Buncombe County is taking new steps to alleviate poverty, and it’s looking to the community for ideas. Representatives of 22 organizations attended a July 15 Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) meeting, where they learned of Buncombe’s new Request for Information (RFI) on poverty remediation. County leaders are interested in community practices to remedy poverty and are seeking information […]
Report shines light on Asheville’s housing problems, possible solutions.
At a rare joint meeting yesterday evening, Asheville City Council and the Asheville City School Board conferred on the achievement gap, mutual priorities and the thornier social issues that complicate both their jobs.
Clustered around tables in the U.S. Cellular Center banquet hall during the first day of their annual retreat, Asheville City Council and city staff deliberated everything from affordable housing to surveillance. Here are a few highlights of their discussions.
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.
Attendees at a “downtown summit” this afternoon expressed concern about a variety of issues, including cleanliness, the homeless, affordability, and infrastructure in Asheville’s core. The forum was organized by city staff as an effort to gather input. (Photo by Max Cooper)
A meeting originally scheduled between the Asheville Downtown Association, city of Asheville staff and Council members is now a “downtown summit” in Pack Library at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, with the public invited to attend and weigh in on the issues affecting the area.
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.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, city of Asheville staff and police officers met with homeless activists and local nonprofit representatives to discuss a new law enforcement approach that focuses on more arrests in the city’s downtown. Responses varied, ranging from concerns about the impacts of a failing system to criticisms of the Asheville Police Department’s new strategy.
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke to the Council of Independent Business Owners this afternoon, asserting he was “stepping on some toes” to lower taxes and make the state run more like a business.
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people showed up for Mountain Moral Monday this evening, filling Pack Square Park and protesting the policies of the North Carolina General Assembly. It was one of the largest demonstrations in Asheville’s recent history. Photo by Julia Ritchey.
Last year Xpress profiled Patrick Littlejohn, a formerly homeless composer who pulled himself out of poverty through music. He recently received a full scholarship to the Practical Schillinger School of Music.
Photos by Rich Orris.
It’s commonly said that housing’s hard to find in Asheville. Numbers from the U.S. Census and elsewhere shine a light on exactly how hard.
At a five-hour hearing conducted by the North Carolina Utilities Commission last night, every speaker except those representing the Council of Independent Business Owners and Biltmore Farms objected to rate hikes proposed by Progress Energy. The speakers’ reasons for opposition ranged from the impact of the rate increases on the working poor to projected environmental damage. Photo by Max Cooper
After sharing 42 slides worth of charts, data and graphs, an independent economic consultant speaking to local doctors, health advocates, politicians and board members at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services made a conclusion: Though the recession started five years ago, the numbers show that Buncombe County still has “a ways to go.” Highlights of the presentation, along with the full presentation, can be found in this post. (Slide image courtesy of SYNEVA Economics)
After President Barack Obama’s visit earlier this week, an inevitable outpouring of attention from the national media followed. Here’s the facts — harsher and more fascinating — that they missed. Photo by Max Cooper.
I have lived in Asheville for a little more than a year and love it. One of the reasons I moved from New England was because of the cost of living. I bought a darling house for a price that wouldn't be possible up North. However, I find the food here to be extraordinarily expensive. […]
Pat LaPier, president of the Buncombe County Foster Care Association, is in a unique position. She donates her time to the community and also receives services from Children First/Communities In Schools Family Resource Center at Emma. Jodi Ford of Children First/Communities In Schools tells her story. Photos by Jodi Ford.
High Poverty Levels Resistant to Economic Recovery – Families Still Reeling from the Great Recession (infographic from N.C. Justice Center)
Asheville City Council members approved extending city water to residents near the contaminated former CTS of Asheville site at their Sept. 25 meeting.
The Atlantic‘s Cities blog has highlighted one of the cities’ great success stories — its downtown revitalization — as a model for others to follow. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story, and the rest reveals important issues urbanism discussions often neglect.