Read Buncombe’s new workforce-housing policy

On April 15, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners passed a new Workforce Housing Policy that can provide from $2,500 to $5,000 per unit in low- or no-interest loans to developers who build housing for those making 80 to 140 percent of the median income.

The approval for the plan came after appeals from several of the county’s largest employers, who asserted that rising housing costs are driving the area’s professionals elsewhere. To qualify, the developers have to build more than 100 units of condos, town-homes or apartments, or more than 50 units of single-family homes. The financing further restricts the housing to remain workforce for at least five years.

The funding starts at $2,500 per unit, with additional funds available for energy-efficient design, multiple-housing designs and increased affordability.

The plan describes its intent as “to appeal to the backbone of our community: the police officers, nurses, teachers, medical technicians, office workers, etc. These jobs provide a wage that does not qualify workers as low income, but renders it difficult to purchase housing.”

— David Forbes, staff writer

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One thought on “Read Buncombe’s new workforce-housing policy

  1. Jimbo

    Why is the county and city continually insisting on the bogus term “workforce housing”? It’s insulting and demeaning to those who actually work for a living to suggest that a special class of dwelling must be created just for us. This is an inaccurate term that only highlights the class separation stereotypes and an elitist mentality that suggests it’s normal for people who have to work for a living to not be able to live here also. They may as well call them servants quarters. That’s quickly becoming the way they think about these issues. When did “affordable housing” become a bad word? And why aren’t there serious tax implications for the “elitist housing” that keeps getting thrown up all over the area?

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