Mold Conundrum: Tenants at Pinnacle Ridge (now known as Hawthorne Northside), an apartment complex near UNC Asheville on Merrimon Avenue, say that problems with mold proved incredibly difficult to solve; city officials say they’re limited in what actions they can take. photos by Max Cooper

Breaking the mold: complaints spotlight Asheville’s rental housing issues

Multiple complaints about mold, rot, and other woes at a Merrimon Avenue apartment complex earlier this year casts doubt on the ability of local governments to deal with what many see as a serious health issue, leaving tenants feeling powerless to get their grievances addressed. And with the Asheville area having some of the highest housing costs in the state and one-third of its working population earning low wages, many local renters face similar issues.

Local Matters: Russell drops from City race, poverty legal aid and Asheville as a “cesspool of sin”

In this edition of Local Matters — the Xpress weekly news podcast — reporter David Forbes talks about City Council member Bill Russell dropping out of his bid for re-election, Pisgah Legal Services efforts to increase access to legal help for the poor, and the recent claim by NC State Sen. James Forrester that Asheville is a “cesspool of sin.”