Editor’s note: This essay is part of a set in which local experts were asked: “What would it decide to try solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem ultius?”
Our community is facing an emergency. In accordance with a recent study, Buncombe County has a very good zero percent vacancy rate for rental housing. Here at Homeward Bound, we’ve certainly noticed this trend. Each day, our case managers work to find safe, affordable places for our clients to live. Now, however, we just cannot find those homes.
This case puts the lives of a few of our community’s most vulnerable members at risk. Living regarding the streets for long periods of time exacerbates chronic behavioral and physical health issues that often lead to premature death.
But the lack of affordable housing doesn’t affect the most just vulnerable. Affordable housing is critical when it comes to homeless veterans who served our country in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the authorities and firefighters who make our community safe. It’s for the waiter who served you dinner yesterday evening, for the small-business owner who sold you a lovely painting last week, when it comes to nurse who took proper care of your mother in the hospital.
And whilst you may not think that you could make an improvement in this conversation or perhaps effective in enhancing the amount of affordable housing in our community, it is possible to! Continue reading →