Asheville’s heart-rendering stories of human suffering finally swayed City Council members to President Roosevelt’s “slum-consciousness” and the establishment of the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville effective June 12, 1940.  Shortly after being awarded Federal Housing Funds in the summer of 1941, the WW II frenzy resulted in suspended funds and an inactive Housing Authority.  It was not until January 3, 1949-reactivation day for the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville- that the Authority’s work began again in earnest, rededicated to “Keeping the Promise,” providing decent, safe and sanitary housing for needy human kind.

The Asheville Housing Authority began construction of its first development Lee Walker Heights in 1950

The Asheville Housing Authority began construction of its first development Lee Walker Heights in 1950, named after late Professor W.S. Lee of Stephens-Lee High School and Dr. J.W. Walker, deceased tuberculosis specialist. Opening day kept seven secretaries busy taking applications before a numbering system had to be implemented to handle the 350 applicants for the 96 modern apartments.  After, the second, Pisgah View Apartments, in 1952 and the third, Hillcrest Apartments, in 1959 opened their doors, another more formidable task, face the city of Asheville.

Even with affordable housing efforts brought by the Housing Authority, large area of substandard housing and poverty still plagued Asheville.  To address the task of eliminating slums and blight and restoring Asheville’s neighborhoods, the Redevelopment Commission was formed in 1958.  City redevelopment was becoming a major movement in Asheville in 1967, an effort with which the Authority had always been closely associated.  In 1971, the Housing Authority and the Redevelopment Commission were merged under the directorship of Ray Wheeling.

David Nash, Executive Director

Urban redevelopment and the creation of new low-income housing brought great changes to the Asheville community.  As with most housing authorities, Asheville struggled with segregation issues throughout the 60’s, achieving compliance with federal mandates in the early 70’s.  The increase in civic involvement and a renewed federal commitment to domestic issues during the 60’s sparked the establishment of a wide range of new services and programs at the Housing Authority.

At the end of 1970, HUD favored leasing rather than building new units.  1977 saw the initiation of the Federal Section 8 Housing Program, further shifting the government from public housing construction to providing subsidies for the rental of privately owned homes and apartments.  This resulted in a 248 unit elderly Section 8 complex on Tunnel Road called Asheville Gardens (now called Asheville Terrace), in 1980.

Today, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville has grown to 10 public housing developments with 1,534 units, 248 special program units and administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program to subsidize housing for more than 1,355 low-income individuals and families. From the Great Depression to the Information Age, HACA has given families and others a chance to come home to a place that is more than just an address.

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    Asheville Housing Authority’s Leadership

    David Nash
    Executive Director, responsible for overall leadership and oversight of the agency.
    Tara Irby
    Chief Operating Officer, assists the Executive Director with the administration and operations of the Housing Authority.
    Alex Ruiz
    Moving to Work Transition Coordinator, with responsibility over all MTW-related administrative changes and communications
    Sheri Guyton
    Co-Director of Property Management - South, with responsibility over Southside; Director of Non-Profit, with responsibility over Asheville Terrace
    Allison Smith
    Director of Property Management - West, with responsibility over Deaverview and Pisgah View Apartments
    Brandy Woodard
    Director of Assisted Housing, with management responsibility for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
    Evette Smith
    Director of Property Management - Central, with responsibility for Altamont, Aston Park, Bartlett, and Woodfin Apartments.
    Rhodney Norman
    Director of Property Management - North, with responsibility for Hillcrest and Klondyke
    Noele Tackett
    Director of Administration and Customer Service
    Shaunda Sandford
    Director of Resident Services

    Board of Commissioners

    The Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners consists of five members who are all appointed by the Mayor. The term of office is four years.

    The board reviews and approves budgets and policy documents for the agency and for submission to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and appoints the Executive Director.

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Tilman Jackson | Board Chair

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Robby Russell | Board Member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Kidada Wynn | Board member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Roy Harris | Board Member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Amy Kemp | Board Member

    Gene Bell | Board Member

    Reginald Robinson | Board Member

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