STANDING TOGETHER: From left, Asheville City Council candidates Vijay Kapoor, Rich Lee and Kim Roney at an Oct. 25 forum on LGBTQ issues. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Council candidates come out to support LGBTQ community

A City Council candidate forum called into question how progressive Asheville really is when it comes to rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ community. All six candidates said they are in favor of the city of Asheville implementing a nondiscrimination ordinance, which is specifically disallowed under House Bill 142.

MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES: Early voting is underway in the races for Asheville mayor and City Council. Xpress presents answers to burning questions from the candidates.

Voter Guide: Q&A with candidates for Asheville mayor and City Council

As Asheville enjoys the benefits of a bustling economy, it also confronts challenges that come with growth, including concerns over housing, tourism, budgeting and certain segments of the city getting left behind. Xpress asked all the candidates for mayor and City Council to share their thoughts on these topics and more prior to the Nov. 7 general election.

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.

Funding applicants present to the Housing and Community Development Committee on March 24. Photo by Kari Barrows

City Council subcommitt­ee reviews nonprofit funding requests

Nonprofit organizations made their best pitch to City Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee for a share of federal and city funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year at a day-long meeting on Friday, March 24. Some left happy, while others expressed dissatisfaction with a process they said favored established city partners who had received funding in prior years.

OTTER-LY ENGAGING: The Nature Center’s otter inhabitants draw kids and adults alike to watch their antics, which can be playful, cuddly and athletic, all in the space of a few minutes. Photo courtesy of the WNC Nature Center

The incredible shrinking subsidy: WNC Nature Center achieves 3-year reduction goal in one year

When the WNC Nature Center learned the city of Asheville’s subsidy for the facility would shrink by more than half over three years, the environmental education attraction wasn’t immediately sure how it would make up the funding shortfall. But it didn’t take long to figure it out: the Nature Center met the three-year goal in only one year. The attraction is expanding to meet demand, and visitation is setting new records nearly every month.

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.