I think the best way to think about the Employer Assisted Housing program in Bethlehem is that it’s layering a pretty decent idea on top of crap.
The zoning ordinance has multiple provisions that make the market prices for housing more expensive than they have to be. Without anti-density zoning rules like parking minimums, minimum lot sizes and height limits in the neighborhoods in the urban grid on Southside and Northside, the market prices would be cheaper, and lower income folks would be better able to rent or buy housing.
What’s more, the insistence on separating land uses forces people to waste money and time driving, and if they didn’t have to go outside of housing-designated areas to get food and other stuff, they’d save money at the margins.
City regulations raise the cost of living for poor people, and then you need programs like this to help a few of them afford the inflated cost of housing. It would be better to just stop making housing extra expensive in the first place.