Government Accountability Project Asheville

GREEN:

Things that sound like a step in the right direction

Asheville City Council considers supporting affordable housing projects

In the 4/22/24 GAP Report, we summarized six affordable housing projects coming before the Asheville City Council on April 23rd, each seeking Housing Trust Funds. Four of these six seemed to offer at least some deep affordability that could benefit Black and Latine residents.

Our Ask

We encouraged City Council to approve four projects for Housing Trust Funds, and reject the other two.

Please see the GAP Report for 4/22/24 for more details about this issue and how you can advocate with us.

P

REPORT BACK

Positive Outcome

Report Back

City Council approved five of the six projects. They approved all of the projects we recommended, and rejected one of the two we suggested they reject. They did approve the Mountain Housing Opportunities Down Payment Assistance program (for just one year, rather than the requested five), which we had suggested they turn down because it was only targeting would-be homeowners at 80% of Area Median Income. This level of affordable housing is typically not affordable to Black and Latine families, who average 50% AMI. At the meeting, Asheville Affordable Housing Officer Sasha Vrtunski explained this program in more depth. While this expansion won’t directly offer deeper affordability, the overall program supports would-be homeowners making 62% of AMI. We still don’t think this project warrants a green flag, but we’ve heard enough to withdraw our opposition.

GAP Supporter Actions Taken: 16 (as of 5/9/24)

Recipients and Responses:

  • Mayor Esther Manheimer: No response
  • Vice Mayor Sandra Kilgore: No response
  • City Council Member Antanette Mosley: No response
  • City Council Member Kim Roney: No response
  • City Council Member Maggie Ullman: No response
  • City Council Member Sage Turner: No response
  • City Council Member Sheneika Smith: No response