This program is available thorough the
Berks Community Action Program - BCAP
247 N. 5th St., Reading, PA 19601
Contact agency directly at (610)375-7866
This component provides payments for rent, mortgage arrearage for home and trailer owners, rental costs for trailers and trailer lots, security deposits, and utilities to prevent and/or end homelessness or near homelessness by maintaining individuals and families in their own residences. Emphasis should be placed on the prevention of homelessness for families with children.
Rental Assistance counties and providers are required to make every effort to ensure that the following procedures are in place:
- permit the client to apply for rental assistance on the same day the applicant visits the office;
- interview the applicant on the same day the applicant applies for rental assistance;
- determine client's eligibility for assistance at the intake interview;
- provide the client with a written decision approving or denying their request for assistance;
- provide the client with written information on their right to appeal denied or terminated services and the process to do so;
- provide the client with written information their right to appeal denied or terminated services to the County and the Department's Office of Hearing and Appeals concurrently;
- utilize collateral contacts to verify homelessness, near homeless, the amount needed to resolve the crisis, and the landlord's agreement to rent to the client in the future or to stop eviction proceedings and follow-up with written documentation.
Clients are required to be homeless or near homeless and
- have an agreement with the landlord to rent to them; and
- have sustainable income sufficient to pay rent in the future or have no income but have reasonable expectations for sufficient income in the next 90 days to maintain rental agreements; and
- have an income at or below 200 percent of the poverty level.
People who need to escape domestic violence do not need to meet the income guidelines. If they have received rental assistance in the past, the maximum amount allowed may be disregarded. However, HAP funding should be the resource of last resort.
Clients may receive up to a maximum of $1,000 for adult-only families or households or $1,500 for families or households with children during a consecutive 24-month period. The 24-month period begins with the issuance date of the first check.
- Personnel: wages and salaries, benefits, and training/conference
- Operating: office rent, communications, insurance, legal services, audits, office supplies, staff travel, overhead and systems consultants
- Fixed Assets: equipment
- Assistance towards the purchase of a home
- Payments for equipment, such as a furnace, water pump, stove, etc.
- Payments of liens