The county’s ad hoc reappraisal committee, tasked with reviewing allegations that Buncombe’s tax assessment process was unfair to low-income residents and communities of color, presented its recommendations to the board. And commissioners approved annual funding for reparations, honoring a request from the joint Asheville-Buncombe Community Reparations Commission.
A 10-month review, designed to address citizen complaints and equity concerns about Buncombe County’s approach to property assessment, is scheduled to conclude at the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, July 19.
The Community Reparations Commission, tasked with developing recommendations for Asheville and Buncombe County to address the impacts of systemic racism, currently consists of 25 members and seven alternates but has no youth representation.
Aside from voting on its consent agenda, Asheville City Council isn’t scheduled to take any action during its meeting of Tuesday, April 12.
Buncombe will commit to creating or preserving between 2,800-3,150 affordable housing units by 2030, requiring new county investments of an estimated $54 million. Up to 1,850 of those units would be rental properties affordable to residents making 80% or less of the area median income.
According to a presentation available before the meeting of Tuesday, March 15, the county hopes to “impact 2,800-3,150 affordable housing units by 2030,” including 1,500-1,850 new rental units affordable for households making 80% or less of the area median income ($42,100 for an individual or $60,100 for a family of four).
A conditional zoning request for The Avery, a 187-unit housing development slated for 363 Hilliard Ave. in Asheville’s downtown, was denied by Asheville City Council in a Feb. 22 meeting. Two weeks later, Council approved the request after employing a rarely-used rule to rescind its prior decision.
The eighth annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference, presented by UNC Asheville, will examine both local and national reparations Saturday, Nov. 6.
The speaker series is part of a three-phase process to create and empower a joint Asheville-Buncombe County Reparations Commission. Once formed, the commission would be tasked with making short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to repair the damage caused by public and private systemic racism.