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Editor’s note: This essay is a component of a string for which local experts were asked: “What wouldn’t it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?”
Our community is facing a crisis. In accordance with a recent study, Buncombe County has a fruitful zero percent vacancy rate for rental housing. Here at Homeward Bound, we’ve certainly noticed this trend. Every day, our case managers work to find safe, affordable places for our clients to live. Now, however, we just can’t find those homes.
This example puts the lives of a number of our community’s most members that are vulnerable risk. Living on the streets for very long periods of time exacerbates chronic behavioral and physical health issues that often lead to death that is premature.
But the lack of affordable housing doesn’t just impact the most vulnerable. Affordable housing is vital when it comes to veterans that are homeless served our country in Afghanistan and Iraq, for law enforcement and firefighters who make our community safe. It’s for the waiter who served you dinner last night, when it comes to small-business owner who sold you an attractive painting the other day, for the nurse who took proper care of your mother into the hospital.
And that you can make a difference in this conversation or be effective in increasing the amount of affordable housing in our community, you can while you may not believe! We truly need one to advocate to get more affordable housing, to ensure every one of our neighbors have safe, affordable places to live. Once you know people who own rental properties, encourage them to work with Homeward Bound and other service providers. Confer with your neighbors, and convince them that adding affordable housing units to your neighborhood can make it richer and more diverse.
A difference can be made by you! Continue reading