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Community Forum: Housing Challenges

by The Berks Alliance

Community Forum: Housing Challenges

Quality Housing is essential to the vitality of a community. Whether a renter or owner, the sense of place and belonging can create stable and vibrant neighborhoods. Good housing can help attract talented workers to area employers.

There are wonderful neighborhoods in our region and quality, reasonably priced homes. But we also have our challenges.

There has been virtually no new housing in Berks County in 2019, and the figures for 2017 and 2018 lagged even much smaller markets like Lebanon County. Home sales have dropped by over 47% over the past several years. Over half of the housing in Berks County is over 50 years old.

Nearly 60% of the households in the City of Reading are occupied by renters, the second lowest rate of home ownership of any midsized city in Pennsylvania. The average renter is spending 38% of their income on rent, well above the suggested maximum of 30%. And a recent inventory showed that there are over 1,000 vacant properties in the city. Some needing significant repairs, but many requiring only minor repairs.

Join us for a Community Forum on Housing Challenges. Anna Tranfaglia from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank will share statistics for the Reading area on Rental Housing Affordability. ( Her colleague Eileen Divringi will talk about her report – Home Improvement Lending in the Third Federal Reserve District: Patterns by Income, Race, and Gender. Eileen will also share information on her recent research home repair costs.

These two researchers will be joined by three local experts on the housing market in the Greater Reading area.

Attendees will receive a bag lunch. Advance tickets cost $7.50 plus fees totaling $9.58. Cash payments of $10.00 will be accepted at the event. REGISTER HERE

Date And Time

Tue, June 11, 2019

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EDT


Schmidt Center

Reading Area Community College

15 South Front Street

Reading, PA 19602

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What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking is available at the RACC Garage entrance on Washington Street between Front and Second Streets.


The Berks Alliance Investors are the leaders of anchor institutions, major businesses and signficant community organizations in the Greater Reading Area working to create a healthier, more vibrant and prosperous community.  The Alliance Investors collectively employ their resources in creative ways to build a stronger community, serving as a catalyst for community development.  The Alliance Investors have identified three initital targets for engagement:

The Berks Alliance is affiliated with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA)