Quilt at Transformation Village

Buncombe tests and tweaks Code Purple plan

As presented to the county Board of Commissioners Nov. 15 by Jennifer Teague, Buncombe’s aging and adult services program manager, the Asheville-Buncombe County Homeless Coalition called the first Code Purple of 2022 on Oct. 15 — the first day this year’s program went into effect. After evaluating the results of that first night, the coalition decided to extend entry times for Code Purple shelters.

Asheville noise complaints by type

Asheville gets one-year update on noise ordinance

Before the noise ordinance was passed last September, most noise complaints were called in to the Asheville Police Department nonemergency line. While APD still handles nighttime noise complaints and those that might come with safety risks, the city’s Development Services Department resolved 71% of complaints over the past year.

Buncombe County opioid settlement graph

Buncombe shapes plan to tackle opioid crisis

Buncombe behavioral health manager Victoria Reichard noted that the county has received roughly $2 million of a more than $16 million lawsuit settlement, negotiated with pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, this fiscal year. Of those funds, a county team has recommended about $518,000 in immediate spending.

Buncombe County seal

Commission­ers to hear early childhood education update

The presentation, available on the Board of Commissioners agenda prior to the Sept. 6 meeting, focuses on the nearly $3.75 million awarded from the county’s early childhood education fund in fiscal year 2021-2022. Across 21 funded projects, according to the presentation, 71% of goals were met, with most shortfalls coming in enrollment, attendance and staffing targets.

Commission­ers vote to create bond oversight committee

The resolution would take effect if either or both of the bond referendums up for November votes were approved. The oversight committee would monitor investments made with up to $70 million in bond money and ensure the funds were being used to meet Buncombe’s goals: conserve 20% of county land and increase affordable housing by up to 3,150 units, both by 2030.

Poverty rate graphics for Buncombe County

Buncombe leaders talk rising poverty, county economy

According to data presented by Tim Love, Buncombe’s director of economic development and governmental relations, the county’s poverty rate went up from about 11.5% in 2018 — its lowest point in a decade — to about 13.9% in 2020, the latest year for which information was available. Poverty in both North Carolina and the overall U.S. fell over the same period.

217 Hilliard Ave floor plan

Council approves grant for downtown microhousi­ng

Of 80 microhousing units, 16 would be designated as affordable for people earning at or below 80% of the area median income. However, developer David Moritz confirmed that market-price rent for all of the project’s units would be about $1,000 including utilities, meaning that the city-subsidized units would not immediately be cheaper for their tenants.