• Build Louder

    Advocacy

Advocate

Since 1983, Asheville Habitat has helped 2,100 adults and children build better futures though our Home Repair and Homeownership programs. However, 1 in 6 Buncombe County households still spend more than half their income to keep a roof over their heads. This is unacceptable.

This is why Asheville Habitat advocates- at the local, state, and federal levels- for smart housing policies that promote access to decent, affordable housing. Join us, and use your voice to change and challenge systems to create a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to decent housing.

Better With Bonds

Thank you for voting YES on the Bond Referendum!

On November 8, 2022, Buncombe County residents overwhelmingly said YES at the ballot box to two important ballot questions:

  • A $40 million bond to ensure stable housing for children, homeownership for working families, and safe housing for seniors. This bond invests in the County’s goal of supporting up to 3,150 new units of housing by 2030.
  • A $30 million bond that will protect mountains, meadows, productive farmlands, and clean water in our streams and rivers for future generations. This bond preserves open space and supports development of recreational trails and greenways across the community.

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity endorsed both bonds as critical investments in our community’s future, and we’re happy to see that the community has voted to give Buncombe County the tools to protect our land and ensure that the people who make our community work can afford to call it home.

And if you’re not already on our Advocacy Alerts email list, please sign up now. Thank you!

Source of Income Discrimination

Last year, Asheville City Council unanimously passed a Non-Discrimination Ordinance, protecting people from discrimination in public accommodations and private employment. We applaud the City’s effort to protect residents from discrimination based on personal characteristics like race or sexual orientation, but we need them to go one step further. 

Currently, source of income is not included in this ordinance, meaning landlords can deny a person a lease based upon the income they use to pay rent (housing vouchers, child support, veteran subsidy, etc.) With rents skyrocketing and a massive housing shortage, renters need help now accessing a stable home. 

Research shows housing vouchers reduce homelessness, overcrowding, and housing instability, as well as give people with lower income greater choice about where they live. A household with a voucher pays 30% of their income for rent and utilizes while the voucher covers the rest. 

Despite voucher’s effectiveness, this rental assistance program is vastly underfunded and underutilized. Once a family has a voucher, it is not uncommon to wait years before a property owner accepts it. 

By adding source of income protection to the Non-Discrimination Ordinance, this could prevent years of hardship for families with vouchers and provide access to a decent place to live. 

With Habitat’s support, a coalition of local fair housing advocates and residents impacted by housing discrimination have been advocating for source of income protection for years. 

On Thursday, August 18th at 5 pm, the City’s Human Relations Commission will be considering a recommendation to add source of income protection to the Non-Discrimination Ordinance. 

Please join us in submitting public comment to the Human Relations Committee to support adding source of income to the City’s nondiscrimination ordinance. 

This Divided Land

This Divided Land is a film made by Asheville Habitat. After discovering a racial covenant on a property developed for affordable housing, Asheville Habitat decided to learn more about discriminatory housing practices that took place in our community, how those shaped our city, and how practices like racial covenants have contributed to current day racial disparities 

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.

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 emails. This list enables us to mobilize our supporters to act quickly on issues that are important to our organization and the people we serve. Click below to sign up for the email list.

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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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Past Advocacy Efforts

  • National Housing Week of Action
  • HOME & CDBG
  • Affordable Housing Crisis 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.