Thursday, June 25, 2015

Advocacy for Affordable Homes in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina is facing a housing crisis. Nearly half of the renters in our town pay more than 30% of their annual income for rent, which places them firmly in the category of "debt burden." When so much of their money is going to rent it can be difficult, if not impossible, to climb out of a depressed economic situation.

I moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2003. I worked as a temporary staffing recruiter and made a reasonable salary. I bought a house in the suburbs, with a mortgage, because it seemed like the kind of thing young professionals entering their thirties should do. And while I loved that house I quickly became burdened with debt. I had even made what we thought was a smart decision buying a house priced for less than what I qualified for as far as a loan, but it didn't matter.

That is was spurred the decision to build a tiny house. Because the tiny house gave me an opportunity to reduce my expenses and pay down my debt I also felt a new freedom to become self-employed rather than trapped in a job that I liked but was not fulfilling to me.

We moved to Asheville full time and decided we wanted to become active in the community.

That is why I started Asheville Small Home Advocacy Committee here in my city along with partners from Wishbone Tiny Homes, Project Wosho, and the Asheville Tiny House Association.

On Tuesday, June 23rd I had an opportunity to share my voice and my concern for the lack of affordable housing in the city. The city council held a public hearing to change the regulations for building accessory dwelling units making it easier to build but also provided some much needed clarification.

I spoke to encourage the city of Asheville to consider accepting these new ADU regulations as one of many paths to creating affordable housing. Others lended their voice to the conversation as well. I am grateful that the motion passed almost unanimously.

You can see the local news coverage on the hearing here.

No comments:

Post a Comment