Letter writer: City of Asheville is partly to blame for affordable housing problem

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m curious about these local “experts” [“Collision Course,” July 29, part of Xpress’ affordable housing essay series].  Has anyone been interviewed who has been royally screwed by City Council’s collectivist legislation responsible for driving rental rates sky high?

Years ago, Xpress covered the onset of my saga, regarding how the city initially forced me to kick out from my eight-bedroom, historic Victorian home of 26 years three renters in order to comply with the “no boardinghouse” rule of the UDO, without allowing for “grandfathering,” for which I was entitled. This forced me to raise my rents from $400 to $600 in order to try and make my mortgage payments.

What Xpress has not known about is that my saga continued to be dragged out until just this spring, making it about a five-year painstaking ordeal with Wells Fargo. As with so many other Americans who have been screwed by the banks as a result of the Bush-Obama “bail-outs”, I was told by [Wells Fargo] that I would have to be at least a couple months in mortgage default before it could help me with a re-financing resultant of the “bailouts.”

However, [Wells Fargo] apparently had no intention whatsoever to refinance my mortgage, and as typical, dragged out the re-fi process until it could attempt to foreclose. I wound up having to enter into bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure, which destroyed my excellent credit score and then had to sell my house “short” in order to ultimately prevent foreclosure.

A 25-year long affordable and green living situation in Montford was totally destroyed by the city of Asheville, which simultaneously violated my property and privacy rights to boot. This, along with Asheville’s high tax rates comparable to large cities, combined with low-paying jobs, has far more to do with the affordable housing problem than so-called “greedy landlords.” Yet ignorant locals are now suggesting “rent controls” — will people here never learn?

I’m certainly not the only landlord who was screwed by the city of Asheville. Others like me are the real experts who have suffered great financial and emotional damages resultant from this city’s collectivist social engineering, and these are the people who need to be interviewed in order to reach the truth of the matter.

— Bernard Baruch Carman

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18 thoughts on “Letter writer: City of Asheville is partly to blame for affordable housing problem

  1. AVL LVR

    Wow! I knew the Democrat city leaders were incompetent, but this has been really revealing. I not sure why they wouldn’t let you have a boardinghouse” Seems like a good idea. Watch, you elect them again and they’ll raise your property taxes again and they will be forced pass it on to the renters and blame it on the landlords. Maybe it is about time we investigate what Greenville is doing to have such low rents only an hour away.

    • bsummers

      Maybe it is about time we investigate what Greenville is doing to have such low rents only an hour away.

      Um, what are they “doing”? Fair guess – not being a place that people are flooding into as much as Asheville?

      • mcates

        bsummers says, “Um, what are they “doing”? Fair guess – not being a place that people are flooding into as much as Asheville?”

        Greenville, SC Growth (2000-2010): 32.5%

        Asheville , NC Growth (2000-2010): 14.8%

          • mcates

            “And Greenville isn’t even “the heart of enemy territory!”

            bsummers appears to justify the comment. He falsely accuses me of lying, when all I did was cite a Forbes article.

            Yes, when people make false accusations like that, when people show no respect for their fellow citizens, It’s like living in the heart of enemy territory.

            But let’s go with a fuller version of the quote…. “Republicans are treated as if we are an enemy.” That’s why it is like living in the heart of enemy territory.

            As usual… Barry helps validate the point. You will notice when I addressed him, I made no false accusation against him. He has appeared incapable of treating those he disagrees with, with the same level of respect they are willing to treat him.

          • bsummers

            You will notice when I addressed him, I made no false accusation against him.

            No, you just threw false data into the discussion, and still continue to claim that it “validates” you somehow. Seriously – you want us to believe that you thought that the City of Greenville SC is the same size as Raleigh?

            OK, fine – benefit of the doubt. I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that you lied. I should have considered the possibility that you’re more interested in scoring ‘gotcha’ moments than making sure you’re stating the truth.

        • bsummers

          Nice try. If the facts don’t fit the argument, make up some facts that do?

          From the US Census:

          2000 Asheville: 72,883 Greenville: 56,716
          2010 Asheville: 83,550 Greenville: 59,335

          Pop. growth: Asheville, 14.8% Greenville, 4.6%

          • bsummers

            US population growth during that period was approx. 9.5%. Greenville is losing people.

            But it’s Asheville City Council’s fault that rents here aren’t as cheap as they are in Greenville.


          • bsummers

            That’s Greenville County, not City. Did you really think that Greenville SC is 5 times the size of Asheville? Wow. I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

          • mcates

            What’s funny Barry is that Greenville the city, and Greenville the county, actually support many of my points.

            The number Forbes cited was Greenville County, even though the title of the article “Fasting growing cities”. (So we can ignore yet another false accusation from you.)

            It appears that Greenville and their county are mature enough to work with each other and the state. Not quite the same for #avlgov.

          • mcates

            bsummers, “Wow. I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

            You are as charming as ever….

          • bsummers

            Yes yes, don’t let the fact that you threw a piece of false data into the discussion, keep you from claiming victory anyway!

  2. Betty

    People need to take off their rose-colored glasses and learn, as you say Bernard, from people like you who have real experience trying to provide genuine affordable housing.

  3. bsummers

    I’m curious, Mr. Carman. How many other ‘boarding houses’ like yours has the City shut down?

  4. Excellent Bernard! now how do we translate this into who to vote for for City Council? 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. Reversing the crisis will require the total defeat of all neighborhood activists.

  5. OneWhoKnows

    Curious why Bernard did not seek refinancing from another lender other than Wells Fargo ?

    Recommended City Council candidates to vote FOR = Carl Mumpower, John Miall, and Dee Williams! All EXCELLENT QUALITY people and NOT evil democrats !!!

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