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Please be aware after speaking with our software company, we were informed that the preference point we give for applicants who are in unsubsidized housing, was not originally added into the system when everyone applied for the list in June 2023. The unsubsidized preference point was recently updated and added for those applicants who identify as living in unsubsidized housing. Due to this update, waitlist positions have increased for those with lower or no preference points. This may have caused several applicants to jump high numbers on the waiting list. The waiting list is always changing and your placement number may change periodically due to changes in other applicants preference points and when applicants are removed from the list.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.



Public housing consists of apartments and duplex-style townhouses that the BCHA owns and manages. The BCHA manages 209 units located in 9 developments across Berks County. You will pay approximately 30 percent of your monthly income to the BCHA as rent.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program lets you find an apartment or house of your own choosing, with a private landlord on the open market. The BCHA enters into a contract with the landlord. You will pay a percentage of your income to the landlord as rent, and the BCHA pays a Housing Assistance Payment subsidy, also directly to the landlord.

The application process for both of these programs consists of several steps:

  1. When the waiting list is open, you can submit a pre-application for housing assistance, either by mail or online.
  2. The BCHA will use one of two systems to place applicants on the waiting list. The BCHA may use a “lottery” system, in which each application is randomly given a number. Under this system, it makes no difference when your application is submitted; each application has the same chance of being chosen. The BCHA will select a certain number of applications, ordered by preference category and then by assigned number, to be placed on the waiting list; the rest will not be selected and will have to reapply when the waiting list reopens.Alternatively, the BCHA may accept all applications. In this case, applications will be ordered by preference category and, within each preference category, by the date and time the application was received by our office.
  3. When your name reaches the top of the list, you will be invited to attend an intake interview, where you will complete a full application for housing assistance. We will verify your income, assets, and other information you submitted and conduct a criminal background check. We will notify you if we determine your eligibility.
  4. If you are eligible for public housing, we will begin to offer you units that meet your needs as they become available.
    If you are eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you will be invited to a briefing appointment, where you will learn the rules and regulations of the program and receive your voucher. This allows you to begin searching for a unit of your choosing.
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