Bethlehem Housing Authority
4th Floor Offices
Bethlehem, Northampton County, PA


Section 8 Waiting List Status: Closed

Affordable Housing Online is tracking the status of the Bethlehem Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List. This is what we know as of our most recent update on July 20th, 2015.

The Bethlehem Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program waiting list is currently closed.

According to the housing authority's most recent 5 year plan completed in 2010, the Section 8 waiting list was open at that time.  In 2010, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list had a total of 624 families on it.  The Section 8 program experienced an annual turnover of 279 families.  Using those metrics, in 2010, it would have taken about 2 years and 3 months to get through the waiting list.

According to a news article in The Express Times in 2013, Bethlehem Housing Authority's Section 8 program was negatively affected by the Federal budget sequester and would not be issuing new vouchers as they turn over.  The total budget cut was $1 million of its $9.6 million annual budget for vouchers.  The housing authority had a reserve fund that allowed it to continue providing assistance to existing voucher holders but would not be filling any vacancies as vouchers became available.

However, the public housing waiting list is open and you can download the paper application here:

Did you know that you can apply for Section 8 anywhere in the country? If your local Section 8 waiting list is closed, you can apply to programs elsewhere. See all open waiting lists across the country on our Waiting Lists page.

Public Housing Waiting List Status : Open

Affordable Housing Online is tracking the status of the Bethlehem Housing Authority Public Housing Waiting Lists. This is what we know as of our most recent update May 28th, 2015.

The Bethlehem Housing Authority is currently accepting public housing waiting list applications for families and senior/disabled individuals.

This housing authority offers six communities dedicated to senior/disabled individuals, and five family communities, located throughout Bethlehem. For a complete list of each community this housing authority offers, please follow this link.

To apply for public housing please follow this link to download an application for public housing.

Once the application has been completed, it can be mailed or hand delivered to the housing authority, located at 645 Main St., Bethlehem, PA 18018, during normal office hours. Be sure to include supporting documents with your application if you are claiming a preference.

This housing authority does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list: live and/or work in Bethlehem, employed, displaced by natural disaster, homeless, disabled, or veteran.

More information can be found by visiting the housing authority website at, or by calling 610-865-8301 during normal office hours.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Bethlehem Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 7 projects which contain 1,453 affordable rental units. It also administers 497 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Bethlehem Housing Authority is determined to be a Large public housing authority, meaning it manages between 1,250 - 9,999 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Medium Low, meaning it administers 250 - 499 Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of Bethlehem Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (75%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (25%) to that of all housing authorities in Pennsylvania, Bethlehem Housing Authority has a larger proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in Pennsylvania.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (, 2014)

SEMAP Performance What are SEMAP Scores?

Each year HUD reviews and scores the housing authority’s Section 8 program management based on 14 different criteria. This score is a reflection of how well the housing authority manages the Section 8 waiting list, the physical quality of housing assisted with Section 8 and the financial management of the program.

From 2001 to 2009, Bethlehem Housing Authority scored an average of 95 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 100 in 2002 and a low score of 72 in 2001. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Pennsylvania is 79.00.

Bethlehem Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average Pennsylvania housing authority. Higher SEMAP scores indicate more effective financial management, a smoother waiting list process and higher quality physical conditions at assisted properties.

Source President's Open Government Directive (, 2012)

Housing Authority Annual and 5 Year Plans

Public housing agencies, also called public housing authorities, which receive funding from HUD, are required to submit and receive approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development of both an Annual Plan and a 5 Year Plan. These plans establish each housing authority’s policies, strategies, programs and operations for meeting the housing needs of persons within their target area.

The housing authority plans include specific details about the cost of renovations to real estate (also known as capital improvements), changes to Section 8 HCV policies, planned redevelopment of public housing projects and other major administrative changes.

Following are the HUD-approved public housing agency plans for Bethlehem Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 3/6/12 Plan
2011 3/3/11 Plan
2010 3/23/10 Plan
2009 2/2/09 Plan
2008 3/3/08 Plan
2007 3/22/07 Plan
2006 3/13/06 Plan
2005 3/23/05 Plan
2004 4/5/04 Plan
2003 4/18/03 Plan
2002 3/12/02 Plan
2001 4/12/01 Plan
2000 8/18/00 Plan