Last year, Family Friendly Affordable Buncombe (FFAB) called for significant new public investments in the intertwined, foundational issues facing families: Early Childhood Education, Housing Affordability, and Transit. Elected leaders at the City of Asheville and Buncombe County stepped up and allocated $4.5 million in new funding to meet the FFAB requests in Fiscal Year 20 (July 2019-June 2020).
Now is the time to build on this momentum for local families. As City and County leaders begin budget preparations for next fiscal year (FY21 begins July 1, 2021), here are the Family Friendly Affordable Buncombe budget recommendations for housing:
Increase the County Housing budget to a minimum $5M ($1.2M increase)
FFAB celebrates the new $1.4M in the County budget for housing and the creation of the new Affordable Housing Committee. And, the new committee is already having to make impossible choices with funding requests to the Affordable Housing Services Program (AHSP) exceeding available resources. Recently, the committee was unable to fully fund important home repair and new construction proposals that are essential to addressing our local housing crisis.
FFAB supports increasing the county allocation to an annual minimum of $5M as well as creating separate funding application process for new construction loans/grants from the other AHSP funding areas.
FFAB proposes increasing the allocation to the Housing Trust Fund by $100,000 for a total of $600,000. Additionally, the City should have funds ($200,000 minimum) available for innovative efforts that could increase utilization of Housing Choice Vouchers and provide general operating support to support the Asheville Buncombe Community Land Trust.
- Please contact your City Councilors and encourage them to allocate $600,000 to the Housing Trust Fund, a $100,000 increase.
- Contact your Buncombe County Commissioners and urge them to increase the County Housing budget to a minimum of $5 million, a $1.2 million increase.
These increases and allocations will enable hundreds more to be able to afford the cost of home.