Reading Housing Authority
400 Hancock Boulevard
Reading, Berks County, PA


Section 8 Waiting List Status: Opening Soon

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

The Reading Housing Authority (RHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is opening soon, from December 7, 2015 until December 18, 2015.

Reading, PA is about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, PA.

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Download and print the pre-application on the RHA website once the waiting list opens.
  2. Call (610) 372-3933 to request a pre-application be mailed to you.
Please note: Applicants will be placed on this waiting list by random lottery, meaning the time you submit the pre-application has no affect on your position on the waiting list. It is common for applicants to flood the website once a scheduled waiting list opens, causing the website to crash for a period of time. Because of this, it is recommended that you do not try to access the website immediately after the waiting list opens. If the website is down, wait to access the pre-application at a later time.

Once the pre-application has been completed, it must be mailed to Reading Housing Authority, PO Box 5768, Reading PA 19610 between the opening dates above. Only one pre-application per envelope will be accepted. Only one pre-application per household will be accepted.

Please note: There is conflicting information on the public notice about when the pre-application must be mailed. The RHA states that pre-applications must "be postmarked between December 7, 2015 and December 18, 2015." It then states that "all applications received after December 18th will be destroyed." This information is incorrect. Any pre-applications postmarked by December 18, 2015 will be accepted.

The following preferences have been identified: Live, work have been hired to work, or attending school in Reading.

Applicants will receive a confirmation number upon submitting the pre-application. It is important to keep that number in a safe, easy to access place. It will be needed any time when referencing your pre-application with the housing authority.

The RHA will place qualified applicants on the waiting list by random lottery.

All applicants will be notified in writing that their pre-application has been accepted.

For more information, visit the RHA website, or call the office at (610) 775-4813.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other
ClosedClosedNot Applicable

The Reading Housing Authority (RHA) is not accepting Public Housing waiting list pre-applications at this time.

Please note: As of September 2015, the RHA website states, "at this time pre-applications are only being accepted for the 5-bedroom units." However, this information is incorrect. We have confirmed with a RHA representative that the 5-bedroom waiting list closed on June 29, 2015.

For more information, visit the RHA website, or call the office at (610) 775-4813.

Resident Characteristics
as of June 30, 2015

Reading Housing Authority operates 1,617 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Reading Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 5 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 21% studio apartments, 34% 1 bedroom apartments, 25% 2 bedroom apartments, 15% 3 bedroom apartments, 4% 4 bedroom apartments and 2% 5 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Reading Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 1,570 out of a total 1,617 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 2.91%.

Family Type

Of the 1,256 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 108 (8.6%) were elderly, 1,148 (91.4%) were non-elderly, 714 (56.85%) were disabled, 593 (47.21%) contained children and 553 (44.03%) were headed by a female.

Tenant Contributions to Rent

Residents of public housing pay rent based on their income. The rent contribution of the tenant is called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP). The TTP is generally 30% of a residents income with a $25 (National minimum) to $50 (some PHA’s) minimum rent. Based on the information in the most recent Resident Characteristics Report (June 30, 2015) the minimum rent in Reading Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Reading Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $347.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $227. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $200. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $401. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $344.

Race and Ethnicity

The HUD Resident Characteristics Report provides updated Head of Household race and ethnicity data at the housing authority and property level. Across all properties in the Reading Housing Authority portfolio, 12% of households identified as Black, 86% identified as White, and 76% identified as Hispanic or Latino.

Income of Public Housing Residents

HUD divides household income into four categories: Extremely Low Income (ELI) for households earning less than 30% of the median, Very Low Income (VLI) for households earning between 30% and 50% of the median, Low Income (LI) for households earning between 50% and 80% of the median and Above Low Income for households earning 81% of the median and over.

Of the public housing residents residing in Reading Housing Authority properties, 1,324 were Extremely Low Income, 209 were Very Low Income, 32 were Low Income and 5 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Reading Housing Authority properties is $11,287. Of all public housing residents, 2% have no income and 5% earn more than $25,000 while 93% have incomes that fall between $0 and $25,000.

The HUD RCR data includes source of income information as well. The data includes five categories of family income: wage income, welfare income, SSI/SS/Pension income, other income and no income. Some families receive income in multiple categories.

Among families residing in Reading Housing Authority public housing 25% have wage income, 61% have welfare income, 70% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 34% have other income and 0% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (June 30, 2015), there were a total of 1,570 households containing 3,351 total persons residing in the housing authority’s public housing properties. The average household size across all properties in the housing authority’s public housing portfolio was 2.1.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 47.21% of households included children. Across all household members in Reading Housing Authority public houins units 13.4% are aged zero to five and 26% are aged 6 to 17.

13.5% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 47% of all residents were aged 18 to 61.

Length of Stay at Public Housing Properties

The HUD RCR report includes length of stay data for Reading Housing Authority public housing communities. 17.01% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 8.92% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 74.07% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Reading Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 9 projects which contain 1,609 affordable rental units. It also administers 604 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Reading 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 High, meaning it administers 500 - 1,249 Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of Reading Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (73%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (27%) to that of all housing authorities in Pennsylvania, Reading 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, Reading Housing Authority scored an average of 84 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 100 in 2003 and a low score of 67 in 2008. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Pennsylvania is 79.00.

Reading 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)

Latest Public Housing Inspection Scores What are REAC Scores?

Every public housing project is inspected every one to three years by HUD.

Reading Housing Authority manages 4 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 85. The scores for properties managed by Reading Housing Authority range from a high of 91 to a low of 78.

The highest scoring property in the Reading Housing Authority portfolio is Hensler Homes and the lowest scoring property is Glenside Homes.

To be a passing score a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. 100% of properties managed by Reading Housing Authority have a passing score.

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

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 Reading Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 3/6/12 Plan
2011 3/2/11 Plan
2010 3/12/10 Plan
2009 3/6/09 Plan
2008 3/18/08 Plan
2007 3/8/07 Plan
2006 3/6/06 Plan
2005 2/25/05 Plan
2004 3/26/04 Plan
2003 7/11/03 Plan
2002 3/5/02 Plan
2001 4/19/01 Plan
2000 5/19/00 Plan