The Berks County Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, formerly known as Section 8, assists more than 500 hardworking Berks County families in paying their rent to private landlords.
Participants receive a voucher to find their choice of housing, anywhere in the BCHA’s jurisdiction of Berks County outside the city of Reading. Participants find an apartment or house with a private landlord. The rent must be affordable (must meet the BCHA’s payment standards) and reasonable (as compared with rents for similar unassisted units). If the landlord agrees to accept the voucher, the unit must also pass a Housing Quality Standards inspection, to ensure that the unit meets basic standards of a decent, safe, and sanitary living environment. The landlord will sign a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract with the BCHA. Tenants generally pay between 30 and 40 percent of their gross income to the landlord, and the BCHA will pay a Housing Assistance Payment subsidy to the landlord.
This briefing video is intended to give applicants who have been approved for housing a general overview of how the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) works. The BCHA has advised these applicants in their briefing packet to watch this short 20 minute video prior to their scheduled briefing conference call. Should any questions arise, the BCHA advices applicants to refer back to both this video and the briefing packet before contacting our office, as most of the answers are within these materials.