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Overview

Vouchers Office

Voucher Programs at Reading Housing Authority (RHA) are actually a group of different programs, in which participants in the program receive help, through a “voucher”, to pay their rent while living in the private rental market.  The largest of these programs, formerly referred to as “Section 8”, is called the Housing Choice Voucher Program, but there are others.

In this kind of rental assistance program, the household finds a house or apartment that they wish to rent and determines whether the landlord is willing to participate in the program. The household using the rental assistance is called a “participant”, and the participant enters into a contract with RHA, through the VOUCHER. The Participant also enters into a contract with a landlord, through a LEASE. (It is important to note that RHA is not a part of the lease.) Lastly, the landlord enters into a contract with RHA, through a HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENT (HAP) CONTRACT.

Participants in a voucher program pay approximately 30% of their monthly income towards the cost of the rent, plus the utilities that are the responsibility of the tenant. In the City of Reading, this often includes electricity and gas, which is to be placed in the name of the tenant for the duration of the lease. In the City of Reading, billing for water, sewer and trash are required to be in the name of the property owner, but charges may still be passed on to the tenant.

Eligibility for the Housing Choice Voucher Program includes criteria related to income, assets and criminal history. Current income limits are as follows:

Income Limits – 2024
# of Persons in Household
1
2
3
4
5
6
Maximum Annual Income

Low-Income:
$53,400

Very Low-Income:
$33,400

Extremely Low-Income
$20,050

Low-Income:
$61,000

Very Low-Income:
$38,150

Extremely Low-Income:
$22,900

Low-Income:
$68,650

Very Low-Income:
$42,900

Extremely Low-Income:
$25,750

Low-Income:
$76,250

Very Low-Income:
$47,650

Extremely Low-Income:
$30,000

Low-Income:
$82,350

Very Low-Income:
$51,500

Extremely Low-Income:
$35,140

Low-Income:
$88,450

Very Low-Income:
$55,300

Extremely Low-Income:
$40,280

ABOUT

Because the demand for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is so high, RHA accepts applications only at certain times, and when applications are accepted, they are usually subject to a lottery, which means that not everyone who applies is provided with an opportunity to be considered for a voucher. Households who are selected for the waiting list may sometimes wait a year or more to be contacted to complete the full application, at which time eligibility is fully determined.

Properties in the Reading Housing Authority Voucher Program must be located in the City of Reading, which means that the owner pays property taxes to the Reading School District.

Some vouchers are “portable”, which means that they can be issued in one jurisdiction, but then transfer their assistance to use in a different location. RHA requires that participants receiving an RHA voucher must have lived in the City of Reading for one year (with or without a voucher) before they are able to “port” their voucher elsewhere.

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