Access to affordable housing
remains a challenge
On Jan. 27, 2016, the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative conducted the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless families and individuals. Overall numbers of those experiencing homelessness in our community have decreased since last year: 509 persons reported in January 2016 as compared to 562 persons in January 2015, which represents a 9% decrease.
This year’s PIT reports 72 persons experiencing chronic homelessness as opposed to the 74 persons counted in 2015.While overall numbers of persons experiencing homelessness has decreased in Asheville-Buncombe, the number of chronic homeless shows little change.
Strategic plan in the works
The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative is in the process of a completing a five-year Strategic Plan to address the issues of homelessness in Buncombe County and anticipates completing the plan by late summer this year.
The plan will set annual goals that target the needs of specific sub-populations and ensure emerging trends and best practices are integrated within the plan’s strategies over the next five years. The strategic plan will continue to emphasize public-private partnership opportunities to increase the affordable housing supply, and to decrease the many barriers homeless individuals and families face in accessing safe, stable housing.
The 2016 PIT count shows that strong, collaborative partnerships and creative solutions have found the right mixture of supportive services and income streams to match those experiencing homelessness with appropriate housing interventions. However, near-zero vacancy rate in rental units has slowed access to housing, causing longer-term chronic homelessness across the community to remain largely unchanged.
Want to help?
Please contact City of Asheville Community Development Analyst/Homelessness Lead Christiana Glenn Tugman at 251-4048 for information on becoming a landlord partner or developer to increase access to safe, stable housing for those experiencing homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County.