Commissioners approve $2M for 85 affordable housing units that could reduce homeless population by 39%

Press release from Buncombe County:

County Commissioners are teaming up with Homeward Bound to help create 85 affordable housing units in Asheville. On Aug. 3, Commissioners unanimously approved $2 million to help purchase property that would ultimately transition the Days Inn at 201 Tunnel Road from a hotel to housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness. The project will also receive $2,000,000 from both the City of Asheville and Dogwood Health Trust along with $400,000 in private donations.

“I really have a lot of gratitude toward all the people who worked on this… This is going to make a real difference in the future and change a lot of lives,” noted Chairman Brownie Newman.

“I commend Homeward Bound for the incredible work you, your volunteers, and donors have done to make sure this is a reality,” added Commissioner Amanda Edwards. “I’m excited Buncombe County will be a part of this solution for our homeless community.”

Homeward Bound has requested an additional $3,881,940 for the project. That request will go through the Buncombe County Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds RFP review process.

This project is in line with the County’s 2025 Strategic Plan goal of encouraging and creating affordable housing near transportation and jobs. Homeward Bound expects to have renovation of the hotel complete by November 2022 with people being able to move in starting January 2023. Officials with the nonprofit estimate this will alleviate about 39% of Buncombe County’s chronically homeless. Additionally, Homeward Bound notes people of color experience higher rates of homelessness in the United States, and there will be a focus on helping those facing racial disparities achieve housing stability. You can read more about this project here.

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