Letter: Does county understand rental market?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Buncombe Approves $17 Minimum Wage for County Staff,” May 25, Xpress:] In connection with the Buncombe County pay raise: Bravo anytime an employer recognizes the need for better pay.

However, $17 per hour for full-time work, after typical withholdings, still only nets a person about $22,000 per year. A $1,550 per month (supposed average rate) apartment, plus typical utilities, costs about …. $22,000 per year. Every increase is helpful, but the people crunching the numbers must not be living the hourly experience, as they truly don’t seem to understand what it costs to live, even modestly, as a renter in our region.

I recently vacated a 700 square-foot, one-bedroom unit because the landlord raised the rent by about 40% to $2,000. At $17 per hour full-time, two people sharing that particularly monstrous rental rate would still be spending nearly 50% of their incomes just for the privilege of having a roof.

— Greg Vineyard


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Does county understand rental market?

  1. Liam

    Rental costs have been a problem in Asheville and, perhaps, throughout the county for a long time. I do not have rental property but city and county leaders continue to raise property taxes every year. These costs are likely just passed along to renters. I assume the pay raises recently announced by the county will be paid through tax dollars, providing a new justification to raise property taxes which will likely bite the very people they claim to be helping.

  2. NIMBY

    Sounds like we need to build more rental units and apartment complexes. But I assume most commissioners are against this in the name of “conserving” land. It’s time to protect people too.

  3. Snowdog

    I’m moving away from this area this summer. I’m from east Tennessee, about two cousins over. Moved to Asheville in ’08. It’s been overcrowded the whole time and much worse as time has passed. I am a veteran, I have 3 degrees, I’m a professional who invests, saves, and pay my bills on time. I vote. I give to charity. Just the other day when thinking how to ensure I’m set up well for retirement I was thinking aloud when I heard myself say, “Well, I can move back in to a slum for a few years…”. That’s the “opportunity” Asheville provides for someone like me, a shot at a comfortable retirement if I do everything on earth I’m supposed to do as a citizen and descent person and I choose to live in a slum.”
    Asheville is run by children who don’t know what running a progressive city should look like. Hotels run this town, realtors too. Why folks are starving, our city worries about social justice signalling and letting out of state investment trusts buy up property and put in cheaply constructed kit homes on steep slopes for $350k. Yet 23% of labor is serving others, like tourists, not real jobs, just service jobs, working for the elite hotel magnates for little wages and no benefits. Asheville is not a nice place. Overcrowded, rude, poor infrastructure, loud diesel trucks spewing fumes, a stank nasty superfund site river with heavy fertilizer runoff from farms along the river. I just don’t get it. Asheville is just a typical “good ole boy” southern town except it has a lot of hipster breweries. This town could be one of a kind, instead, it’s a way overpriced rundown short sighted city.

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