Asheville City Council preview: housing for the homeless and tech for the economy

While Asheville City Council’s meeting next Tuesday, April 8, doesn’t include any hot-button public hearings, it does include projects meant to tackle the lack of housing, especially for the chronically homeless, and improve economic development by bringing in a tech sector “fellow.”

Council is considering using $58,106 from its affordable housing trust fund for the 30-unit Oak Hill Commons development in West Asheville, intended for “hard-to-house” locals, especially the chronically homeless. According to the city’s most recent count of the local homeless population, there are 47 chronically homeless people remaining in Asheville, and this project is intended “as the last necessary step to ending chronic homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County,” according to the staff memo summarizing it. The project will also require additional financing from other public and private organizations before it’s built.

Intending to boost the local economy, Council is also considering an application for a partnership with Code for America, a nonprofit aimed at improving local governments through better use of technology and the expertise of tech sector professionals. There’s already a volunteer Code for America “brigade” in Asheville that’s worked extensively on some open data efforts.

Council is now considering applying for a fellowship with the organization, specifically for a project related to economic growth and development. If successful, a “fellow” from Code for America would assist Asheville’s government with a project of their mutual choosing. The amount of city funds required for the fellowship would be determined later, but the application would start the process.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, on the second floor of City Hall.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.