Your piece on “Big Little City Blues: Asheville’s Growing Housing Crisis” [Aug. 5, Xpress] cited the sharply spiking population. I looked it up. The city population has increased 15,000 in 15 years, or 1,000 people per year, a rate of slightly over 1 percent per year.
I would call that a slow rise and certainly manageable in terms of city finance, housing and infrastructure. In fact, all of the 10 largest cities in North Carolina (Asheville is No. 11) are growing faster than Asheville.
You also cited Asheville as “bursting at the seams.” In fact, seven of the 10 largest cities in North Carolina are more densely populated than Asheville. Even High Point and Greenville, N.C., are more dense. Your characterizations are undermined by the facts.
— Paul Kelman
Editor’s note: Xpress reporter Hayley Benton responds: “By saying that Asheville is ‘bursting at the seams,’ I didn’t mean to imply that Asheville is growing at a much faster rate than other cities in the state — but that it doesn’t have the space or infrastructure for the growth it’s already endured. From 2000 to 2015, Asheville gained 20,682 people, according to Census Bureau data from 2000 and Bowen National’s current population estimate, increasing 30 percent over the last 15 years. I also reported that Charlotte’s and Raleigh’s growth rates outstrips Asheville’s. All of my data comes from the city of Asheville’s Housing Needs Assessment, its Consolidated Strategic Housing and Community Development Plan and Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s home sale data from the last 15 years.”