A roof over one’s head: affordable housing overhaul moves forward

What’s needed to solve Asheville’s housing crunch? Fewer development hurdles, a city “land bank” to preserve property for affordable housing, more density and a hard “target number” for units that need to be created each year— these are some of the ideas to come out of a recent meeting of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Survey says: developers tell city commission why they don’t build affordable housing

As part of a major effort to examine Asheville’s lack of affordable housing and possibly overhaul the way city government approaches the issue, the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee interviewed a range of developers to find out why many don’t build affordable housing. They replied that the costs of land, a lack of infrastructure, insufficient transit, city rules inhibiting denser development and neighborhood opposition all play a role in why many of them don’t build more affordable units.

Report shines light on Asheville’s hunger, homelessness problems

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released an in-depth report examining the hunger and homelessness situations in 25 cities across the country, including Asheville. The report found that the city has serious issues with low wages, unaffordable housing, poverty, and the number of domestic violence survivors who end up homeless. Increases in homelessness are modest, but more families are homeless. The report also highlighted some local organizations doing “exemplary” work on the issues but predicted that coming social service cuts could make the situations on both fronts more dire.

Battle over Chestnut development reaches city board tonight

After months of delays, a proposed housing development on East Chestnut makes its way to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission tonight. The plans for a 16-unit development have become a flashpoint about larger development concerns in Asheville. In this case the plans have drawn opposition from some neighborhood residents and preservationists who believe it’s too dense and out of character for the area, while supporters assert the need to alleviate the city’s housing crunch means such projects are necessary.

Asheville City Council preview: development for Eagle Street

Tomorrow night, Aug. 27, Asheville City Council will consider grants and a loan from its affordable housing trust fund for a project in the Eagle/Market Street area that includes 62 affordable-housing units along with business and community space.  If the new funds are approved, the city’s commitment to the project could total $4.6 million.