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Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, we have divided the FAQ page into major program categories. Please use the links below to go to a specific area of interest.

Community Improvements Program

Model Block Program

Major Systems Repair Program

Housing Counseling

Loans and Mortgages

Community Improvements Program    Back to Top

Q. Must I be at home for the inspections? I can’t get off from work.

A. For interior inspections, such as windows, doors and heaters, yes. Exterior inspections are often conducted in the absence of Homeowners

Q. Is PNHS my Contractor?

A. ABSOLUTELY NOT! PNHS, as required by our contract with our founders, MUST be HELD HARMLESS in any contractual agreements between Homeowners and Contractors. We provide Financial and Technical Assistance and Construction Management ONLY!

Q. Who are these "qualified contractors"?

A. Qualified contractors are those who have current licenses and insurance and who have been monitored by PNHS for their standard of work and have been found to be acceptable. PNHS does NOT guarantee any contractor’s work. We provide management and technical service to the project. Homeowners should feel free to talk to prospective contractors and personally review their references.

Q. What if I am not happy with my work after I have signed off?

A. All work performed by PNHS approved contractors will be warranted for one year for labor. Building materials and equipment have various warranties. Roofs have 10 to 15 year warranties with stipulations spelled out PRIOR to installation. Homeowners under warranty must put their complaints in writing and send to contractor certified with receipt requested. You are to send a copy of the letter to PNHS attention, Rehab Department Manager.

Q. Can I pay my share of the costs in installments?

A. No.

Q. The work is technically okay but I don’t like the looks of it and I want my money back! I expect PNHS to always back me up, since I gave you my money.

A. Homeowners have the right to expect quality work that meets industry standards. A personal preference, such as particular finishes on concrete work such be discussed and agreed upon and made a part of the contract prior to the start of work.

Contractors have the right to be compensated for work performed in a workmanlike manner. All disputes must be resolved in a timely manner using the tools the Deputy Director determines.

Model Block Program    Back to Top

  1. Q. A friend told me something about a Model Blocks Program. Can you tell me how it works?

    A. The model Blocks program is a facade treatment program that provides a subsidy for repairs to roofs and the exterior fronts of houses on targeted blocks.

  2. Q. How are the blocks chosen?
  3. A. PNHS sends out an inquiry to local community development corporations to see if they are interested in bringing this program to blocks within their service area. If they are interested, they chose the blocks and pay PNHS a fee per block. PNHS and the CDC then work in partnership to administer the program.

  4. Q. What kind of subsidy does PNHS provide?
  5. A. The subsidy varies according to funding. This year the subsidy is 70% and the homeowner pays 30% plus a 8% construction services fee. (In most for-profit companies, construction management fees cost about 20%.) The maximum subsidy is $5000.

  6. Q. What happens if the cost of the work goes over the subsidy?
  7. A. One of three things can happen: (1) We can scale back the scope of the work; (2) The homeowner can pay the difference in the cost of work out-of-pocket; (3) the homeowner(s) can borrow the additional funds they need to complete the project. PNHS' has a low interest Revolving Loan Fund program that is available to qualified residents in the target areas.

  8. Q. When do I have to pay my portion of the costs?
  9. A. Work won't start until the homeowner pays their portion of project costs.

  10. Q. What kinds of work does this program cover?
  11. A. Roofing, porch repair, brick/stone pointing, steps, sidewalks, handrails, doors and windows.

  12. Q. Who are the contractors that do the work?
  13. A. PNHS has a list of contractors who are pre-qualified to work for us. If you have a contractor that you'd like to use for the work have them contact PNHS. We will need things like their business license and verification of insurance.

  14. Q. How long does it take for the work to get done?
  15. A. From first point of contact either on phone or at a community meeting, it takes between 3-6 months.

  16. Q. How do I find out if my block is in the program?
  17. A. Call and give PNHS your address, we will tell you if your block is in the program. Contact your local Community Development Corporation(CDC) and ask them to call PNHS about bringing the program to your block.


Major Systems Repair Program    Back to Top

  1. Q. Can an individual pay their share of funds on an installment plan ?
  2. A. No, an individual must have their share of funds in full prior to the start of the work.

  3. Q. Who pays the contractor for work completed ?
  4. A. PNHS pays the contractor upon completion of work based on a satisfactory inspection by a qualified inspector and homeowner approval.

  5. Q. Can another person pay for someone else’s individual share of funds ?
  6. A. Yes

  7. Q. Can individual applying for the subsidy do the work themselves?
  8. A. No, work must be completed by licensed, insured contractors subject to PNHS’ approval.


Housing Counseling    Back to Top

  1. Q. Does completing pre-purchase housing counseling guarantee a mortgage approval ?
  2. A.. No, it does not guarantee that a mortgage will be approved. However many

    mortgage companies and products require that applicants complete a counseling program to be eligible.

  3. Q. Why is it important to obtain housing counseling ?
  4. A. Housing counseling provides necessary information needed to purchase and maintain a home once it has been purchased.

  5. Q. Who should get housing counseling ?
  6. A. First-time homebuyers and anyone who has not purchase a house in recent years.

  7. Q. Is it necessary to obtain housing counseling ?

A. It is not necessary to obtain housing counseling, it is highly recommended.


Loans and Mortgages    Back to Top

  1. Q. What is PNHS loan rehabilitation program?
  2. A. PNHS provides resources for the rehabilitation of single family to four unit owner occupied dwellings for low to moderate income persons in targeted neighborhoods

    of Philadelphia.

  3. Q. How do I apply for service?
  4. A. When provided with the following information:( note this is telephone contact)

    1. Homeowner name, address, phone#.

    2. Composition of family.

    3. Yearly income in household

    4. Type of rehab requested

    When these questions are answered PNHS’ Loan Officer then forwards the following two (2) forms.

    1. Request all monthly bills, deed, insurance policy and any other

    information pertaining to the homeowner.

    2. Self inspection rehab report for the homeowner to check off repairs

    they think they may need.

  5. Q. Do you charge the homeowner a fee?
  6. A. Yes, the total application fee is $150.00, $25.00 is for a credit report and property search.

  7. Q. When will someone come to my home and inspect same?
  8. A. Your request will be assigned to a home inspector who will provide PNHS a preliminary work write-up and the cost estimate. The inspector will make an appointment with the homeowner.

  9. Q. When will I review the work write-up?
  10. A. You will review the work write-up by appointment with the rehab department. If you agree to the scope of work and costs, the work write-up will be put out for bids to a minimum of three (3) contractors. If you disagree, we will revise the work write-up subject to PNHS approval.

  11. Q. How is the interest rate determined?
  12. A. Interest is determined by adding the average 30 year rate and 15 year rates located in the Friday Daily News.(Please note 30 yr. for mortgages & 15 yr. for rehab loans.) After adding the eight (8) rates it is divided by eight (8) and .5 of 1% is subtracted.

  13. Q. Who decides if I receive a Rehabilitation loan?
  14. A. PNHS’ Loan Committee, made up of individuals from our targeted neighborhoods, Bankers, Insurance Agents, and Officers of other CDC's review all loan requests on the third Thursday of each month and approve or deny all loan requests.

  15. Q. Once my rehab loan is approved what is next?
  16. A. A letter of commitment is forwarded to the homeowners for their review and approval, then return it to the loan officer.

  17. Q. When do I start paying?
  18. A. A Maximum of 180 days after closing.

  19. Q. When will work start?
  20. A. At time of loan closing or soon thereafter construction contracts will be developed

    for the homeowner signature and the winning selected contractor (s).

  21. Q. May I use my own contractor?

    A. Yes, provided the contractor can be approved by PNHS for qualified license and insurance requirements.

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