Asheville Community and Economic Development disperses over $3 million to local businesses during COVID-19

The City of Asheville may not be open physically, but City Staff are working hard to ensure that projects are moving forward and businesses are supported. As an example, the Community Development Division (CD), in partnership with the City’s Finance Department, has disbursed over $3 million to local businesses and nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic. These dollars are especially vital as they have helped keep construction of affordable housing moving forward, families fed, and our nonprofits up and running.


Funding for these projects comes from several sources, including federal dollars from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs. The City is also contributing to payments from the City’s GO Bond for affordable housing and the Housing Trust Fund program. 


The City is proud of the work our partners are doing during this stressful time; here is a small sample of the completed work.


With affordable and quality housing remaining a top priority at the City, Community Development has disbursed funds to Habitat for Humanity and Mountain Housing Opportunities for home repairs. Amaranth Apartments, a tax credit development in partnership with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, received both HOME and Housing Trust Fund funds, which will support the building of 70 affordable housing units. The funds disbursed at this time are for the demolition of existing buildings, site improvements, and helping to keep construction workers employed. Last, but not least, the Asheville Housing Authority’s Lee Walker Heights redevelopment recently received $1.2 million in funding from the City, which includes bond dollars, to support the continued site improvements and construction of 212 affordable housing units. 


GO Kitchen, a culinary training program, used their funds to pivot their programming from student training to public service. Using CDBG funding, GO was able to activate services to bring food to the community during this crisis. 


In addition to supporting housing and public services, the City is also supporting small businesses with funds going to Carolina Small Business. Carolina Small Business received $40,000 to help our local entrepreneurs. With this money, Carolina Small Business is working to reduce barriers for women-owned business with one-on-one coaching and assisting them in building their networking skills.


These dollars are a lifeline to many local organizations. Community Development staff continues to work with their many partners on funding to assist our local residents promptly during these challenging times.


To find out more about Community Development’s funding programs, visit this link.