There IS a silver bullet that could end the housing shortage in Asheville!
I just finished reading Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser, in which he states the differences between successful cities and those that are declining. Regarding housing costs, the answer is simple: supply and demand. That is, where builders are not restricted by local laws or misplaced environmental concerns, they build lots of houses and the prices are low because of lots of supply (for example, Houston, Texas). Where NIMBYs fight for restrictions on housing development, builders build few homes and they turn out to be expensive because of demand (for example, New York City and California).
So, if housing development restrictions in Asheville could be done away with, there would soon be ample housing for all at affordable prices. Can politicians and their wealthy constituents muster the will to overturn many of the local restrictions? Possibly not, therefore the NIMBYs will remain in control, and housing will remain expensive in Asheville.
— Lowell Smith