Apply

Applications to all Reading Housing Authority (RHA)  programs are processed through a central location called the Tenant Placement Office.   The office is located in the Rhodes Apartments at 815 Franklin Street in Reading, Pennsylvania.  The application process consists of 3 stages:  Pre-Application, Application and Final Signing.

  • In most programs, The Pre-Application phase means that an applicant is submitting a form to be placed upon a waiting list, from which the household will be contacted when a housing opportunity becomes available. Applicants are permitted to wait upon multiple program waiting lists at the same time.
  • In the Application stage, applicants are screened for eligibility, which is usually based upon factors related to income, criminal histories and suitability. Specific criteria for the respective programs may be found on the program’s individual web page.  The application stage involves an in-person appointment by all adult members of the household, the supplying of various types of documents by applicant family such as personal identification and proof of income, and the signing of various forms.
  • At the time of Final Signing, applicants who have been determined to be eligible for the program attend a final appointment to discuss preparations for the leasing of the unit, briefing for the voucher, or the next-steps in the homeownership process.

 

Public Housing

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications for RHA’s Public Housing Program are accepted only during a period of time in which a particular Waiting List  is considered to be ‘OPEN’, or accepting applications.  Waiting lists are categorized by bedroom size, which is determined by RHA based upon the number of persons in the family.  In general, the Occupancy Policy provides one bedroom for every two persons, with exceptions based upon age, gender and certain familial relationships only.   RHA will announce the opening of its waiting lists by this website, by publication to the Reading Eagle and La Voz newspapers, and by press-release to human service agencies approximately two-weeks in advance of the application period.

The application process begins with a Pre-Application Form, which is available by way of this website, or by mail upon request.  Submission of a Pre-Application allows for an applicant who fully-completes the application form to become placed upon the waiting list, but it is not a guarantee of housing assistance.  Applicants will receive a written confirmation upon receipt by RHA of a Pre-Application, and are urged to keep the acknowledgement in a safe place, as proof of placement upon a waiting list.

Applicants are placed upon the waiting list in the order of the date and time that the application is received and processed.  Preference, or priority, is given to individuals who live, work, or attend school in the City of Reading, and proof of residency or employment is subject to review at all times leading to the final appointment.  Applicants who are already on a waiting list and become involuntarily displaced by the City of Reading for reasons of habitability will also be granted preference, upon receipt of proper documentation.   Applicants who are presently assisted in the RHA Public Housing Program are granted the lowest of preferences amongst all applicants.

Applicants are contacted by U.S. mail when their name becomes close to the top of the respective waiting list, in order to attend the application interview.  This communication will include a full Application Form, which must be completed and brought to the interview.  All members of the household who are of age eighteen (18) or older, or who are expected to be eighteen (18) within a few months are required to attend the interview appointment.

Any change to the applicant(s)’ address or family composition must be immediately reported in writing by completing a Change Form.  It is important to note that failure to keep an up-to-date address on record with RHA will affect our ability to contact you, which may mean that your name becomes removed from the Waiting List for failing to respond to letters that are sent to you by mail.  It is also important to note that any change to family composition may also change an applicant’s bedroom size, and if the waiting list for which the applicant now qualifies was not open at the time of the initial application, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list.

Reading Housing Authority operates two types of Public Housing Programs:  a general occupancy program for individuals and families who are income-eligible, and a mixed-occupancy program, for households in which the Head of Household is age 62 or older, or a person with a disability.

  • The general occupancy developments, Glenside Homes and Oakbrook Homes, share the same waiting list. These developments have 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 bedroom units.
  • The mixed-occupancy developments are as follows: Rhodes Apartments, Eisenhower Apartments, Hubert Apartments, Kennedy Towers, Franklin Tower and Hensler Homes.  These developments share the same waiting list.    These developments have efficiency (0) and 1-bedroom units.  The 1-bedroom units are reserved for 2-person families for applicants applying from the waiting list.

As RHA utilizes a one-offer only policy, applicants are not able to choose the development in which they wish to live.  Instead, applicants are offered the unit that has been empty for the longest period of time when the applicant has reached the top of the waiting list and reached a determination of final eligibility.   Applicants whose Head of Household is age 62 or older or is a person with a disability may elect whether to apply to a general occupancy OR a mixed occupancy development, but may not be on both lists at the same time.

Applicants are encouraged to read the HUD “Applying for Housing Assistance?” flier in advance of completing their application.

Additional information regarding the processing of applications, how waiting lists are maintained, and rules regarding criminal history  can be found in the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program –Applications for RHA’s Housing Choice Voucher  Program are accepted only during a period of time in which the Waiting List  is considered to be ‘OPEN’, or accepting applications.  RHA maintains one waiting list for this program, regardless of family size.  RHA will announce the opening of its waiting lists by this website, by publication to the Reading Eagle and La Voz newspapers, and by press-release to human service agencies approximately two-weeks in advance of the application period.

The application process begins with a Pre-Application Form, which is available by way of this website, or by mail upon request.  Submission of a Pre-Application allows for an applicant who fully-completes the application form to become placed upon the waiting list, but it is not a guarantee of housing assistance.  Applicants will receive a written confirmation upon receipt by RHA of a Pre-Application, and are urged to keep the acknowledgement in a safe place, as proof of placement upon a waiting list.

Applicants are placed upon the waiting list in the order of the date and time that the application is received and processed.  Preference, or priority, is given to individuals who live, work, or attend school in the City of Reading, and proof of residency or employment is subject to review at all times leading to the final appointment.  Individuals who are enrolled in the Shelter Plus Care Program and have reached self-sufficiency are also provided with a preference.

Applicants are contacted by U.S. mail when their name becomes close to the top of the respective waiting list, in order to attend the application interview.  This communication will include a full Application Form, which must be completed and brought to the interview.  All members of the household who are of age eighteen (18) or older, or who are expected to be eighteen (18) within a few months are required to attend the interview appointment.

Any change to the applicant(s)’ address or family composition must be immediately reported in writing by completing a Change Form.  It is important to note that failure to keep an up-to-date address on record with RHA will affect our ability to contact you, which may mean that your name becomes removed from the Waiting List for failing to respond to letters that are sent to you by mail.  It is also important to note that any change to family composition may also change an applicant’s bedroom size, and if the waiting list for which the applicant now qualifies was not open at the time of the initial application, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list.

In general, the Occupancy Policy provides one bedroom for every two persons, with exceptions based upon age, gender and certain familial relationships only.   Applicants to the Housing Choice Voucher program will discuss their voucher (bedroom) size as the time of the briefing for the voucher.

Affordable Rentals –Applications for RHA’s Affordable Rentals are usually invited at all times.  The application process begins with a Pre-Application Form, which is available by way of this website, or by mail upon request.  Upon receipt of the pre-application, an agency representative will make contact by telephone if a vacant unit is available (or expected to become available), or follow with written communication if there are no vacancies, and the applicant’s name is expected to be placed upon a waiting list.  Applicants with a need for urgent relocation are invited to contact the RHA Tenant Placement Office at any time to learn of the up-to-date status of unit availability.

Applicants who are placed upon the waiting list in the order of the date and time that the application is received and processed.  In some cases, a preference, or priority, may be given to households who meet particular criteria, which is typically based upon criteria that was established when the property was developed.   In most properties, there are income requirements in which the household must demonstrate a stable source of income that is equal or greater to three (3) times the rent.  In some properties, there are income limits, in which applicants may earn no more than a determined amount; in other properties, there is income-targeting, in which a unit is limited to applicants with income in a particular range.  Please visit the property’s web page for specific information.

Applicants are contacted by U.S. mail when their name becomes close to the top of the respective waiting list, in order to attend the application interview.  This communication will include a full Application Form, which must be completed and brought to the interview.  All members of the household who are of age eighteen (18) or older, or who are expected to be eighteen (18) within a few months are required to attend the interview appointment.

Any change to the applicant(s)’ address or family composition must be immediately reported in writing by completing a Change Form.  It is important to note that failure to keep an up-to-date address on record with RHA will affect our ability to contact you, which may mean that your name becomes removed from the Waiting List for failing to respond to letters that are sent to you by mail.