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    Advocacy

Advocate

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.

Cost of Home

Across the nation, 1 in 6 households spend half or more of their income on housing. That means, 1 in 6 families are denied the personal and economic stability that safe, decent and affordable housing provides and are forced to make impossible choices. A safe home. Nutritious food on the table. Health care. Access to good schools. Reliable transportation. Which would you choose?

When the cost of home is your family’s future, the cost is too high. And when the cost of home is any family’s future, that’s something none of us can afford. We also know this problem is not just in Western North Carolina, but across the country. That’s why Asheville Area Habitat is joining hundreds of Habitat organizations across the country for our first national advocacy campaign- the Cost of Home.

As we fight in Buncombe County for smart housing policies hundreds of other Habitats will be doing the same. Through the Cost of Home campaign we will aim to improve home affordability by promoting policies at all levels of government that will expand resources for home production, increase inclusive access to credit, enable equitable access to land, and develop communities of opportunity.

Family-Friendly Affordable Buncombe

The sale of Mission Hospital is estimated to bring in $15 million in tax revenue to Asheville City and Buncombe County. The Family-Friendly Affordable Buncombe initiative is proposing strategic investments in preschool, frequent and reliable transportation, and affordable places for working families to live and grow. We aim to build a more prosperous community for all.

Family-Friendly Affordable Buncombe is an initiative by the Asheville-Buncombe Preschool Planning CollaborativeSuccess Equation, and the Asheville Regional Transit Coalition to leverage the unique opportunity provided to our community by the sale of Mission Health in order to make our region more affordable for Buncombe County families and workers.

About Advocacy at Asheville Habitat

Advocacy is defined by Habitat for Humanity as “changing policies and systems to eliminate barriers to adequate, affordable housing in order to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” In other words, while not visible like homes themselves, laws, regulations and rules about land and building are a major part of housing. Smart policies and systems can promote access to decent housing, while uninformed policies and systems may create unnecessary barriers, making it harder than it needs to be to find land for construction, build the home itself or be able to afford a place to live. Just like building, advocating for smart policies and systems is a way to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

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Use Your Voice!

If you would like to use your voice to help Habitat and support smart housing policies, please sign up for our Advocacy Alert email list and/or text alerts. These lists enable us to mobilize our supporters to act quickly on issues that are important to our organization and the people we serve. From your mobile phone, text buildlouder to 51555 to register for text alerts. Click below to sign up for the email list.

Past Advocacy Efforts

  • 2017 National Housing Week of Action
  • HOME & CDBG
  • Affordable Housing Crising in Asheville
  • Save HOME Save Service (AmeriCorps) Access to Credit
  • annual North Carolina Legislative Day in Raleigh
  • annual Habitat on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

WNC Resources

The WNC Social Justice Advocacy Guide provides a comprehensive list of resources and allies around Western North Carolina dedicated to addressing social justice. This collection of nonpartisan organizations and nonprofits is for those wishing to learn more about specific issues, to establish connections with other groups, and to peruse volunteer opportunities. The Jubilee! Community’s Social Justice team began this site in 2018.