FULL HOUSE: This drawing from the 2013 Asheville/Buncombe Child Watch tour depicts the living situation of a local family. With rents continuing to increase in 2017, families and individuals are looking for new solutions to finding affordable places to live.

Space race: Deconstruc­ting Asheville’­s affordable housing problem

While 2016 statistics show increasing availability in the area’s rental housing market, Asheville renters say their choices remain limited and prices steep. Several city initiatives — including a $25 million affordable housing bond referendum approved by voters in November — aim to bolster the supply of affordable housing, while some private-sector players are pursuing similar goals.

Franzi Charen encourages  folks to "Go Local" in front of Anthropologie. Photo by Able Allen

Charen appointed to Downtown Commission

City Council appointed Franzi Charen to the Downtown Commission and Barry Bialik and Laura Collins to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee at its Jan. 26 meeting. Council also passed a “Ban the Box” measure, meaning that applicants for most city positions will no longer be required to answer questions about past criminal convictions on their initial job applications.