BeLoved Asheville co-director Amy Cantrell speaks with Xpress about the health impacts of housing insecurity, combatting isolation and her role as the architect of an intentional community.
“As a professional educator with a college degree, will she be able to purchase the house in: (A) five years, (B) 10 years, (C ) 15 years or (D) never?”
Revising zoning might be the key to unlocking barriers to affordable housing in Asheville.
At its July 25 meeting, Asheville City Council awarded a $1.9 million tax abatement to Aston Flats, a 231-unit microapartment development. The funding is through the city’s Land Use Incentive Grant. The approval came despite staff recommendation to delay the project until new LUIG policies were established to address microhousing units.
A mixed-income housing project that’s been years in the making is now cleared for construction, following a unanimous June 27 vote by Asheville City Council. The conditional zoning approval will permit 221 units to be built at 311 and 319 Biltmore Ave., just south of downtown.
“Another suggestion is that we could charge property taxes that reflect the amount of time the property is inhabited. More tax for fewer days occupied.”
The key to managing homelessness is allowing affordable housing in one’s backyard. Some cities are better at that than others. Asheville? Not so much.
Small-business owners recognize that they not only add value but are a driving force behind the popularity of this quirky city.
“Congratulations to any landlord who graciously holds the line, but I suspect most cannot afford to do so for long and still provide the housing.”
Together the projects would bring 281 units of affordable housing online.
“I imagine that many landlords don’t need to raise rents or turn housing into short-term rentals.”
“It has become a place where local people cannot afford to live and many of us no longer want to visit.”
“But we can directly help our county’s workers, the people who drive our tourism economy — and thus drive contributions to the TDA’s coffers — by asking the TDA to give some money back to build housing for such workers.”
Evictions in Asheville have returned to pre-pandemic levels, and many evictions begin when a tenant has raised concerns about housing conditions, says David Bartholomew, the nonprofit’s homelessness prevention services director.
“What we can’t do is continue pretending that headlines, hand-wringing, a lack of diverse thinking, anger, studies, politicians, enabling and spending other people’s money will create the solutions.”
Nearly 480 affordable housing units could be built on property owned by Buncombe County, according to a new analysis shared with the county Board of Commissioners.
This new funding, to be voted on by City Council during the regular meeting of Tuesday, Feb. 14, would come on top of more than $1.4 million the city has already budgeted for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along the I-26 corridor.
“Now we lament with our brother and sister homeless friends downtown that Asheville has outgrown its kindness, its friendliness and toleration over the years.”
Much of the presentation focused on the shortcomings of how local governments and service providers currently collaborate to address homelessness.
“The city would benefit by (1) selling the condos and getting repaid most or all of its investment and (2) using the sales proceeds to fund other housing options.”
“Being housed makes a tremendous difference when looking for employment, creating a stable base for school assignments and the beginnings of being part of a community.”