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Berks County Housing Authority

1803 Butter Lane
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
(610) 370-0822

About Berks County Housing Authority

Berks County Housing Authority is a Section 8 and Public Housing Agency in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Berks County Housing Authority serves Berks County.

Berks County Housing Authority Waiting Lists

Public Housing Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Berks County Housing Authority (BCHA) is currently accepting Public Housing waiting list applications for one and five-bedroom units, from December 14, 2016 until December 31, 2016.

Please note

  • This opening is for one-bedroom units at Brooke Estates, and five-bedroom units at Jefferson Heights.
  • The elderly/disabled waiting list for efficiency-5 bedroom units is opening soon, from January 1, 2017 until January 31, 2017.
There are four ways to apply to the one and five bedroom waiting lists:

  1. Complete the online application here.
  2. Download and print the application online here.
  3. Call the BCHA at (610) 370-0822, Ext. 5 to request an application.
  4. Send an email to to request an application.
Once the application has been completed, it must be mailed by December 31, 2016 to:

Berks Coutny Housing Authority
PO Box 3800
Reading, PA 19606

Income limit information can be found on page 1 of the application here.

This waiting list has the following preferences: Veteran; live, work or have been hired to work in Berks County.

Selected applicants will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the application is received, after sorting preferences.

For more information, visit the BCHA website, or call the office at (610) 370-0822.

After applying, learn more about what happens after the application is submitted.

Last Updated on 12/21/2016.

Berks County Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List: Closed

The Berks County Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List is currently closed.

Last Updated on 12/21/2016.

Public Housing Waiting List: Closed

More information about Berks County Housing Authority can be found on its website at

About the Berks County Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

As of the most recent VMS report, Berks County Housing Authority manages 505 active Housing Choice Vouchers.

The following is a summary of the types of vouchers managed and the monthly costs of each:

StandardPorted Out
Monthly Cost Per Voucher$473$474
Monthly Cost$230,284$8,535

Household Characteristics of Voucher Holders for Berks County Housing Authority

Waiting List and Tenancy

According to the 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households database, the housing authority's voucher program has an annual turnover of 15% having issued approximately 37 vouchers in the past year. The average voucher holder has received housing benefits for 6 years and 3 months. According to the 2016 PSH database, persons who were issued a voucher in the preceding 12 months waited an average of 20 months on the waiting list1.

Income Characteristics

According to 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households data, the average voucher household contains 2.1 persons and has a household income of $16,510 per year. 95% of households were very low income (VLI) and 56% were extremely low income (ELI). 33% of households had wages as a major source of income, 1% of households had welfare (TANF, General Assistance or Public Assistance) as their primary source of income, and 64% of households had other income (Social Security, Disability or Pension) as their major source of income.

Heads of Household Characteristics

4% of households were headed by a person 24 years old or less, 47% were headed by a person 25 to 49 years old, 16% were headed by a person 51 to 60 years old, and 33% were headed by a person 62 years old or older. In addition, 9% of households were headed by a person 85 years old or older.

46% of households included children, 4% of which had two adults in the household. 44% of households with children have a female head of household. 87% of all households were headed by a female.

47% of all voucher households were headed by minorities with 12% of all heads of households being Black and 1% being Hispanic.

Of all households participating in the Berks County Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher program, 24% include at least one person with a disability. 36% of households with a head of household 61 years or less were headed by a person with a disability. 38% of households headed by someone 62 or older were headed by a person with a disability.

Bedroom Size and Overhousing

41% of voucher holders reside in a home with zero or 1 bedroom, 31% with 2 bedrooms and 28% with 3 or more bedrooms. 10% of voucher recipients are considered overhoused, meaning they occupy a rental unit larger than their family size requires.

Rent, Assistance, and Utility Allowances

The average monthly tenant contribution to rent by Berks County Housing Authority voucher holders in 2016 was $406 and the average monthly HUD expenditure per voucher holder was $543. The average utility allowance across all voucher recipients is $132.

1. This Picture of Subsidized Households data field is the average wait time of those who received a voucher in the preceding 12 months. Due to special voucher programs like VASH, recent waiting list purges, or waiting list preferences the average wait time can vary significantly from one year to the next and it is entirely possible many current applicants on the waiting list have been waiting for assistance for far longer.