Letter: Now that you’re here, it’s time to help out

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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
Barnardsville

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.

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2 thoughts on “Letter: Now that you’re here, it’s time to help out

  1. Mike R.

    The writer is correct that housing inflation has created a terrible situation for many, many people in this country.
    The writer is incorrect in assuming that the recent buyer of a house in Asheville is the cause of that problem.
    Housing inflation has it’s roots in misguided economic policy dating back to Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Regan and mostly Clinton.
    If you want to solve this problem, the core economic issues have to be understood and changed.

  2. deft

    I honestly thought that article about the rich people was an attempt by mountainx to expose these rich people to readers in a subtle way. They got the rich people to pose for a photo by an ingenious method of pretending they were welcoming them to the community and running an article about them, but actually they really wanted to expose them and freak everyone out, but they did so in a deft manner.

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