Resident Fined For Providing Affordable Housing

The City of Asheville promotes and destroys affordable housing at the same time.

Sustainable for whom?
Amid push for denser development, Montford residents face eviction
by David Forbes | Mountain Xpress | 11/16/2010

“Sustainability” has cropped up frequently in city policy statements in recent years, often accompanied by pleas for denser, more affordable housing to promote a style of living that proponents maintain is more energy-efficient and compatible with mass transit. But Montford resident Bernard Carman says he’s not impressed. He’s owned a historic home on Cumberland Avenue, just north of downtown, for 22 years, undertaking extensive renovations (the house didn’t have a working bathroom when he purchased it) while watching neighboring derelict buildings morph into swank bed-and-breakfasts. Carman shares the massive, eight-bedroom residence with seven roommates, providing affordable housing (currently $400 a month) without requiring potentially intrusive new construction or economic incentives from the city…

“This is all based on life-safety requirements,” she explains. “When you have eight related people living in a house, there’s a head of household or parental figures who would act altruistically or in the family’s best interest to get everybody out. When you have eight unrelated people, it’s pretty much every man for himself…”

To be in compliance, barring major renovations, Mr. Carman would have to evict three of his eight tenants from his eight-room three-story home and leave those three bedrooms empty; that is, unoccupied and generating no income for the homeowner, contrary to his judgment. This constitutes a government taking. The home existed before the law. The new law deprives Mr. Carman of the right to use and dispose of his property as he sees fit. When the government takes property for a public purpose, it must compensate the property owner. Mr. Carman should receive a check for $1,500 per month from the City of Asheville to compensate him for the loss of income producing property forcibly imposed on him by law.

RELATED

Bernard Carman: Asheville Affordable Housing Threatened
Posted by Michael Muller | Mountain Xpress | October 13, 2010
Dear Asheville City Council members, past and present, and activists of our Asheville community: My name is Bernard B. Carman. I am a long time resident of Asheville and a ~22 year home owner in Montford. I have lately become aware of a general problem with our zoning ordinances as they stand today and I would like to share with you some of my concerns and recommendations for improvements.

Asheville ordinance may force Montford landlord to kick out renters
John Boyle | Asheville Citizen-Times | October 17, 2010
For 22 years, Bernard Carman has provided a nice little slice of affordable housing. But it looks like the city, which ironically enough promotes the daylights out of affordable housing and even finances some of it, might just shut him down. At the very least, Carman faces the unpleasant option of having to kick three of his eight renters out, which he finds untenable for philosophical and financial reasons.

What the fudge
by Brent Brown | Mountain Xpress | 11/23/2010

National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week was a great success in Asheville and Buncombe County this year. During the week of November 14-20 2010, the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative raised awareness about homelessness, dispelled myths, and talked with the community about existing efforts to end homelessness.

To comply with zoning rules, three residents will leave Montford home
by David Forbes | Mountain Xpress | 12/03/2010
To avoid fines, Bernard Carman, a Montford landowner involved in a dispute over city zoning rules that prohibit more than five unrelated tenants from living in his eight-bedroom house, says three tenants are leaving in order to comply with the rules.

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About Tim Peck

Unaffiliated Objectivist
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