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Affordable Housing, Broadband Expansion, & Mental Health Services Headline $18.8M in COVID Relief Funding Approved by Commissioners

Putting an emphasis on bolstering affordable housing, expanding broadband, and increasing mental health services, Buncombe County Commissioners approved $18.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) projects on July 19. This is the sixth round of awards from the $50.7 million allocation from the federal government and represents the largest investment in projects since receiving the funding last year. In all, the $18.8 million will fund 24 projects going to local organizations such as Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, YMI Cultural Center, Helpmate, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, and more.

“This has been a very community-driven process. We are investing in affordable housing, providing shelter for members of our community dealing with domestic violence, and investing millions to expand rural broadband service… It’s a great set of projects,” exclaimed Chairman Brownie Newman. “We wanted to invest in things that will have a meaningful impact, and I appreciate everyone’s work.”

After this round of investments, Buncombe County has just under $4 million dollars left in ARPA funding. Commissioners will consider how to distribute the rest of the money in 2023.

You can review the entire list of funded projects below.

Affordable housing

  • $1,000,000 for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity: Infrastructure to support affordable homeownership development in Buncombe County.
  • $200,000 for Colaborativa La Milpa: Affordable Housing (NOAH) repair program.
  • $287,500 for Eblen Charities: Housing stabilization project.
  • $50,000 for The Arc of Buncombe County: Affordable housing for the intellectually and developmentally disabled.
  • $356,571 for Thrive Asheville: Buncombe Rental Assistance Collaborative (BRAC).

Aging/Older adults

  • $125,000 for Meals on Wheels of Asheville & Buncombe County: Electric vans and charging station for senior meal delivery program.

Business support/Economic development

  • $250,000 for Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project: Farm Fresh for Health, double SNAP initiative.
  • $375,000 for Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, CDC: EMSDC community equity fund.


  • $1,000,000 for Buncombe County’s Office of Sustainability: Renewable energy for volunteer fire districts.
  • $81,479 for Loving Food Resources: HVAC and air filtration system.


  • $1,144,000 for Buncombe County’s Emergency Services: Community paramedic project, mobile outreach team.
  • $2,000,000 for Helpmate, Inc.: Emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors.


  • $2,000,000 for Buncombe County’s Intergovernmental Relations: Buncombe broadband, fiber infrastructure.
  • $2,000,000 for Buncombe County’s Intergovernmental Relations: Ferry Road infrastructure.
  • $1,000,000 for YMI Cultural Center: Historic preservation.

K-12 Education

  • $1,365,895 for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County: School-based health centers.
  • $200,000 for YTL training program: Closing the gap and building resiliency.

Mental Health/Substance Abuse

  • $418,750 for All Souls Counseling Center: Expanding vital mental health services for underserved populations most impacted by COVID-19.
  • $1,000,000 for Buncombe County’s Justice Services: Advancing community safety with violence prevention and intervention.
  • $400,000 for Mountain Child Advocacy Center: Child trauma response and recovery.


  • $750,000 for Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Betterment Foundation: Accelerate Buncombe, a collaborative approach to accelerated apprenticeships.
  • $2,039,000 for Buncombe County’s Human Resources: Employee retention grant.

Public health

  • $172,000 for Buncombe County government: COVID-19 contingency replenishment.


  • $606,471 for Buncombe County government: Fund administration.

Learn more about Buncombe County’s total COVID Recovery Funding investments here.

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Updated Dec 29, 2022 07:58 AM
Published Jul 19, 2022 06:00 PM