Things that seem problematic
Buncombe County Ad-hoc Reappraisal Committee Report to County Commission (7/19/22)
This committee was formed last year for the purpose of investigating evidence of serious inequities in the county’s property tax appraisal process, leading to disproportionately higher property taxes (from both City and County) for lower-income homeowners (and especially Black homeowners).
The committee was convened and led by County staff, who consistently focused the spotlight on the few metrics that did not show clear inequity, and away from all the places that showed a lot. As a result, the committee’s final report is very tepid, with a primary focus on educating homeowners so they can better appeal their tax appraisal. The Appraiser’s office is taking no real accountability for the fact that their approach is skewed and inequitable. (You can read an article on this issue here.)
Things to do
We encourage you to reach out to the Buncombe County Commission via their contact page and ask them how they plan to address the inequities in property tax appraisals. It was clear during the County Commission meeting on July 19th that the ad-hoc committee’s process and report were problematic, with the County Commissioners raising many important questions. What’s not as clear is what the County Commission will do to follow up on this issue.
Things of concern, more information needed
319 Biltmore Potential Property Sale – City of Asheville Housing and Community Development (HCD) regular meeting (7/19/22) (Agenda)
A City-owned property at 319 Biltmore (with a very long history) is once again being proposed for sale to a developer, this time to Charlotte-based Laurel Street (a company led in large part by professionals of color).
We appreciate the advocacy of Council Member Antanette Mosley for this proposal to be amended to include homeownership opportunities. We are concerned that this property, which is adjacent to the Southside and East End/Valley Street urban renewal sites, could potentially be developed without consultation with the Reparations Commission, and especially the working group focused on housing.
Things to do
Reach out to the Council Members on the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Committee – Sage Turner, Sheneika Smith, Antanette Mosley – and encourage them to consult with the Reparations Commission on how this property could be incorporated into a plan for housing reparations. Here are their email addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. (Click here to send an email to all three.)
See item below for another issue you might want to mention when you reach out.
Things that sound like a step in the right direction
Mountain Housing Opportunities Proposal – City of Asheville Housing and Community Development (HCD) regular meeting (7/19/22) (Agenda)
The proposed development is all deeply affordable, currently designated for 30-year period, the possibility of extending it into perpetuity is possible, and would include apartments designated for young folks aging out of foster care. Mountain Housing Opportunities could not afford the project without a Housing Trust Fund or similar subsidy.
This is a very promising approach to affordable housing, and we hope the HCD committee moves it forward for full City Council approval.
Things to do
Reach out to the Council Members on the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Committee – Sage Turner, Sheneika Smith, Antanette Mosley – and encourage them to recommend that the full City Council consider and approve this project. Here are their email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. (Click here to send an email to all three.)
See item above for another issue you might want to mention when you reach out.