Letter writer: City of Asheville’s restrictions help cause homelessness

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Mayor [Esther] Manheimer really failed to answer [John] Penley‘s question — what is Asheville doing about veteran homelessness [“City of Asheville Works With Partners to House Veterans,” April 29, Xpress]? She wrote a great deal about what local nonprofits and federal grants are doing about it, and Asheville staff appeared to be consulting with this alphabet soup of other groups, but I was left very unclear about what was being done with the city of Asheville’s general fund or specifically with what percentage of local property tax revenue.

Meanwhile, Asheville is, of course, doing a great deal to cause veteran and other homelessness, with the UDO, unit-density limits, single-family zoning, height limits, parking requirements and prohibitions on camping and panhandling, all enforced at huge local expense by local police and hired planners.

I doubt very much if the city’s contribution to Mannheimer’s alphabet soup is making up for all that causality on a net basis.

A mayor could argue that the fire department reduces homelessness if she concedes that fire code inspections can cause it.

— Alan Ditmore


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4 thoughts on “Letter writer: City of Asheville’s restrictions help cause homelessness

  1. Esther Manheimer voted down public access or any other public media platform in 2011. Check out the City Council Meetings during public comment. If the Homeless are in shelters, time limit prohibits their attendance at City Council meetings. Do they have a 24 hour open restroom or do they still arrest for the alternative? The City and County’s prejudice of the Homeless are part of my Civil Rights Lawsuit that I filed pro se; Landis v. Buncombe County Government, et al. There is a Conspiracy to Cover-up the Corruption in Buncombe County and the City of Asheville; Asheville Police Department, Evidence Room, CTS, former DA Ron Moore, and many more illegal actions yet to be exposed.

    Why do they want to silence the Homeless? Because they know the dirt. They Experience the prejudice Color of Law violations everyday. The Veterans see the Rights they Fought for being Destroyed on the Homefront by those elected to office by Mass media, bought and paid for by Corporate greed. When a Corrupt Government controls the People’s Voice, they have No First Amendment.

  2. John Penley

    I agree that the Mayor did not completely answer my question and really there is no way , because of the lack of affordable housing in Asheville, that she can live up to the challenge by Michelle Obama that she accepted. I am a Veteran and at one time got a HUD-VASH voucher but was unable to find affordable housing with it. This is why I have been repeatedly saying that if the City of Asheville wants to really fulfill the Mayor’s promise to Michelle Obama to end Veteran’s homelessness it is going to have to figure out a way to fund and build a Veterans apartment building or create some affordable housing for Veterans another way. Right now Homwward Bound has a letter both in Mountain XPress and the Asheville Citizen Times pleading with landlords to come forward with apartments for Veterans with HUD-VASH vouchers and I predict that very few will because many don’t want to accept the vouchers, don’t want Veterans in the program in their apartments and can get more money from renters who will pay more than the HUD-VASH vouchers do.

  3. Alan Ditmore

    The city is actually moving in the right direction as it nibbles away at the UDO, but it is far to slow to solve the problem and probably aren’t even moving fast enough to keep it from getting worse over time. The Single Family Zone, for example needs to be eliminated right now and city wide, as do residential height limits.

  4. Alan Ditmore

    And why doesn’t express make this comment section more dialup compatible? they are catering to a broadband elite.

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