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Housing Resources 


Façade Improvements

The City of Bethlehem is rolling a Façade Improvement program as part of its existing Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Façade Improvement Program targets residential properties in the historic districts in the City.  Funds may be used for a variety of restoration/ preservation projects. Examples of projects may include installing historically appropriate doors and windows, front porch railings and posts, painting, and masonry repointing, to name a few. This grant program will fund up to $20,000 for façade improvement projects. There is no match required by the property owner. Owner-occupied properties are eligible to apply with household incomes at or below 200% the area median income (AMI). Priority will be given to households that are 80% AMI or below.


For more information call the City’s Housing Rehabilitation staff at 610-865-7096. 

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 eligibility is based on income of all persons living in the home.  


For more information call the City’s Housing Rehabilitation staff at (610) 865-7096. 

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The Bethlehem Homebuyer Assistance Program (BHAP) subsidizes down payment and closing costs for first-time homebuyers (defined as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years) looking to purchase a home in the City of Bethlehem. 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 fees 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. 

Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance

LERTA is a tax abatement program that was created in 1977 to incentivize property investment and redevelopment of difficult and undesirable properties- such as brownfield sites. LERTA creates a graduated increase in tax payments on new construction and property rehabilitation for owners of commercial, industrial, residential, and business properties located within designated zones in the City.  LERTA does require that property owners pay full land taxes, while taxes on improvements increase to the fully owed amount at an agreed upon rate over 10 years.  The LERTA abatement applies to the tax increment from any substantial renovation or new construction, but does not make a property tax-free. Applications for LERTA must be submitted within 60 days of a building permit.


The city has two LERTA areas– the Southside LERTA and the Northside LERTA, each having their own tax abatement provisions. 

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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.  Turn to New Bethany’s rental assistance program, for currently housed (rent arrears) or homeless households (security deposit and housing locator help). Not long after Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order was implemented, Bethlehem and Lehigh Valley residents – either newly unemployed or experiencing a reduction in pay – began contacting New Bethany Ministries. Heeding the call, New Bethany joined a multi-partner network of organizations and government offices to provide rental and other housing assistance services.

Housing and Emergency Contacts

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