City Council Comments 10/25/22

Tuesday’s City Council Meeting addressed a wide variety of important City initiatives. My first comment was to support the designation of the Walton St. Pool & Park as a historical landmark. I see this as a first step toward acknowledging the history and celebrating the legacy of Asheville’s Black community.

Manufactured housing (also known as mobile homes or, pejoratively, as trailer park homes) represents an essential affordable segment of Asheville’s housing market. We need to ensure the habitability of this housing stock, and this adjustment to the zoning code will allow old units to be replaced by new ones, now built to a much higher standard.

Ultimately, manufactured housing needs to be destigmatized, and much more widely integrated into our city neighborhoods.

In which I make a modest proposal for the use of Housing Trust Funds to upgrade substandard rental properties to Section 8 code, with the proviso that landlords subsequently accept Housing Opportunity Vouchers to these renovated rentals. This is yet another way to increase the supply of affordable housing to those who need it the most.

Coalition Forum of City Candidates 10/20/22

I was honored to participate in the excellent Bilingual Candidate Forum hosted by Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, Asheville Buncombe Community Land Trust, Bountiful Cities, CIMA, Just Economics, Poder Emma, and the Racial Justice Coalition. These groups are leading the way in vital community-building; city government should be supporting and empowering them, and all our residents.

Building Carbon-Negative Housing for a Sustainable Future

According to the presenter of this TED talk—Vishaan Chakrabarti—we currently have the technology we need to build carbon-negative housing reasonably affordably and at scale.

The keys is building 3-story multi-family dwellings with their own renewable, sustainable systems as well as walkable neighborhoods with resources and amenities, linked by robust public transportation.

I believe Asheville can do this.