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 Working To Protect Affordable Housing

Asheville Housing Authority is working with the management company of Spruce Hill Apartments to assist them in preserving affordable.

Source: WLOS.com

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Some residents of an Asheville affordable housing complex may soon be forced out because ownership is planning a renovation project.

The management company says the project would be funded with federal tax credits, which would have different income guidelines.

The Andrews have lived at Spruce Hill Apartments for 15 years.  They like living there and agree the complex needs renovations.

With the renovation tax credits, management says families could not live at Spruce Hill if they make more than $38,000 a year without a housing voucher.  Management says people would not be eligible for a voucher if they make more than $48,000.

The Andrews sit a little above that.  They don’t know what to do.

“Make a little less, or a lot more,” April Andrews said.

“We’re stuck between that fine line,” Marcel Andrews said.

“It almost defeats the purpose of trying to work harder,” April said.

They praise Spruce Hill’s management for communicating what’s happening. Management says they plan to redo every unit inside and out, but the Andrews won’t be around when it’s fixed.

“We live paycheck to paycheck, so it’s kind of overwhelming.  We got plenty of time, plenty of notice, but when you starting looking it gets discouraged. I have plenty of time, but am I really going to find a place?  Where are we going to go,” Marcel wondered.

They say the issue is affordable housing.  Right now, they’re paying a little more than $600 per month.  If they leave, a comparable apartment could cost three times more.

“I’d like to have a yard to manicure, a house, I’d like to have that, but at the same time I’d like to have that and be able to afford to have that,” Marcel said .

They don’t know the answer, but hope for more housing that is affordable.

Spruce Hill Apartments are privately owned.  A portion of the unites are Section 8 and the rest are affordable housing.

The Asheville Housing Authority says it wants to protect the city’s affordable housing, and is working with the developers to do that.

To see the broadcast visit: http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Affordable-Housing-Renovation-Could-Force-Out-Dozens-198786.shtml#.VedzpWeFPnM

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Learn More About Upcoming Changes to Livingston Street

The City of Asheville is currently planning to improve Livingston Street and a portion of Depot Street. The goal of the project is to make the street safe and comfortable for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.

The East of the Riverway Connections transportation network plan was completed in March 2014, which considered capital improvements in a portion of the city identified as the East of the Riverway area. The Connections plan identified Livingston Street for future improvements as a future complete street, and recommended improvements to the street. This Connections plan was performed with a portion of a federal TIGER II transportation planning grant.

Learn more about the project tomorrow at the Open House — Thursday, September 3rd at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, 5:30 – 8 pm.

We hope you can join us. If you have questions, please contact Tara Irby (tirby@ashevillenc.gov) or Sasha Vrtunski (svrtunski@ashevillenc.gov)

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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, August 26th at 5pm located at the Central Office, 165 South French Broad Ave. Board Meeting Packet – August 2015

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Mountain Causes: Books for Children

ASHEVILLE – Every time I write a story about public housing, I get hate email. People, many of whom have never set foot in any of the city’s low-income neighborhoods, write me to say residents are lazy, unemployed by choice and scamming the system.

America’s poor face a host of challenges that most of us will never fully understand, and while Asheville’s subsidized housing may have its problems, the residents themselves certainly aren’t the ones to blame. By and large these are hard-working families trying to move out of a system that sometimes seems like it was meant to keep them down.

This week I want to tell you about how the youth of some of Asheville’s poorest neighborhoods are trying to build their communities up. It started with an email from Jamye Davis at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. The agency wanted newspaper boxes, the big metal kind you find outside.

The group had partnered with the Residents Council of Asheville Housing Authority, and two literacy development nonprofits, Read to Read to Succeed and The POP Project. They wanted to put little free libraries in every subsidized housing development. If the Asheville Citizen-Times could donate the containers, the other groups would come up with the books and a plan for maintenance.

Thirty kids living in the housing communities were already taking part in a summer youth empowerment program focused on neighborhood cleanup and job readiness. They would decorate the bins and have ownership over the libraries.

So, with the help of executive editor Josh Awtry and our distribution director Chip Smith, I had a new volunteer assignment and some dusty old streetside circulation boxes had a new life.

Found in neighborhoods throughout the country, little free libraries are books put in colorful vestibules for the community to access. They are free to take, borrow, or leave for someone else.

Such programs are especially important in neighborhoods with limited access to educational materials and during the summer months when kids aren’t reading as much, Davis said. It’s called “summer slide,” she said. Kids lose their reading skills if their young minds sit idle.

With books on the brain, I spent an evening last month at Klondyke Homes, subsidized housing in the Montford neighborhood, painting newspaper bins. Kids from all different communities attended, and everyone’s hands were covered in sticky, colorful paint.

We talked about our favorite things to read. I told them I used to love the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series and they told me they liked mysteries and detective stories. We laughed at our mistakes and painted a bright yellow sun on our box.

After, as we waited in line to scrub the red and yellow paint off our hands, 15-year-old Hillcrest resident Diamond Shands told me the young kids in her neighborhood look up to her.

“We’re role models,” said Shands. “We got to show them how to live right.”

Hillcrest Apartments, subsidized housing just west of downtown, is known for its crime and Shands and her friend Tantyona Neal, 14, said violence and thieving was a problem in their neighborhood.
Asheville Citizen-Times’ Beth Walton recently wrote about the little libraries that have been placed in Asheville Housing Authorities’ developments. Read the renamed article below:

Mountain Causes: Books for Children

“Books are key, gangs are not,” said Neal. “Them gangs don’t matter. If you are in a gang, you can die from being in a gang, but with education, it’s different.”

That evening seven little free libraries were made to go in five different low-income neighborhoods. Over 300 books have been collected and various businesses have agreed to sponsor each box.

The kids are eager to make more, and with time, organizers hope to see greater diversity in the books collected.

I know there are problems with Asheville’s public housing, but to me this seems like part of the solution. This project is a wonderful example of collaboration among groups and people taking ownership over their own neighborhoods.

I’m proud to be part of it and I encourage you to get involved, but if you instead insist on writing me to talk about your disdain for the community’s poor, don’t expect much of a response. My plan is to tell you to donate some books.

This is the opinion of Beth Walton. Each week, I volunteer around Asheville and share my adventure with our readers. If you’d like me to help at your nonprofit, contact me at bwalton@citizen-times.com or 828-232-5851. More information at www.citizen-times.com/causes.

GET INVOLVED

Books and donations are needed to fill the little free libraries. For more information, contact Jamye Davis with Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC at 828-253-1470 or jamyed@bbbswnc.org.

Terry Bellamy at the Housing Authority for the City of Asheville can also help. She can be reached at 828-239-3550 or tbellamy@haca.org.

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Asheville Housing Authority Receives Energy Rebate Funds From Duke Energy

The Asheville Housing Authority has earned a rebate of $42,144 from the Duke Energy – Energy Efficiency Rebate Program for the LEED targeted renovation of the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center (formerly W.C. Reid Center). The check was presented on Tuesday, July 21st.

Edington Center and Duke Energy

Duke Energy staff Kevin Brock and Paula Clark stand with Asheville Housing Authority’s Gene Bell and Samantha Bowers.

“Our customers are always looking for ways to control their operating costs and improve their bottom line and installing energy efficiency equipment is a great step,” said Paula Clark for Duke Energy. “By providing cash incentives to help lower the costs of high-efficiency lighting, HVAC pumps and other equipment, our customers are investing in upgrades that will boost their bottom lines for years to come.”

The Asheville Housing Authority purchased the W.C. Reid Center from the City of Asheville in 2012. The once African American Livingston Street School was a Parks and Recreation center after integration of the school systems. After a three-year renovation by the housing authority, the building was dedicated as the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center on November 1, 2014 and will once again prioritize education.

Asheville Housing and its community partners envision the center as a place where people from Asheville Housing communities and the surrounding neighborhoods will have access to education, job training, support services and other resources, strengthening residents’ self-sufficiency and empowerment, reports the Asheville Housing Authority.

The renovation of the building itself has provided ongoing opportunities to train and employ locals, especially public housing residents. Energy conservation measures included a geothermal heating and cooling system, along with energy efficient lighting, plumbing and other building systems.

Gene Bell, CEO of the Asheville Housing, said, “We are proud of what our team has accomplished in collaboration with our residents, the Southside neighborhood, local construction contractors, community partner agencies like Green Opportunities, along with the City and HUD. This contribution to the project from Duke Energy is much appreciated.”

Go to http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/08/11/housing-authority-goes-green/31480033/  For more media coverage.

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Asheville Housing Authority is turning 75!

75th Anniversary

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The Asheville Housing Authority’s offices are closed May 25th for Memorial Day.

Memorial-Day-Clip-Art-Free-Downloads-4On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and staff of the Asheville Housing Authority, we would like to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. They gave their last breath, their last thought, and the last full measure for the cause of liberty, justice and freedom. This Memorial Day we pause to recognize those individuals for their service.

Asheville Housing Authority offices are closed today, Monday 25th in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday. If you need maintenance assistance needs please call 1-888-990-8726.

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Robert Hooper Graduates from Leadership Asheville 33

Robert Hooper received his Leadership Asheville 33 Certificate & glass award plaque.

Robert Hooper received his Leadership Asheville 33 Certificate & glass award plaque.

Asheville Housing Authority salutes and congratulates Robert Hooper, Site Manager for Altamont, Bartlett Arms and Woodfin Apartments, for completing and graduating from Leadership Asheville 33! Leadership Asheville strives to, “Enhance community leadership by developing, connecting, and mobilizing citizens throughout the region.” Each year, 30 leaders are chosen to participate in the highly coveted program. The leaders spend nine months learning about the community and working on collaborative projects.

Hooper and his team spent their nine months working with Mountain True, formerly Western North Carolina Alliance, helping them to develop a business plan for their newly restructured organization. The team was able to develop a SWOT Analysis, which identified their strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT Analysis was then used to create recommendations for Mountain True’s leadership to implement in order to enhance the vitality of the organization. Continue reading

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Staff and Sub-Contractors Participate in Housing Quality Standards’ Inspection Training

Site Managers,  maintenance workers & sub-contractors attend Housing Quality Standards Training.

Site Managers, maintenance workers & sub-contractors attend Housing Quality Standards Training.

Nearly 25 of the Asheville Housing Authority’s maintenance workers, Site Managers and sub-contractors recently participated in a two-day Housing Quality Standards’ Inspection training course. The training focused on inspecting the housing units that the Asheville Housing Authority owns and the housing units that are under the Housing Choice Voucher program to ensure that they are in high quality, healthy housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that all units that are supported through the use of federal funds are inspected prior to residents moving into the units and during the time the residents are in the units. Continue reading

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Former mayor joins staff

Former Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy joins Housing Authority

As a child who grew up in public housing, former Asheville mayor Terry Bellamy is going back to her roots.

The Housing Authority of the City of Asheville announced Monday that Bellamy would serve as the agency’s first neighborhood outreach coordinator / communication specialist.

Check out this story on citizen-times.com: http://avlne.ws/1zgMWvj

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