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Buncombe County launches map to track down affordable housing

  Eagle Market Place is one of Asheville's affordable housing developments.
Warren LeMay / Wikimedia Commons
Eagle Market Place offers efficiencies for as low as $272 a month.

It’s no secret that affordable and accessible housing is difficult to track down in the Asheville area. A new Affordable Housing Map produced by Buncombe County aims to make that process easier for people and the service providers who support them, according to a press release from the county.

The map lists more than 80 affordable developments countywide with a focus on multi-family housing developments. Users can filter out results for housing that accepts voucher or offers senior housing, transit accessibility, and accommodations for intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The map can also filter out options based on a household’s size and eligibility, which is based on percentage of AMI (Area Media Income).

 A map of affordable housing options in Buncombe County.
Buncombe County
More than 80 affordable developments are featured on the map.

It's the Buncombe County Community Development Division’s first attempt at creating a tool to connect residents or future residents with both local and national affordable properties.

“The affordable housing landscape can be overwhelming,” Jake Ekberg, the county’s community development grants manager, said. “Information and resources surrounding affordable housing are dispersed across different governments and nonprofits."

For best results, the county recommends using the map on a desktop or laptop rather than a mobile device. Users can consult this table to see whether or not a household income qualifies for affordable housing services.

To qualify for any affordable housing services in Asheville, a household needs to make no more than 120% of the AMI. For a single household, annual income cannot exceed $71,400, and for a seven-person household, income cannot exceed $126,480.

The lower the percentage of AMI a household brings in, the more options are available. For households bringing in between 80-120% of AMI, five properties are available, but for households making less than 50% AMI, 60 properties are currently open.

As new complexes come online, the county will continue to update the map. For more information on how to navigate the tool, watch the video tutorial or read the instructions in this PDF.

Laura Hackett joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in June 2023. Originally from Florida, she moved to Asheville more than six years ago and in that time has worked as a writer, journalist, and content creator for organizations like AVLtoday, Mountain Xpress, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a degree in creative writing from Florida Southern College, and in 2023, she completed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY's Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. In her free time, she loves exploring the city by bike, testing out new restaurants, and hanging out with her dog Iroh at French Broad River Park.