Editor’s note: This essay is a component of a series by which local experts were asked: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable housing problem?”
Our community is facing a crisis. Based on a recent study, Buncombe County has an effective zero percent vacancy rate for rental housing. Only at Homeward Bound, we’ve certainly noticed this trend. Each day, our case managers work to find safe, affordable places for the clients to reside. Now, however, we just cannot find those homes.
This example puts the lives of a few of our community’s most vulnerable members at risk. Living on the streets for very long amounts of time exacerbates chronic behavioral and physical health conditions that often lead to premature death.
But the lack of affordable housing doesn’t just impact the most vulnerable. Affordable housing is critical when it comes to veterans that are homeless served our country in Afghanistan and Iraq, for law enforcement and firefighters who make our community safe. [Read more…]