There are public funds to support affordable housing, social service, economic development, and community revitalization initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. This support can be in the form of a grant, loan, or loan guarantee. The information in this section was obtained directly from the websites of the organizations that administer the programs. Contact each organization for specific information about the programs and services it offers.
Go to the main page of the Reading, PA MSA.
The Berks Economic Partnership (BEP) is a marketing agency that works with other economic development agencies to help retain, attract, promote, and grow economic development in a collaborative manner in Berks County. BEP also helps businesses in Berks County to access financing assistance.
Information about BEP and its programs can be found on the BEP's website.
Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit that administers charitable funds for a variety of causes. The foundation looks for opportunities to improve the quality of life in Berks County and assists in identifying ways in which the philanthropic sector can contribute. The foundation staff manages more than 350 different funds, each established with a specific purpose determined by the original donor.
Information about the Berks County Community Foundation and the charitable funds it administers is available on its website.
The Berks County Community Development Department administers several programs that assist income-eligible residents of Berks County. These programs include rent subsidies, closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, and rehabilitation loans.
In partnership with the Berks County Planning Commission, the Community Development Department also provides funding and technical assistance to boroughs and townships.
More information about the programs and services offered by the Berks County Community Development Department can be found on its website.
The Berks County Industrial Development Authority works to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Berks County through community and economic development. The authority is authorized to issue industrial development bonds (IDBs) to manufacturing companies for qualified capital projects.
More information about the programs and services offered by the Berks County Industrial Development Authority is available through its website.
The Community Development Department is responsible for neighborhood planning, economic development, land development and subdivision review, zoning administration, and historic preservation for the city of Reading. The department also administers the community development block grant (CDBG), home investment partnership (HOME), and emergency shelter grant (ESG) programs.
More information about the Community Development Department and its programs can be found on its website.
Community First Fund provides loans and technical assistance to small-business owners, affordable housing developers, and community groups and development initiatives in underserved communities in its 13-county service area in central Pennsylvania.
Information about the loan programs and other assistance offered by the Community First Fund is available through its website.
The Greater Berks Development Fund is a private nonprofit that offers financing, real estate, and development services to businesses in Berks County. The fund helps businesses locate, expand and grow in Berks County by providing advisory services in the areas of site selection, relocation, and financing.
Additional information about the services and financing programs available through the Greater Berks Development Fund is available on its website.
The Berks County Redevelopment Authority works to eliminate blight and dangerous conditions in Berks County. The authority is authorized by the Board of County Commissioners and operates independently.
The authority has supported a variety of initiatives, ranging from flood recovery efforts to the management of the county's federal entitlement housing and community development programs. The Redevelopment Authority also focuses on renewing and revitalizing the city of Reading and the borough of West Reading. The authority's activities are coordinated through and with the Berks County Community Development Office.
More information about the Redevelopment Authority can be found on the Redevelopment Authority's website.
REDDI is a federally designated economic development district (EDD) of Pennsylvania. It fosters redevelopment strategies and projects that stimulate economic growth in urban and rural distressed communities through collaboration, facilitation, and building alliances among key stakeholders in the district. REDDI’s primary focus is facilitating and acting as a conduit for Economic Development Administration funding for eligible regional projects.
More information can be found on the REDDI website.
United Way works closely with agency and community partners, volunteers representing all sectors of the community, and donors to identify and address the community's most critical health and human service issues.
The United Way has identified five areas of community needs on which to focus: building self-sufficiency, nurturing children and strengthening families, caring for people in crisis, promoting health and independence, and developing community capacity. The United Way provides funds to partners that support these needs. Additional information is available on the United Way of Berks County's website.