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Bethlehem Homebuyer Assistance Program (BHAP)

The City of Bethlehem, in partnership with Community Action Lehigh Valley, has established a program for first-time homebuyers to assist with down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home in the City of Bethlehem. 

If you are interested in becoming a homeowner in the City of Bethlehem, the BHAP program may be able to provide the assistance you need. 


  • A first-time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in the past three (3)-years.


  • BHAP will finance up to 10% of the purchase price as well as closing costs through a deferred payment loan (DPL).  This DPL does not require a monthly payment and will forgive over a 10-year term.


  • Each applicant is required to provide $1,000 toward the purchase of the home as well as pay a $275 non-refundable fee for a one-on-one pre-purchase counseling services with a HUD-certified Housing Counselor.

  • BHAP will finance any single-family property that is affordable to you anywhere in the City of Bethlehem.  Affordability is determined by your income and the cost of the house.


  • Income eligibility for BHAP follows the federal guidelines for low and moderate income households.  Income is determined by the number of persons residing in the property and the total income of those persons.  Total household income must be 80% median income and below.  All income is verified as part of the process. 


  • While BHAP will finance any property that is affordable to you, the property value cannot exceed 95% of the median sale price as established by HUD for the County in which the property is located.  Because the City of Bethlehem is located in both Lehigh and Northampton Counties, the property location will determine which property value is observed.


All homebuyers must attend one (1) first-time homebuyer seminar and at least one (1) one-on-one counseling session. 

  • The Home Ownership Counseling Program (HOCP), coordinated by CACLV, sponsors an 8-hour first-time homebuyer 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.

  • Information about the next seminar as well as future upcoming HOCP Seminars can be found here: 





      Please contact with any questions or to register for any

      upcoming seminars.


  • Our HUD-certified Housing Counselors will provide seminars and one-on-one counseling services so that first-time homebuyers are informed about owning and maintaining a home as well as how the purchase of a home will affect their household budget.

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To apply for the BHAP program, you must have a signed Agreement of Sale for a property located within the City of Bethlehem.


The BHAP program will work with any lending institution willing to work with the program.  Below is the current list of approved participating lenders:

If you are already working with a lender but they are not on the approved participating lenders list, please have them contact us to obtain program guidelines and learn how to become an approved participating lender.

For additional information about the BHAP program, please contact:

Community Action Lehigh Valley

(484) 893-1063

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City of Bethlehem

(610) 997-7635

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