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Housing

Recent News...

CITY OF BETHLEHEM
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING STRATEGY
CONSULTANT SERVICES
 
The City of Bethlehem has identified the need to provide policies and solutions to the City’s most pressing housing issues, including a low volume of affordable housing, lack of available housing assistance, student housing pressures, rapid growth of market rate apartment units, and the demand for / impact of the creation of short-term housing rentals on the market.  As a result, the City, through its Department of Community and Economic Development, is soliciting proposals from qualified consulting firms interested in providing professional housing and community planning services to prepare a Comprehensive Housing Strategy for the City of Bethlehem. 
 
Tasks for which these services are being requested include preparing a written Comprehensive Housing Strategy Report for the City of Bethlehem which includes:
 
  1. A customized Housing Needs Assessment Report;
  2. Establishment of a Work Program and Timeline for the City’s Housing Strategy Team;
  3. Creation and facilitation of an inclusive Engagement Plan;
  4. Development of Goals approved by the City’s Housing Strategy Team;
  5. Development of Policies and Strategies;
  6. Establishment of a plan Monitoring Process that incorporates program/activity timeframes, tools and accomplishment data; and
  7. Preparation of a written Comprehensive Housing Strategy Report and separate Executive Plan Summary.

The complete Request for Proposals provides additional details for submitting requirements.  Proposals are due electronically by 3:00 PM on Friday, February 14, 2022.

Please contact Robert G. Vidoni, Housing and Community Development Administrator for the City of Bethlehem, at (610) 997-5731 or via email at RVidoni@bethlehem-pa.gov with any questions or for additional information.
 

Affordable Housing News
Bethlehem Homebuyer Assistance Program

Program Information Flyer

The Bethlehem Homebuyer Assistance Program (BHAP) subsidizes down payment and closing costs for eligible homebuyers  looking to purchase a home in the City of Bethlehem. Your total household income must be at or below 80% of the average median income.

Participating Lenders

Within the BHAP program, lending institutions will provide up to 90% of the financing and the BHAP program will provide the remainder, up to 10%, plus closing costs.  In addition, the applicant must provide $1,275 toward equity and one-on-one counseling services to participate in the program.

The BHAP loan is structured as a deferred payment loan (DPL) with a 0% interest rate and gradual forgiveness over a 10-year period. The homebuyer must reside in the property for the 10-year term of the financing or return the loan proceeds on a prorated basis.

Homebuyer Seminars

The Home Ownership Counseling Program (HOCP), coordinated by CACLV, sponsors an 8-hour first-time homebuyer counseling seminar.  These seminars are held seven (7) times annually with three of the seven seminars conducted in Spanish. Each HOCP Seminar includes two (2) sessions scheduled for consecutive weekends. Both sessions must be completed for the HOCP Seminar requirement to be satisfied.

2022 HOCP Seminars will be posted here as they are scheduled. If you are interested in attending email: housingcounseling.caclv.org

Program Contacts

The BHAP is administered through Community Action Lehigh Valley. For additional information about the BHAP program please contact:

Community Action Lehigh Valley, 484-893-1063carroyo@caclv.org
Fair Housing

Each year the City designates a portion of its annual CDBG entitlement funds toward supporting fair housing education and initiatives to increase decent housing and suitable living environments for low and moderate income residents. The City works with North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) to provide fair housing services to its residents. Legal services, tenant/landlord education, and housing complaints should be directed to NPLS at https://www.nplspa.org/what-we-do/get-help/overview.html

NPLS Resource Library: https://www.nplspa.org/what-we-do/resources/

Training & EDUCATION EVENTS

Future training events and resources will be posted here.

Rental Payment Assistance

The City of Bethlehem partners with New Bethany Ministries to provide short term rental assistance to residents through the Eviction Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program. For more information contact New Bethany Ministries at 610-691-5602, option 2.

Housing Rehabilitation

The City of Bethlehem Housing Rehabilitation Program provides assistance to homeowners within the City of Bethlehem for improving their residence, complying with city code requirements, making weatherization improvements and lead paint remediation. The improved property must be located within the city and must be the property owner’s primary residence.

Program Application

Program eligibility is based on income of all persons living in the home. More information is available by calling the Office of Housing Rehabilitation at 610-865-7096.

 

Program Guidelines

 

Program Contacts

Sheila Rhett, Housing Rehab Coordinator, SRhett@bethlehem-pa.gov

Contractors

Contractor Qualifications

The City of Bethlehem’s Department of Community and Economic Development is requesting qualifications from construction contractors and sub-contractors to establish a list of prequalified contractors. Specifically, the City is seeking to develop a list of pre-qualified contractors and with experience in construction and rehabilitation of residential housing. Likely projects include housing rehabilitation contracts up to $20,000 in value throughout the City of Bethlehem.  Lead removal is usually a part of this rehabilitation work. Otherwise qualified contractors who do not have lead removal certification will be offered the certification course free of charge.  Contractors must complete this course prior to being awarded work under this program.