CANDIDATE LINEUP: Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum at UNCA. From left: Kim Roney, Andrew Fletcher, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams, Pratik Bhakta, Jeremy Goldstein, Cecil Bothwell, Vijay Kapoor, Adrian Vassallo, Sheneika Smith, Rich Lee and Jan (Howard) Kubiniec and moderator Tim Hussey. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Race, housing take center stage in Council candidate forum

Who can afford to live here and how can we all live together? Those questions formed the crux of the conversation among Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum where two issues garnered strong and varying viewpoints: the lack of affordable housing and persistent racial tensions in Asheville.

Nicole Townsend urges City Council to take action to remove Confederate monuments in Asheville. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

City stands against white supremacy

Asheville City Council passed a resolution condemning the actions of white supremacists and racial violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. Council members also resolved to support the designation of Big Ivy as a wilderness area, and voted to move forward with a phased approach to a greenway along Lyman Street to Amboy Road. A proposal to reduce the minimum width of residential lots by 20 percent citywide was sent back to the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission for further study.

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Council to vote on affordable housing, infill strategies

At Asheville City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22, Council members will consider a resolution condemning the recent actions of white supremacists and racial violence in Charlottesville, Va. The Council will hear public comment on four zoning matters, including an amendment to the city’s zoning code intended to encourage small-scale infill residential housing development.

BUILDING ON SOMETHING: Before a house can be raised or a unit can be repurposed, land use has to be sorted out. A group of affordable housing activists are in the driver’s seat to spend $1 million of Asheville’s general obligation bond money on a community land trust. The fledgling group will grow into a membership organization that will own pieces of land on behalf of the community, to be used to help address the city’s affordable housing problem. Photo courtesy of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

Community land trust project has bumpy launch

If trust is a function of time, an innovative approach to affordable housing may already be in trouble. On July 13, about 30 community stakeholders gathered in an echoey auditorium at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center and took the first meandering steps toward establishing a community land trust. But the two-hour meeting produced […]

The Buncombe County Courthouse, left, and Asheville City Hall. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council to vote on RAD form-based code, election districts on July 25

On Tuesday, July 25, Asheville City Council will consider a new zoning ordinance for the River Arts District, a referendum on establishing election districts for City Council, a new Tunnel Road hotel, a self-storage facility and a plan to leverage $10 million in bond funding to promote the development of 485 units of affordable housing, among other items.

"This was a personal satisfaction to know that you were the owner of your things," Guerra, a member of the Emma community said. Photo by Kari Barrows

Housing co-ops, a potential affordable housing solution

The second in a three-part series on innovative models for promoting affordable homeownership sponsored by the city of Asheville focused on housing cooperatives. The May 4 education and information event provided perspectives from national experts as well as representatives of the Dulce Lomita Mobile Home Cooperative in Asheville.

FULL HOUSE: This drawing from the 2013 Asheville/Buncombe Child Watch tour depicts the living situation of a local family. With rents continuing to increase in 2017, families and individuals are looking for new solutions to finding affordable places to live.

Space race: Deconstruc­ting Asheville’­s affordable housing problem

While 2016 statistics show increasing availability in the area’s rental housing market, Asheville renters say their choices remain limited and prices steep. Several city initiatives — including a $25 million affordable housing bond referendum approved by voters in November — aim to bolster the supply of affordable housing, while some private-sector players are pursuing similar goals.