Welcome to HACA

Asheville Housing assists more than 6,500 Asheville/Buncombe residents and has recently completed the conversion of most of its public housing units to the Housing Choice Voucher program as project-based voucher units under the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. Asheville Housing owns and/or operates 1,955 affordable housing units and administers over 1,600 tenant-based vouchers to assist families renting from other property owners. We are recognized by HUD as a High Performer.

We maintain one combined waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher program, which now includes both project-based (former public housing) and tenant-based vouchers. That waiting list is currently open. Based on current demand for vouchers, we expect that most applicants will receive a project-based voucher unit first, and will then have a priority opportunity to request a tenant-based voucher after one year in the project-based development.

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Asheville Housing Authority seeks competitive proposals to provide annual mowing and grounds maintenance services beginning April 2016 through March 2017, with an option to renew at the same price for an additional two years, for up to 11 multifamily developments. To ensure full consideration, proposals must be received at 165 S. French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC  28801 by COB on 03/16/16.  The RFP is available by email request from bsmith@haca.org.  We reserve the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any irregularities, and to award a contract for any part of the project or the project as a whole.


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Asheville Housing Authority’s Offices Are Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

All of Asheville Housing Authority’s offices are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. We will reopen tomorrow at 9:00 am.

Please call – 1-888-990-8726 for assistance, if you have a housing emergency during the time that our offices are closed.

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2016 Board Schedule

Click the link for the Board Meeting Schedule 2016.  The Board of Directors meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5pm.  The location rotates among the development community rooms.

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Provide Feedback to HUD on Their Proposed Smoke-Free Policy

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro joined Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy to announce a proposed rule to make the nation’s public housing propertiesentirely smoke-free.  HUD’s proposed rule would require more than 3,100 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to implement smoke-free policies in their developments within 18 months of the final rule.  Read HUD’s proposed rule.

Under HUD’s proposed rule, PHAs must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. HUD is seeking public comment on this proposedrule for the next 60 days.

“We have a responsibility to protect public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, especially the elderly and children who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in healthcare, repairs and preventable fires.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. By reducing the public health risks associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, the proposed smoke-free rule will enhance the effectiveness of HUD’s efforts to provide increased public health protection for residents of public housing. The rule will impact the more than 940,000 units that are currently not smoke-free,  including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly households.

“Everyone – no matter where they live – deserves a chance to grow up in a healthy, smoke-free home,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. So, when 58 million Americans – including 15 million children – are exposed to secondhand smoke, we have an obligation to act. That is what Secretary Castro is doing with this proposal.”

Since 2009, HUD strongly encouraged Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and common areas. During this time, more than 600 PHAs and tribally designated housing entities adopted smoke-free policies.Currently, there are nearly 1.2 million public housing units across the country.  Through HUD’s voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free.  If finalized, the proposed smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more 940,000 public housing units.

HUD’s proposed smoke-free rule will also help reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking.  It is estimated that smoking causes over 100,000 fires each year, resulting in more than 500 death and close to half a billion dollars in direct property damage; additionally, smoking is the lead cause of fire related deaths in multifamily buildings. A 2014 CDC study estimated that prohibiting smoking in public housing would yield an annual cost savings of $153 million, including $94 million insecondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.

This proposed rule is open for public comment until January 19th. Interested persons may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Regulations Divisions, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 10276, Washington, DC  20410.

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Holiday Hours

The Asheville Housing Authority’s offices and housing development sites will be closed on the following days in observance of the holidays:

Thursday, December 24th

Monday, December 28th

Monday, January 4th.

Please call 1-888-990-8726 for assistance, if you have an emergency during the times that our offices are closed.



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Asheville Housing Authority’s Response to WLOS’ “Over-Income” Story

On December 10, 2015, WLOS aired a story focused on the incomes of 25 families who reside in Asheville Housing Authority’s developments and tenant-based voucher units. The report criticized us for not forcing the families out of their homes when they are “over income.” The report did not explain that the federal income limits apply when a resident moves in to our programs.

Asheville Housing works hard to ensure that all applicants meet income limits at move-in. There is, however, no mandatory maximum income residents can make after they move in, nor any federal requirement that families be evicted when they reach a certain income level. Absent a federal requirement, it would be counterproductive to put families in fear of a housing disruption if they are working diligently to improve their lives.

The HUD Inspector General’s report, which led to the WLOS’ story, recommended that HUD impose a new requirement that residents be required to move out when they reach a certain income level. If that happens, then we will of course implement it.

In the meantime, we encourage residents to find work and increase their incomes over time. In our programs, residents who continue to improve their lives and incomes eventually pay the full monthly rent, with no public subsidy. Most residents voluntarily move from our programs when they are no longer receiving a subsidy and are able to afford a market rent. Some successfully move on from our programs to homeownership.

Percentage residents' income

Percentage residents’ income

As shown in red on this chart, the 25 families who were the focus of the WLOS report represent less than 1% of the 3,000 families we serve. Our priority is to focus on helping the other 99%, especially the almost 80% of families who are “extremely low income.”

Asheville Housing is very concerned about the affordable housing need in our community. Each day our staff works with applicants who are experiencing the reality of that need. During the past 12 months, we have housed 370 new families in our Section 8 project-based developments and tenant-based programs. We are committed to serving applicants and residents in a way that is humane, encourages self-sufficiency, and complies fully with federal law.

Gene Bell, CEO

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ Meeting

The next Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Board of Commissioners’ Meeting  is Wednesday, December 16th at 5pm located at the Central Office, 165 S. French Broad Ave.  Board package: Board Packet – December 2015

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Mission logo“The ‘Mission Grows’ Scholarship is a scholarship established by Mission Health System for financial assistance to individuals seeking to become Certified Nursing Assistants. Successful completion of the program will result in employment within the Mission Health System as a CNA, and may be eligible for additional CNA II, RN or other clinical career scholarships.

It is hoped that this scholarship will be beneficial to those who need financial assistance to enter the medical profession, whether to be employed as a CNA, or to begin their career as a CNA and possibly seek additional education and career opportunities within Mission Health. It is desired that recipients of the scholarship will contribute to Mission Health’s BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family. Mission Health is also recognized as a Great Place to Work and Practice (GPTWP).”

Completed application forms should be submitted to Rebecca Brothers, Family Self Sufficiency Advisor by Thursday, December 10th @5:00 pm.  Her office is located on the first floor of Aston Park Towers.  Her number is (828) 239-3517.


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City to hold neighborhood meetings on proposed ART fare increases

“The City of Asheville’s Transportation Department will hold a series of six neighborhood meetings to share information and receive feedback on several subjects, including proposed fare increases for ART (Asheville Redefines Transit). The last fare changes occurred in 2006 and 2010. The cash fare of $1 was established in 2006 and has not increased since. Fare changes being considered to keep up with the cost of providing service.  Other topics for discussion during the meetings include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) discount forms and paratransit Sunday service and eligibility forms.

Any changes to ART fares ultimately need approval by Asheville City Council. Fare changes could be approved by July 1, when Council adopts its fiscal year 2016-2017 budget.

Meetings will be drop-in style where residents can get information, ask questions and complete a survey. Meetings will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at:
• Nov. 30, North Asheville Center, 37 E. Larchmont Drive
• Dec. 1, Linwood Crump-Shiloh Center, 121 Shiloh Road
• Dec. 3, West Rec Center, 970 Haywood Road
• Dec. 8, Beverly Hills Baptist Church, 777 Tunnel Road
• Dec. 10, Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St.
• Dec. 14, Edington Center, 133 Livingston St.

For anyone who wishes to provide input but cannot attend one of these six meetings, materials that will be presented at the public meetings are available online at www.ridetheart.com. Here is a direct link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/art2015transit.

Comments can also sent by email to iride@ashevillenc.gov or by mail to City of Asheville Transportation Department, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801. Comments will be received through Dec. 30.

Proposed fare increases
• Cash fare: Would increase from $1 to $1.25 in 2016 and to $1.50 in 2021.
• Ticket booklets: Would go from $9 to $10 and would contain 10 tickets, instead of the current 11.
• Monthly pass: Would rise from $20 to $25.
• Annual pass: Would rise from $220 to $250.
• Discount fares: Half price, eligible to seniors ages 65 and older, disabled individuals and students ages 6 to 19 and to those on Medicare. (Children ages 5 and under ride free.)
• Transfer passes: Will be good for one ride, redeemable by giving transfer to driver.
• Paratransit fare: Would increase from $2 to $2.50 per one-way trip in 2016

“We know that many people depend on reliable public transportation to get to work, to education opportunities and to get access to health care,” said Mariate Echeverry, Transportation Planning Manager. “The City of Asheville is dedicated to providing this service to our residents. In doing so, we have to consider our ability to pay for the service in the equation. Federal funding helps defray the cost but there are local costs associated with providing ART. And the City’s expenses are rising.”

ADA and paratransit service
Other items to be discussed during the transit public meetings include changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) discount forms and paratransit Sunday service and eligibility forms.

The new ADA forms aim to make it easier for eligible individuals to receive a 50% discount on the buses. We have expanded the list of professionals who can submit a verification letter. We’re making it possible to submit the application in multiple ways, including by email.

In terms of paratransit eligibility, the new process is more formalized, and now includes a verification letter that can be completed by a wide array of professionals. Again, the City is making it possible to submit the application in multiple ways, including by email.

Paratransit Sunday service will also be discussed. Currently, paratransit service is provided Monday through Saturday and on holidays city-wide and within ¾ of a mile from all transit routes. For Sunday service, paratransit service would only be provided within ¾ of a mile from operating ART Sunday service routes. We want to make riders aware of this difference in the service area. The routes with Sunday service resulted from responses received in rider surveys and include the highest ridership routes.

About ART
ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) has 5,000 passengers per day. That adds up to 1.45 million rides per year. At the request of many passengers, the City added Sunday service this year.

ART provides service from its 650 stops 5:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sundays and holidays (service to UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson College operates until 1 p.m. on certain days; see schedule for details). It provides 30 minute frequency on all the major corridors within the City. Our routes serve main destinations, such as UNC Asheville, A-B Tech, Mission Hospital, medical parks, public schools, Grove Park Inn, grocery stores, VA Medical Center, City and County recreation facilities, Biltmore Village, Asheville Regional Airport and Warren Wilson College and extend to the town of Black Mountain. The number of residences in the city that are within one quarter mile of a transit route is about 73 percent.

Where to get more information:
For questions about the meetings or proposed fare increases, call 828-259-5943 or email iride@ashevillenc.gov. For information about ART, including route information, visit www.ridetheart.com.

Find this press release on Asheville City Source as http://coablog.ashevillenc.gov/2015/11/city-of-asheville-to-hold-neighborhood-meetings-on-proposed-art-fare-increases.


Source: Asheville Redefines Transit

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Tenant Mobility Voucher requests – Available December 1, 2015

Effective December 1, 2015, Asheville Housing
Authority will begin taking requests for tenant mobility
vouchers from current residents of our Rental Assistance
Demonstration (RAD) properties. Forms will be available
beginning on December 1 at the management office for
your development. The form is an official notice that you
intend to terminate your lease with Asheville Housing
Authority and apply for a tenant mobility voucher. To be
eligible, residents must have resided in the RAD property
for at least one year. We expect to begin issuing tenant
mobility vouchers in January. If a waiting list is necessary,
it will be based on the date and time your written notice
and application is received (after December 1).

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