If you had a choice to give one penny so that there would be more affordable housing, would that be a hardship or would you gladly contribute?
We have all noticed in dismay hotels cropping up like mushrooms, while the number of homeless people increases daily. We are in a severe housing crisis in Asheville, over 5,000 units short of affordable housing!
Did you know that each time someone checks into a hotel, they pay a hotel tax? It’s 6 cents. If only 1 cent of every room tax was contributed to the Home Trust Fund, we would collect $1.8 million per year! Think about what a difference that would make to our housing shortage!
Housing is a civil right, yes? Ask Rodney; he has been waiting for a place to live for almost two years! He works a full-time job, and yet he cannot afford a space and has been put on a waiting list!
Can you imagine working and not having housing? Can you imagine what it is like to live in a tent, no matter the weather? Can you imagine getting up each day, looking for a bathroom to try and clean yourself and dress for work? Can you imagine trying to keep yourself functional through this ordeal?
Can you see where one penny can change lives? So would you contribute 1 cent? Will you be the one who stands up and says yes?
Please contact our state lawmakers and ask them to earmark one penny from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority funds to go to creating affordable housing for the people of Asheville, many of whom work in hotels, restaurants, and other service industry jobs.
And please sign our online petition at www.belovedasheville.com. And while you are at it, consider asking City Council to pass mandatory inclusionary zoning, which means that every time something is built in our city, a percentage of what is developed is affordable housing.
So simple, so humane. We haven’t really lost our priorities, have we?
— Ariel Harris