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