Working People Need Affordable Housing


Here’s some info about employment and housing from Mountain Housing Opportunities. For folks who aren’t aware, “45% of people who work in Buncombe County work within a 3-mile radius of the middle of downtown Asheville (49,690 workers). Of the 49,690 people who work in Asheville’s 3-mile downtown jobs center …

• Almost 23,000 travel over 10 miles to work.
• Over 12,000 travel over 25 miles to work.
• Over 19,000 live outside of Buncombe County.

An employee who commutes 10 miles each way to work and home spends over $2,500 per year in auto costs.”

Click the images to embiggen.

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“In this 3-mile “Sweet Spot” of Buncombe County’s jobs, most of the 49,690 workers work either in downtown Asheville, the hospital/medical district (south of downtown), the mall or along transportation corridors.”
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So the jobs center is the city center. People come from all over to work here. Given affordable housing options, they could cut down on transportation costs as well as reducing pollution and traffic. Giving people a chance to access the middle class means a stronger, more dynamic economy. Asheville is aspirational, and together we can build a town of opportunity for people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds.

From this fancy site:

Going forward, we can speed the creation of affordable housing by fully funding the Trust Fund. The fund loans money to builders at low interest rates. They repay the loans, and then we can use that money again.

We must redesign our approach to affordable housing incentives, so builders can effectively employ them. Focusing on our established corridors like Patton Avenue, Tunnel Road, and Sweeten Creek Road allows for increased housing units in areas that can absorb the density. Additionally, the River Arts District ought to be a model for mixed-income living.

We can have more accessory apartments, and we can respectfully include infill development in our neighborhoods that have rich histories of multi-family living. The affordable housing crisis has gone on for too long. If we’re to grow Asheville’s middle class, affordable housing and job creation have to be our top priorities.


  1. RHS says:

    “Click the images to embiggen.”

    This is very cromulent information. Thanks for posing.

  2. Paul Meserve says:

    Can you post a direct link to the source for that data?

  3. Gordon Smith says:


    The data came from the US Census Onthemap website.