Most leases end on May 31 and begin on June 1, and many landlords begin signing leases in January for the following June. Some leases begin on August 1, so try to arrive by July, if possible. Typically, finding off-campus housing in August takes about 1 week. The earlier you arrive in July, the more choices you will have.
The university offers a housing option for graduate students: Saucon Village Apartment Complex (3.5) miles south of campus over South Mountain , served by scheduled bus service). This is a smoke-free environment and especially useful for incoming students who don't have the time to look for off-campus housing when they first arrive. Saucon Village typically has a long waiting list, so apply early and check regularly with the Residential Services office for availability. All graduate student housing is assigned on a first-come, first serve basis. Becoming a roommate is one of the best strategies for getting a unit in the university owned Saucon Village Apartment Complex.
PLEASE NOTE: Animals, candles, and smoking are not allowed in campus housing managed by Residential Services.
Rental units in the South Side Bethlehem area around Lehigh are not especially expensive or difficult to find, depending on your price range and your willingness to have roommates. The Southside area around campus has very few one-bedroom or studio units. Most units are houses that are shared by 4-6 people and 2-3 bedroom apartments. The houses usually include utilities and a washing machine and dryer. Average monthly rent varies depending on whether you live:
- Alone in a 1 bedroom: $550-$650 + phone service + electricity + cable TV + heat + laundry
- Sharing a 5 bedroom: $300 + phone service + cable TV (utilities & laundry are usually included)
NOTE: All rentals on the South Side are limited to two parking permits for street parking. If you do not receive one of the permits when you move in, you will have to pay for daily and over-night parking (campus garages, City of Bethlehem lots, or Mt. Top parking lot). Contact the Parking Services with questions about campus parking privileges (610-758-3893).
Off-Campus Housing Help
City of Bethlehem Bureau of Housing 610-865-7091
10 East Church Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
The City of Bethlehem Bureau of Housing provides on-site inspections of rental units. They also work to ensure that rental units are in compliance with city ordinances. For concerns about your unit, call Michael V. Palos, Chief, Bureau of Housing. Before moving in, you might want to call them to see if a rental unit has passed the City of Bethlehem inspection.