Government Accountability Project Asheville

GAP Report for 3/21/22

Mar 21, 2022

URGENT

  • 0 items

PROBLEMATIC

  • 0 items

CONCERNS

  • 3 items

POSITIVE

  • 0 items

The Asheville City Council meets this Tuesday (3/22/22) at 5 pm for their regular meeting. You can access the full agenda here.

Here are the items that the GAP Strategy Team identified as relevant to racial justice this week.

s

YELLOW:

Things of concern, more information needed

City Council Agenda, Public Hearings B and C to reconsider zoning on several properties

Public Hearing B relates to 273/291 Long Shoals Road and 300/400 Julian Shoals Drive (Documents, PowerPoint). The proposed 218-unit development would designate 10% of the units as affordable housing for those earning no more than 80% Area Median Income (AMI), which would expire after 20 years.

Public Hearing C relates to 427 Broadway Street (Documents, PowerPoint). This is a proposed mixed-use development of 49 multi-family units, with a minimum of 20% of the units designated affordable to those earning 60% AMI, which would expire after 30 years.

We’d like to see the affordable housing units designated as so into perpetuity, rather than just for a period of 20 or 30 years. More broadly, we wonder about City Council’s long-term vision for and commitment to facilitating affordable housing in Asheville. We have seen a number of projects just like these get approval, with very limited affordability that will only be offered for a limited number of years. This kind of very minimal nod toward affordability seems almost inevitable as long as these projects are developed exclusively in the private sector as a for-profit endeavor. We think true affordable housing, which the City desperately needs, can only be provided through greater involvement of the City, County, and nonprofit partners.

Things to do

Contact the Asheville City Council and ask them to explain their long-term vision for and commitment to facilitating affordable housing in Asheville. The current trend of supporting only for-profit initiatives seems unlikely to ever offer affordable housing at the scale the City needs. What is their vision for greater involvement by the City, County, and nonprofit partners in securing deeply affordable housing?

City Council Agenda, New Business A, Memorial Stadium Discussion

The proposal to add a track at Memorial Stadium, a longstanding request from the East End community, will be discussed during the meeting. You can read more about the background of this issue here.

We hope that City Council chooses to honor the promises made to this community and prioritize their needs in this situation by authorizing the construction of the track.

Things to do

Contact the Asheville City Council and encourage them to vote in favor of building a track at Memorial Stadium.

Asheville City Board of Education Meeting, March 14th.

At this week’s meeting of the Asheville City Schools Board of Education (BOE), the Asheville City Association of Educators (ACAE) delivered a petition with some 1,000 signatures, including 75 percent of Asheville City Schools (ACS) staff, demanding a living wage for all ACS employees (defined by Just Economics as $17.70/hour).

We urge the Buncombe County Commissioners to approve this salary increase for all Asheville City Schools staff.

Things to do

Reach out to the Buncombe County Commissioners via their contact page and encourage them to approve a living wage for all Asheville City School employees.