Are you a renter in Southside Bethlehem? We want to hear from you.

The Lehigh Valley’s hot housing market means renters and house hunters alike are feeling the pinch of the regional housing shortage.

It’s sent rental and home sale prices soaring, hurting the many Lehigh Valley residents who were already struggling to cover their housing costs prior to the pandemic. and The Express-Times has spent the last five months exploring how this booming real estate market is affecting the residents of South Bethlehem as part of a special project and now we need your help. The “Edged Out” series will explore what happens when a place that’s long been affordable to new immigrants faces increasing development pressure amid a pandemic.

Many Southside residents love their neighborhoods, but they are finding it hard to stay when the rents keep rising.

About one-third of households pre-pandemic were spending more than 30% of their take-home pay on housing costs, a number that’s likely grown, according to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. That number is even higher in South Bethlehem where 65% of households are cost-burdened.

We want to hear from more renters about how the red hot market and the coronavirus pandemic have affected their lives. Please take a few moments to share your experiences in this Google Form. There is an English and Spanish language version.


This article was produced as part of a project for the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2021 National Fellowship, which provided training, mentoring, and funding to support this project.

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[This story was originally published by Lehigh Valley Live.]

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