Down from 460 homes in November 2014, only 63 houses listed at less than $200,000 were available for sale in Buncombe County as of July 2019. Median rental costs in the area have also increased at a 5.4% annual rate over the same period.
“Instead of begging developers to make 20% of their units affordable, we can build the amount we need, and keep them affordable indefinitely.”
Asheville City Council will be asked to add its piece of a $39.7 million redevelopment puzzle on Tuesday evening. The 2016 General Obligation Housing Bond will provide $1.82 million, while $1.38 million will come from the city’s general fund and $1 million will be spent from the Affordable Housing Capital Improvement Program.
City Council appointed Franzi Charen to the Downtown Commission and Barry Bialik and Laura Collins to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee at its Jan. 26 meeting. Council also passed a “Ban the Box” measure, meaning that applicants for most city positions will no longer be required to answer questions about past criminal convictions on their initial job applications.
“There are proven strategies for increasing affordable housing: 1) increase density; 2) increase funding; and 3) mandate inclusivity.”
What’s needed to solve Asheville’s housing crunch? Fewer development hurdles, a city “land bank” to preserve property for affordable housing, more density and a hard “target number” for units that need to be created each year— these are some of the ideas to come out of a recent meeting of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.