Neighborhood Lots for Affordable Housing

Happening Now

**UPDATE 4/1/21: A Google Meet will be held for the Lufty Avenue and West Chestnut Street lots with City staff, representatives from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust (ABCLT), and interested neighbors. The meeting will go over ABCLT’s proposal to build single-family homes on the lots, and will have time for discussion. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you’re interested in participating, please email adriver@ashevillenc.gov to be added to the invitation list.

No neighborhood meeting has been scheduled yet for the Kentucky Drive lot. This is because the City is taking some extra time to do due diligence activities on the property. Please continue to check back on this page for updates.**


Last summer, the City reviewed several small neighborhood properties located on Lufty Avenue, West Chestnut Street, and Kentucky Drive that the City owns which could be used to build affordable housing. The City decided to move forward on developing these properties through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process last fall. This means that we asked interested homebuilders for their best plans for building affordable housing on the properties.

The proposals were reviewed by City staff and the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust and Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity were selected as finalists to develop the properties. The Community Land Trust proposes to develop the properties on Lufty Avenue and West Chestnut Street. Habitat for Humanity proposes to develop the property on Kentucky Drive. Finalists being named is only one step of the process. The finalists will need to conduct due diligence and neighborhood engagement as well as receive Council approval before the property can be transferred to them for development. Staff will advise the Housing and Community Development Committee and City Council in the coming months on why they believe these were the best proposals. The criteria from the RFPs included:

  • Units that will be affordable to people making 60% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) for at least twenty years. For example, this means that a family of four making $39,840 or less per year should be able to afford to live there. Click here to see a more specific breakdown of the AMI based on how many people live in a household. If the properties are developed into rental housing, they will have to accept Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers.
  • Attractive and livable homes that fit in with the neighborhood around them

The properties included are: (1) Kentucky Drive in West Asheville, (2) Lufty Avenue in West Asheville, and (3) West Chestnut Street in Montford. See below for pictures and information about each property.

 

 

Kentucky Drive

This property is 0.53 acres and sits at the corner of Kentucky Drive and Stewart Street. It is in West Asheville’s Rankin Heights neighborhood. Eugene Rankin School used to be on this site, but the school district gave the property to the City in 1986. Its zoning code is RM16, which means it can be used to build housing, even with multiple units. Click here to see the City’s GIS map location of the property, where you can zoom in and out and see other information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lufty Avenue

This property is 0.17 acres and sits between Virginia Avenue and Drake Street. The City bought this property in 1929 in an auction held on the Buncombe County Courthouse steps. Its zoning code is RS8, which means that it can be used to build a single-family house. Click here to see the City’s GIS map location of the property, where you can zoom in and out and see other information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Chestnut Street

This property is 0.14 acres and sits at the corner of West Chestnut Street and Young Street, next to the West Chestnut Street Bridge. The City bought the property in 1984. Its zoning code is RS8, which means that it can be used to build a single-family house. Click here to see the City’s GIS map location of the property, where you can zoom in and out and see other information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Background

Affordable housing has become a serious issue in Asheville, but the City is working to increase the number of affordable homes. It’s part of the City Council’s vision for Asheville’s future because it helps our community to be stronger, more livable, and more equitable. To help reach this goal, the City developed its Policies for Implementing Affordable Housing on City-Owned Land last year. They direct the City to look at the different properties it owns and pinpoint which ones could be used to build affordable housing.

The City is already moving forward with some larger projects on City-owned land, such as 319 Biltmore, Cedar Hill, and 360 Hilliard. The Neighborhood Lots for Affordable Housing project is smaller in scope but still an important part of the larger goal to develop more affordable housing options in the City.

 


Timeline

(Dates tentative)

September 9, 2020: Request for Proposals opens to developers to submit their plans

September 17, 2020: Webinars held for developers at 2:30 p.m. and for neighborhood residents at 5:30 p.m.

October 14, 2020: Deadline for proposal submissions

December 2020 – January 2021: Staff reviews proposals.

January 26, 2021: Staff selects finalists.

April 14, 2021, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Meeting with Lufty Avenue and West Chestnut Street neighbors. Email adriver@ashevillenc.gov for an invitation to the meeting.

May 18, 2021: Housing and Community Development Committee reviews recommendations. Visit here to watch the meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. and to submit comments in advance.

June 2021: City Council votes to accept the winning proposal. Visit here to watch the meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. and to submit comments in advance.

 


Supporting Documents

Request for Proposals

Addendum 1 to the Request for Proposals

Addendum 2 to the Request for Proposals

City of Asheville Policies for Implementing Affordable Housing on City-owned Land

2019 Affordable Housing AMI Rents

 


Frequently Used Terms

AMI or Area Median Income: a measurement used to figure out what will be affordable to people making middle and lower incomes in our area

Housing Choice or Section 8 Vouchers: These vouchers help lower-income people pay rent

Housing and Community Development Committee: This committee helps to look at City policies and practices related to affordable housing and homelessness.

RFP, or Request for Proposals: a process that asks organizations or businesses to submit their plans and prices for completing City projects

 


Contact Information

Nikki Reid, Real Estate

Paul D’Angelo, Community Development

Sasha Vrtunski, Urban Planning

 


Updated 3/1/21

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