Affordable housing essay: Affordable housing is everybody’s problem

Homeward Bound Executive Director Brian K. Alexander Photo courtesy of Homeward Bound

Editor’s note: This essay is part of a series in which local experts were asked: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?”

Our community is facing a crisis. According to a recent study, Buncombe County has an effective zero percent vacancy rate for rental housing. Here at Homeward Bound, we’ve certainly noticed this trend. Every day, our case managers work to find safe, affordable places for our clients to live. Now, however, we simply cannot find those homes.

This situation puts the lives of some of our community’s most vulnerable members at risk. Living on the streets for long periods of time exacerbates chronic behavioral and physical health issues that often lead to premature death.

But the lack of affordable housing doesn’t just affect the most vulnerable. Affordable housing is vital for the homeless veterans who served our country in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the police and firefighters who make our community safe. It’s for the waiter who served you dinner last night, for the small-business owner who sold you a beautiful painting last week, for the nurse who took care of your mother in the hospital.

And while you may not believe that you can make a difference in this conversation or be effective in increasing the amount of affordable housing in our community, you can! We need you to advocate for more affordable housing, so that all of our neighbors have safe, affordable places to live. If you know people who own rental properties, encourage them to work with Homeward Bound and other service providers. Talk to your neighbors, and convince them that adding affordable housing units to your neighborhood can make it richer and more diverse.

You can make a difference!

Brian K. Alexander
Executive Director
Homeward Bound of WNC Inc.

SHARE

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.

2 thoughts on “Affordable housing essay: Affordable housing is everybody’s problem

  1. The crisis is one of total housing supply; not enough units. and it is caused by the UDO, with its single family zoning, unit density limits, residential height limits, setbacks, and parking requirements.

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.