The Berks County Housing Authority is taking over the operation of public housing in Northampton County.
The Northampton County commissioners have selected the authority to manage their Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program, two public housing developments and one low-income housing tax credit property. The authority will take on that role starting in August.
The Northampton County Housing Authority had previously been managed by the Lehigh County Housing Authority, which was hired in 2014 when the Northampton County authority had a change in leadership and needed assistance restructuring its program and clearing up audit issues.
Gwen Didden, executive director of the Berks County Housing Authority, said the authority is excited to take on this new role.
“The board felt it was a good fit for both our organizations as they are similar in size and share common tenant focused values,” she said. “It also fits within the authority’s goals to expand our property management services and finally, the power of two limited resources can stretch further when sharing duties.”
Didden said the Berks authority will be hiring several staff members in the weeks ahead to fill some openings in Northampton but that several key staff members will be sharing time and duties between the two counties. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development covers the cost of running the program.
Members of the Northampton County Housing Authority said they decided to join forces with Berks. They noted in a press release that Didden is passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless.
“Didden brings an open style of communication, hands-on approach and a great level of experience to the table,” they said. “She currently runs BCHA programs and has created programs that have fostered a highly desirable living environment for the tenants. She has also supported six counties as a landlord-tenant advocate and has led several nonprofit organizations.”
Source: Berkshire mont