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 […]

TO YOUR HEALTH: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara leads the 400 to 500 people at Monday's swiftly organized health care rally in William Barber's signature call-and-response chant:  "Forward together — Not one step back!" Photo by Able Allen

Rally against Senate health care bill brings hundreds to street in Asheville and fires up base

Just three days before Monday’s rally in Asheville’s Pack Square Park to oppose the U.S. Senate’s version of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Lindsay Furst, a local teacher and activist, went to a coffee shop with her fellow organizers who shared her lack of sleep, she told the crowd in front of […]

Recently elected Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara addresses a room full of Affordable Care Act supporters as congress threatens to repeal the law. Photo courtesy of Pisgah Legal Services

Pisgah Legal Services leads local movement to protect Obamacare

In an effort to emphasize the importance of access to affordable health insurance coverage for North Carolinians, Pisgah Legal Services held a press conference Tuesday in partnership with the North Carolina Justice Center. Speakers included political and legal advocates for the ACA, as well as residents who offered stories about their experiences with affordable care and health insurance.

AVIATION CAREERS: students and faculty from the A-B Tech aviation program were present for Council's recognition of careers in aviation. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Asheville Council to review more building projects citywide, especially hotels

Asheville City Council set itself up for a heavier workload with its decision to move forward on changing city ordinances to reduce the size of development projects Council will review. If the current pace of development continues, more projects will come before Council for approval. Council also signaled its intent to review all but the smallest hotel projects in response to concerns that hotel development has gotten out of hand.

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Affordable housing catch up: special coverage essays, all parts

The quest for affordable housing: an introduction to the essay project and the Bowen study showing the problems Asheville and surrounding communities face on the affordable housing question, by Tracy Rose. The following essays are part of a series in which local experts were asked: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable […]

Mold Conundrum: Tenants at Pinnacle Ridge (now known as Hawthorne Northside), an apartment complex near UNC Asheville on Merrimon Avenue, say that problems with mold proved incredibly difficult to solve; city officials say they’re limited in what actions they can take. photos by Max Cooper

Breaking the mold: complaints spotlight Asheville’­s rental housing issues

Multiple complaints about mold, rot, and other woes at a Merrimon Avenue apartment complex earlier this year casts doubt on the ability of local governments to deal with what many see as a serious health issue, leaving tenants feeling powerless to get their grievances addressed. And with the Asheville area having some of the highest housing costs in the state and one-third of its working population earning low wages, many local renters face similar issues.