A landmark corner distinguishes the main entry into the Phase 1 development from Biltmore Avenue. Image: David Baker Architects

City Council commits $4.2 million to redevelopm­ent of Lee Walker Heights

At its April 26 meeting, City Council approved a rezoning request and committed $4.2 million in city funds to allow the Lee Walker Heights redevelopment project to move forward. Council also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Duke Energy which gives the city the option to purchase the former Matthews Ford property adjacent to Lee Walker Heights at any time over the next eight years.

SNAPSHOTS IN TIME: Comparisons between Asheville’s estimated homeless population in 2005 and 2015 with other cities in North Carolina show mixed results in driving down the amount of homeless individuals statewide. While the amount of chronically homeless individuals decreased in most municipalities, the repercussions of the 2008 recession and a local shortage of affordable housing has stagnated efforts at decreasing the total number of people experiencing some form of homelessness. Statistics gathered from the N.C. Coalition to End Homelessness & the United States Census Bureau

Gimme shelter: In wake of 10-year plan to end homelessne­ss, local agencies regroup

Although chronic homelessness has been curtailed substantially since 2005, the combination of a severe economic downturn, an acute shortage of affordable housing and the rising cost of living has hindered the overall progress in eradicating homelessness. Despite those setbacks, partners in the project are forging ahead with new initiatives to combat housing insecurity and ensure that those in need of shelter get it.

Members of the Be Loved Community, the formerly homeless and city government officials met in front of City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 8 to bring attention to the continued need for affordable housing in Asheville. Photo by Max Hunt

BeLoved Community members hold affordable housing rally outside City Hall

Members of the Be Loved Community, formerly homeless residents of Asheville and several city council members gathered outside of City Hall prior to City Council’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, to listen to firsthand accounts of homelessness, voice support for the city’s affordable housing initiatives and encourage members of the Asheville community to stand […]

HOMECOMING: The staff of Mountain Housing Opportunities celebrated the grand opening of The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments along with their partners on the project and local and state representatives on Thursday, Dec. 3 with a tour of the facility and housingwarming fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Mountain Housing Opportunities.

Home, sweet home: Mountain Housing Opportunit­ies celebrates The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments

In its latest efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing, the nonprofit organization Mountain Housing Opportunities hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gift registry drive Thursday evening at its brand new apartment complex, The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments, just off New Leicester Highway. MHO staff, partner organizations, sponsors, local and state government officials were […]

Todd Okolichany on Lexington Avenue, which was just recognized by the American Planning Association as one of America's Great Places. Okolichany joined the city as planning director in September. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Man with a plan: Okolichany takes the helm as Asheville’­s planning director

“There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in planning: Each place is very different,” says Todd Okolichany, who began work as Asheville’s new planning director Sept. 8. “That’s a key value for me as a planner: recognizing the differences and uniqueness of each place.” Okolichany, 36, comes to Asheville from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was principal […]

SEARCHING FOR SOLUTIONS: The area’s affordable housing crisis has many residents looking for answers. Just outside Asheville, essayist Andrea Golden, right, sits on the front porch of her home in the Dulce Lomita Mobile Home Cooperative in Emma with family members including son Hyadi Abel Gonzalez, partner Abel Gonzalez and daughter Yaretzi Cruz Golden. They partnered with neighbors in the co-op to buy the land for the park, which also includes a community garden.

Homework: Solving Asheville’­s affordable housing crisis

It’s no secret: The shortage of affordable housing in the Asheville area is one of our community’s biggest problems. Contributing factors include a growing population, the high demand for both apartments and houses, the particular challenges of building in the mountains and the low wages paid by many local employers. Earlier this summer, Xpress decided […]

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Affordable housing catch up: special coverage essays, all parts

The quest for affordable housing: an introduction to the essay project and the Bowen study showing the problems Asheville and surrounding communities face on the affordable housing question, by Tracy Rose. The following essays are part of a series in which local experts were asked: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable […]

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Letter writer: City of Asheville is partly to blame for affordable housing problem

I’m curious about these local “experts” [“Collision Course,” July 29, part of Xpress’ affordable housing essay series].  Has anyone been interviewed who has been royally screwed by City Council’s collectivist legislation responsible for driving rental rates sky high? Years ago, Xpress covered the onset of my saga, regarding how the city initially forced me to […]