Props to Rebecca Bowe and David Forbes for the article “Who’s Complaining Now” [March 11 Xpress]. The rental situation in Asheville is deplorable. In six years, [of the] 10 houses I have lived in, maybe one would pass the Minimum Housing Code inspection. Very few have had working heat other than space heaters. Others have had periods with no water. I have been flooded two times, had rats, and had decks that landlords have advised me not to use because of fears of their collapse. Because of the severe lack of somewhat affordable rentals and fears of rent hikes, I have often fixed plumbing, electrical or structural problems myself with my own money.
There is competition for safe and affordable housing that rivals major metropolitan areas. Landlords are able to start virtual bidding wars between prospective tenants, and we are fooling ourselves if we think discrimination in housing doesn’t happen because of this.
— Lindsey Simerly