Redevelopment of City-owned Land


What is Redevelopment of City-owned Land for Affordable Housing?

The City of Asheville owns land and buildings in many areas of the city. The City uses its property for parks, community centers, fire stations, police stations, public works garages, offices and other municipal purposes. Additionally, the City has committed to use its property to develop affordable housing. Asheville, like many other high-cost housing markets, is using vacant or underutilized public land to develop affordable housing options for people at all economic levels and stages of life.

How does the City define Affordable Housing projects?

Currently, the City is working to develop different types of sites.

A Strategic Investment Site is a site where the City has identified properties that can be used to support affordable housing and achieve other City goals.

A High Impact Site is a site where the City has identified properties that have a high impact because of the additional development around the site.

Where we have been and where we are going?

Historically, the City has granted, loaned or incentivized developers with funding to develop privately-owned property with affordable housing. Those options are here. This strategy has resulted in strong developments, but more tools are needed to address the affordable housing shortage. 

One tool the City can use to create affordable housing is to partner with developers to build affordable housing on City-owned land.

Updates on High Impact Sites 

On January 9, 2018 City Council authorized a contract with design firm Lord Aeck Sargent (LAS) to perform design, land planning, engineering and financial feasibility for affordable housing on properties located at 91 Riverside Drive, 172-179 S. Charlotte Street and 319 Biltmore Avenue.  LAS, in partnership with Bleakly Advisory Group and Bell Engineering, provides extensive experience in urban redevelopment, affordable housing financials and technical assessments. You can review the presentation seen by Council for more details.

On March 1, 2018 LAS presented at the monthly Affordable Housing Advisory Committee (AHAC) meeting; you can review the presentation seen by AHAC here. 

On June 19, 2018, LAS presented the Phase 1 Assessment report to the Housing and Community Development Committee. You can review the presentation seen by HCD here, and the full Existing Conditions Assessment here

City-owned Property Database

The City recently completed a map and database of all the property it owns.  You can explore the map here. All of the City’s property was categorized into different types of uses. Those properties classified as “Strategic Investment Sites” are currently being considered or developed for affordable housing. Properties labeled “Review” are being studied to see if affordable housing is the best fit for the property, or if the property should be used in another way.

What is Affordable Housing?

Affordable rental housing is priced to be affordable to households earning 80% of Area Median Income or less; affordable ownership housing is priced to households earning 100% of Area Median Income or less. Below are two examples.

Jennifer is a single parent with two kids. Her annual income is $41,070 (which is 80% of $61,300 - Asheville’s current Area Median). She can afford to pay rent of $870.00 

 Jim and his husband earn a combined income of $46,313 (which is 100% of Area Median income for a household of two). They can afford to pay a mortgage of $1032.00 per month. 

See current income and price points  here.

Guiding Principles for Redeveloping City-owned Property for Affordable Housing

  1. To understand and respect the surrounding community and integrate the development into the neighborhood;
  2. To promote and maintain a high standard for design, aesthetics and construction;
  3. To uphold and contribute to the City of Asheville’s long term vision for increased density along transit corridors within city limits;
  4. To incorporate and encourage environmentally sustainable approaches and solutions in every aspect possible;
  5. To provide and contribute to rental and ownership housing opportunities that attract varied ages, incomes, family sizes and overall demographics;
  6. To promote and support walkability and social connections both within the project and to the surrounding community;
  7. To prioritize action items that provide the highest return on investment as measured by number of affordable units, percentage of permanently affordable units, contributions to long-term economic and tax base growth, and sustainability.


In November 2016, the public voted for the $25 Million Affordable Housing Bond Referendum to support the implementation of the following priorities and strategies:

  1. Implement Comprehensive Affordable Housing Strategy
  2.  Attain goal of 2,800 new affordable housing units by June 2021
  3.  Expand supply of permanent place-based affordable housing
  4.  Eliminate chronic homelessness
  5.  Leverage City resources 
  6.  Measure effectiveness by per unit cost, amount of subsidy, length of affordability period



10 Principles for Developing Affordable Housing

Public Land and Affordable Housing

Asheville Rental Market Study (2017)

Asheville’s Alternatives to Gentrification Report

Asheville’s Comprehensive Affordable Housing Strategy

More Information

Affordable Housing Bond Dashboard

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee

How do I get Involved?

In addition to regularly checking the City’s website, citizens and other stakeholders can be a part of the process for redeveloping City owned property for affordable housing by attending Advisory Board, Council Committee, and other public meetings where these initiatives are discussed on a monthly basis.

What City-owned land is being considered for Affordable Housing? 

360 Hilliard Avenue: (Map)

  • What is it? 64 unit mixed income rental development
  • Who is the City’s development partner? Kassinger Development Group, Inc.
  • What is the timeline for development? Summer 2018

411 Deaverview / 18 Pisgah View (Map)

  • What is it? 16 acre City-owned parcel, undeveloped and vacant
  • Who is the City’s development partner? TBD
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD

171-179 S. Charlotte Street (Map)

  • What is it? 6 acres, currently City Public Works Garage and Fleet Management locations
  • Who is the City’s development partner? TBD
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD

91 Riverside Drive (Map)

  • What is it? 1.75 acres, currently vacant
  • Who is the City’s development partner? TBD
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD

319 Biltmore Avenue (Map)

  • What is it? Matthews Ford Site, City has option to purchase 5.5 acre site
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD
  • Who is the City’s development partner? TBD

427 Broadway (Map)

  • What is it? 0.38 acres of vacant property
  • Who is the City’s development partner? Reed Creek Greenway Plaza, LLC.
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD

State Street (Map)

  • What is it? 0.18 acres, access point for MHO development
  • Who is the City’s development partner? Mountain Housing Opportunities
  • What is the timeline for development? TBD

Contact Information 

Heather Dillashaw