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 […]


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 […]