Wilkes Barre Housing Authority
50 Lincoln Plaza
Wilkes Barre, Luzerne County, PA

570-825-6657 http://pahra.org/

Section 8 HCV Waiting List Status: Closed

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list for Wilkes Barre Housing Authority is currently closed and not accepting new applications.


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 Statuses

Family Senior Other
OpenOpenNot Applicable

The Wilkes Barre Housing Authority (WBHA) is currently accepting public housing waiting list applications for families and senior/disabled individuals.


The WBHA offers six public housing communities with 856 units for families and senior/disabled individuals.

There are two ways to obtain a public housing application:
1. Applicants that reside within the county must visit the housing authority to pick up an application, located at 50 Lincoln Plaza, Wilkes Barre, PA, during normal office hours.

2. Out of county applicants can request an application be mailed to them by mailing the request to the address listed above.

Once the application has been completed, you must hand deliver it to the address listed above. 

Be sure to bring these documents with you: birth certificates, social security cards, proof of income, and photo IDs for all adult household members. All adult household members must be present at the time of handing in the application.

This housing authority does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list: veteran, disabled, elderly, or live and/or work in Wilkes Barre.

For more information, call the housing authority at 570-825-6657 during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of May 31, 2015

Wilkes Barre Housing Authority operates 861 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Wilkes Barre Housing Authority public housing units range from studio apartments to 5 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 27% studio apartments, 41% 1 bedroom apartments, 11% 2 bedroom apartments, 15% 3 bedroom apartments, 5% 4 bedroom apartments and 1% 5 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Wilkes Barre Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (May 31, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 793 out of a total 861 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 7.9%.

Family Type

Of the 507 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 124 (24.46%) were elderly, 383 (75.54%) were non-elderly, 369 (72.78%) were disabled, 154 (30.37%) contained children and 166 (32.74%) 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 (May 31, 2015) the minimum rent in Wilkes Barre Housing Authority's public housing developments is $25.

The average tenant rent contribution for Wilkes Barre Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $279.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $144. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $135. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $271. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $0.

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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority portfolio, 22% of households identified as Black, 76% identified as White, and 16% 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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority properties, 509 were Extremely Low Income, 202 were Very Low Income, 72 were Low Income and 10 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Wilkes Barre Housing Authority properties is $12,929. Of all public housing residents, 5% have no income and 8% earn more than $25,000 while 87% 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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority public housing 29% have wage income, 71% have welfare income, 64% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 11% have other income and 2% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (May 31, 2015), there were a total of 793 households containing 1,338 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 1.7.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 30.37% of households included children. Across all household members in Wilkes Barre Housing Authority public houins units 11.1% are aged zero to five and 19.1% are aged 6 to 17.

18.5% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 51.2% 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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority public housing communities. 25.98% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 10.21% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 63.81% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Wilkes Barre Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 6 projects which contain 856 affordable rental units. It also administers 786 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Wilkes Barre Housing Authority is determined to be a Medium High public housing authority, meaning it manages between 500 - 1,249 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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (52%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (48%) to that of all housing authorities in Pennsylvania, Wilkes Barre 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 (hud.gov, 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, Wilkes Barre Housing Authority scored an average of 93 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 99 in 2007 and a low score of 79 in 2009. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Pennsylvania is 79.00.

Wilkes Barre 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 (hud.gov/offices/pih/, 2012)

Latest Public Housing Inspection Scores What are REAC Scores?

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

Wilkes Barre Housing Authority manages 4 rental properties which, as of the last set of publicly available data, have an average inspection score of 87. The scores for properties managed by Wilkes Barre Housing Authority range from a high of 93 to a low of 81.

The highest scoring property in the Wilkes Barre Housing Authority portfolio is Valley View Terrace and the lowest scoring property is Boulevard Townhomes.

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

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (data.gov, 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 Wilkes Barre Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 12/18/12 Plan
2011 12/29/10 Plan
2010 12/8/09 Plan
2009 12/23/08 Plan
2008 1/8/08 Plan
2007 3/13/07 Plan
2006 3/3/06 Plan
2005 1/6/05 Plan
2005 1/6/05 Plan
2004 3/12/04 Plan
2003 12/4/02 Plan
2002 3/12/02 Plan
2001 6/21/02 Plan
2000 9/29/00 Plan