still not be approved for home repair assistance. With limited funding, we regret not being able to help everyone who applies.
Does everyone who has already submitted an application have to recertify their income? How do I do that?
You’ll need to verify your income again if you didn’t show yearly income with your application using documents like an IRS 10104 form or W2. To recertify, you can include two months of current pay stubs, an award letter from the Social Security Office, a welfare office, or a letter from your employer. To recertify your income, check the status of your application, upload documents, or add repair requests, log back into your application here: https://wholehomerepair.alleghenycounty.us/RESIDENT/Security/CitizenSignIn.
If you need help resetting your password, please call the Help Desk at (412) 350-3457 #2.
How can contractors apply?
Contractors can contact us at email@example.com.
How are you determining who gets selected?
One of the requirements outlined in the Bill to fund Whole-Home Repairs is the prioritization for certain repairs, groups, and geographic areas. We’re using data to help determine how to do this best. We recognize many people in the County could benefit from the program. Still, our funding is limited, so we’re prioritizing neighborhoods not invested in historically.
So, repairs may not be done to my home even though my application is eligible?
Yes. With limited funding, we are focusing on homes with the most significant habitability issues. You might meet eligibility criteria–live in the County, own and live in your home, and have a total income that doesn’t exceed 80% of the AMI–but your home repairs may still not be paid for and completed.
Is this program only for dilapidated or condemned homes?
Whole-Home Repairs funding is meant to address homes with major habitability issues. Anyone with home issues who meets the criteria should apply.
If I already got a lead home grant, does that affect my eligibility to get Whole-Home Repairs funding?
No, your eligibility for this program will not be impacted by getting funding from other programs.
Is there a time limit on how long the person has lived in the home?
No, as long as you can show homeownership.
I have children living temporarily in my home. Should I include them in describing my household members?
Yes, we will assess whether children in the home impact eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
How will applicants be notified?
If you apply online, you’ll get an email about your eligibility for the program. People submitting paper applications will be notified via U.S. mail.
If my application is eligible, what are the next steps?
- If you are selected for a home inspection, someone from the Whole-Home Repairs Program will contact you to schedule it.
- A Whole-Home Repairs inspector will visit your home to determine if the repairs qualify for funding.
- If the inspector approves the repairs, we’ll connect you with a contractor certified by the Whole-Home Repairs Program to do the work.
- Work will begin after costs are agreed upon.
How long does this process take?
We will work as quickly as possible to schedule inspections and start construction. Still, we regret we can’t commit to a timeline. Many collaborate to finish this work, so estimating schedules and weather dependencies is challenging. Work will be done on a rolling basis. The whole process could take anywhere from a few months to a year.
Can I use my contractor?
Unfortunately, no. One of the program requirements is using a contractor from our certified pool. Whole-Home Repair will pay the contractor directly if your application is eligible and repairs are approved. If you know a contractor that would like to be certified, please send them to our website: https://actionhousing.org/our-services/allegheny-county-whole-home-repairs-program/.
Must the work be completed on eligible applicants’ homes by a specific date?
All repairs must be completed by the end of 2026. However, we hope to get many of the repairs completed before then.
How much can I get?
You could get up to $50,000 to fund renovations. If your application is eligible, a Whole-Home Repairs inspector will decide whether to proceed with repairs after a home assessment. While $50,000 is the most we can spend per project, we’re bound only to make repairs that improve the habitability of the house. To help as many people as possible, we’ll fund and repair only what is necessary to make your home safe.
What repairs can be done with Whole-Home Repairs funding?
Homes that have significant habitability issues are being made a priority. Funding may also be used to make accessibility modifications so that someone managing a disability can live in the house. Ultimately, an ACTION Housing inspector will determine what work will be done.
Will I have to pay for anything?
You have no cost if your application is eligible and repairs are approved.
Can I apply for more than one extensive home repair, such as foundation and electric wiring?
Yes, we can help with multiple significant issues in your home if the cost is at most the $50,000 maximum. Please provide descriptions of all the problems in your application.
Can I get funding for repairs on a vacant house?
No. Applicants must own and live in the home to be repaired.
Will additional funding be provided for home repairs after this money runs out?
We expect to help a small percentage of people who apply. With the success of this program, we hope additional funding will be made available in the future.
Are the other programs like Whole-Home Repairs?
Eligible repairs in this program will be paid with grant money, which does not need to be paid back. Unfortunately, we aren’t aware of other programs currently operating in this way. However, there are some other options for assistance.
I created a username and password, but I’m having an issue logging back in.
Click “Need help signing in” on the login page and then “Forget Password” to reset. If you continue to have issues, please call the Allegheny County DHS Service Desk at 412-350-4357 and choose option 2. This number can only help with technical issues related to the application database, including resetting your password. All other inquiries should be directed to 412-248-0021.
I tried to sign up but got a message that my email was already in use. I did forget my password and tried to reset it, but I did not get an email. What should I do?
If this happened before you put information into the application, please call the Allegheny County DHS Service Desk at 412-350-4357 and choose option 2.