Welcome to HACA

Asheville Housing assists more than 6,500 Asheville/Buncombe residents and has recently completed the conversion of most of its public housing units to the Housing Choice Voucher program as project-based voucher units under the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program. Asheville Housing owns and/or operates 1,955 affordable housing units and administers over 1,600 tenant-based vouchers to assist families renting from other property owners. We are recognized by HUD as a High Performer.

We maintain one combined waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher program, which now includes both project-based (former public housing) and tenant-based vouchers. That waiting list is currently open. Based on current demand for vouchers, we expect that most applicants will receive a project-based voucher unit first, and will then have a priority opportunity to request a tenant-based voucher after one year in the project-based development.

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Upcoming Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ Meeting

The next Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 5pm. It will be held in the Board Room of the Asheville Housing Authority’s Central Office, which is located at 165 South French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC  28801.

The Board of Commissioners’ package can be accessed via this link: AHA Board Packet – April 2016 (002)

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Looking for Something To Do on Saturday?

Looking for Something Fun To Do?

Looking for Something Fun To Do?

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ Upcoming Meeting

The next Asheville Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners’ Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at 5pm.  It will be held in the Community Room of the Pisgah View Apartments, which is located at 1 Granada Street, Asheville, NC 28806.

The Board of Commissioners’ package can be accessed via this link: AHA’s Board of Commissioners’ Packet 3-23-16

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Ms. Earle is Recognized by Asheville Citizen-Times

Causes: Ms. Earle directs Youthful HAND at Lee Walker Heights

ASHEVILLE – They bounded off the school bus with a giddiness that would lift the spirits of most any passer-by, some of them joking and romping as they made their way up a long hill leading to Lee Walker Heights.

At the top, in a brick community center tucked in the several decades-old public housing development, the children trickled into their destination on a snowy afternoon last week: an after-school program in which they spend time doing homework Monday through Thursday.

Greeting them was the familiar face of the program, Elinor Earle, a bespectacled woman in her early 70s who has a compassionate yet matter-of-fact tone. She introduced herself to me as Ms. Earle, soon thereafter making an announcement to the buzzing classroom.

“At 4 o’clock we’re doing homework, whether you like it or not,” she declared as some students ate snacks, while others were already working on assignments.

The program, Youthful HAND, has remained a fixture for many parents and students in this community, which opened in 1950 as the city’s first such housing development. In addition to Earle, it is run by two staff members as well as a small number of volunteers.

Meant to help close the achievement gap in schools between more affluent and less privileged children, it serves as a structured environment where students can focus on their homework, from reading and spelling assignments to solving fractions and multiplication problems to researching topics online.

“Can you help me?” one second-grade boy asked, approaching me with a sheet of paper asking him to identify closed-syllable words.

For some, their home lives are not conducive to studying, so coming here has proved helpful.

“If I’m at home, I won’t do my homework,” said Braia Alexander, a fifth-grader who also attends Jones Elementary School, in North Asheville. She was sitting at a table crowded with other girls, many of them also in fifth grade, with another staff member occasionally fielding questions.

For others, it is also considered a kind of diversion.

“It gives me something to do,” said Zhtaviya Byrd, another fifth-grader who also attends Jones Elementary.

Youthful HAND, short for Housing Against Narcotics and Drugs, is open to students in grades K-5 who live in Lee Walker Heights. It also welcomes students in those grades who live in other public housing developments throughout the city, such as Livingston Heights and Klondyke Homes, depending on enrollment.

Besides seeking to close the achievement gap, the program is meant to mentor. “In here, I focus on the whole child,” Earle said.

At 73, Earle has held this role for the past 20 years, after spending time working as a lab technician with the U.S. Forest Service and later running her own maid service. She lives south of Asheville and has two grown children.

She looks after 30 students, a little less than half the number she started with, shuttling some of them back to their homes around 5 p.m.

Having long advocated after-school programs for students from prekindergarten through eighth grade, Earle is not opposed to offering a helping hand to those who are no longer eligible for the program.

“You can’t let them go because they’re getting older,” she said. She noted that she has come to recognize the importance of providing support to students in and after high school, especially for males, who she said are more likely to get caught up in life on the streets. “They need a little support.”

Of those who she does look after, she said: “If they come in here, I know that their homework’s been done.”

Most of the time, anyway. While she said her students seldom miss school, they sometimes forget their homework.

“But then we double up,” said Earle, who shows up every day at Jones Elementary.

This is the opinion of Jake Flannick, filling in for Mountain Causes Reporter Beth Walton while she is out on maternity leave. Like Walton, each week I plan to volunteer around Asheville and share my adventure with our readers. If you’d like me to visit your group, contact me at jacobflannick@gmail.com or 828-232-5829. More at www.citizen-times.com/causes.

GET INVOLVED

Youthful HAND at Lee Walker Heights is open to extra assistance. For more information, call Elinor Earle at 828-257-2711.

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HACA’s Board of Commissioners’ Meeting CANCELLED

Housing Authority of the City of Asheville’s Board of Commissioners’ meeting scheduled for February 24, 2016, has been cancelled.  The Board will meet again on March 23, 2016, in Pisgah View Apartments at 5:00 pm. 

 

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – MOWING AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

ASHEVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY AND ASHEVILLE ASSISTED HOUSING, INC.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – MOWING AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

Asheville Housing Authority seeks competitive proposals to provide annual mowing and grounds maintenance services beginning April 2016 through March 2017, with an option to renew at the same price for an additional two years, for up to 11 multifamily developments. To ensure full consideration, proposals must be received at 165 S. French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC  28801 by COB on 03/16/16.  The RFP is available by email request from bsmith@haca.org.  We reserve the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any irregularities, and to award a contract for any part of the project or the project as a whole.

 

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Offices Are Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

All of Asheville Housing Authority’s offices are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. We will reopen tomorrow at 9:00 am.

Please call – 1-888-990-8726 for assistance, if you have a housing emergency during the time that our offices are closed.

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2016 Board Schedule

Click the link for the Board Meeting Schedule 2016.  The Board of Directors meet the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 5pm.  The location rotates among the development community rooms.

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Provide Feedback to HUD on Their Proposed Smoke-Free Policy

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro joined Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy to announce a proposed rule to make the nation’s public housing propertiesentirely smoke-free.  HUD’s proposed rule would require more than 3,100 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country to implement smoke-free policies in their developments within 18 months of the final rule.  Read HUD’s proposed rule.

Under HUD’s proposed rule, PHAs must implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. HUD is seeking public comment on this proposedrule for the next 60 days.

“We have a responsibility to protect public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, especially the elderly and children who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in healthcare, repairs and preventable fires.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. By reducing the public health risks associated with tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, the proposed smoke-free rule will enhance the effectiveness of HUD’s efforts to provide increased public health protection for residents of public housing. The rule will impact the more than 940,000 units that are currently not smoke-free,  including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly households.

“Everyone – no matter where they live – deserves a chance to grow up in a healthy, smoke-free home,” said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. So, when 58 million Americans – including 15 million children – are exposed to secondhand smoke, we have an obligation to act. That is what Secretary Castro is doing with this proposal.”

Since 2009, HUD strongly encouraged Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and common areas. During this time, more than 600 PHAs and tribally designated housing entities adopted smoke-free policies.Currently, there are nearly 1.2 million public housing units across the country.  Through HUD’s voluntary policy and local initiatives, more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free.  If finalized, the proposed smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more 940,000 public housing units.

HUD’s proposed smoke-free rule will also help reduce damage and maintenance costs associated with smoking.  It is estimated that smoking causes over 100,000 fires each year, resulting in more than 500 death and close to half a billion dollars in direct property damage; additionally, smoking is the lead cause of fire related deaths in multifamily buildings. A 2014 CDC study estimated that prohibiting smoking in public housing would yield an annual cost savings of $153 million, including $94 million insecondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses.

This proposed rule is open for public comment until January 19th. Interested persons may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov. Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Regulations Divisions, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 10276, Washington, DC  20410.

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Asheville Housing Authority’s Holiday Hours

The Asheville Housing Authority’s offices and housing development sites will be closed on the following days in observance of the holidays:

Thursday, December 24th

Monday, December 28th

Monday, January 4th.

Please call 1-888-990-8726 for assistance, if you have an emergency during the times that our offices are closed.

 

 

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