I had to do a double take after reading Roy Parvin’s tone-deaf “Why We Moved to Asheville in the Middle of the Pandemic” submission to COVID Conversations [Aug. 12, Xpress]. Surely it was satire. I’m hoping the editors have the good sense to take it down. Why are we glorifying a rich tourist visiting once, then “forking over well over half a million dollars” for a house in Asheville?
Mr. Parvin, I’m assuming your Realtor didn’t clue you in, so I will. Asheville residents struggle to buy houses here because of stagnant wages, under- and unemployment, and ballooning home prices due to folks from other places buying homes “sight unseen.” I’m sorry to tell you, but you are part of the problem. Many of us are renting and/or commuting from outside the city if we have the privilege of a reliable vehicle.
Here’s a “key insider tip on fitting in”: Don’t openly brag about contributing to the affordable housing crisis in Asheville. I’m hoping your “plot waiting to happen” includes using your privilege to advocate for affordable housing. Welcome to Asheville.
— Jordan Perry
Editor’s note: Thank you for your feedback. The essay also struck a nerve among many online commenters. Xpress continues to cover issues related to affordable housing and the real estate boom, including two articles in this issue: “Put Out: Community Members Prepare for Coming Wave of Evictions” and “Boom City: Pandemic Hasn’t Cooled Asheville’s Red-hot Real Estate Market.” At the same time, we remain committed to reflecting the totality of our community, from those who are vulnerable and struggling to others with access to more resources and opportunities. As we have for the past 26 years, we still believe that hearing from one another and entering into dialogue is the best and perhaps only way to build a healthier, more vibrant community.