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County Commissioners get updates on the Fair Housing and Language Access Plans, Approve Bond Resolutions to Fund Projects, and More

At its April 16 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners learned more about the Fair Housing and Language Access Plans, approved resolutions for General and Limited Obligation Bonds, and passed several proclamations recognizing special awareness days. 

Fair Housing Plan 
Staff presented Commissioners with a presentation on the Buncombe County Plan to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. The plan identifies barriers and recommendations to fair housing choice, lists recommended activities to further fair housing, and identifies methods to receive and resolve housing discrimination. 

Barriers, as found in the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice for Buncombe County, include inadequate housing supply for sale and rent, inadequate supply of accessible housing options, lack of housing finance options to achieve homeownership, discrimination based on source of rental income and previous eviction, and lack of awareness of fair housing laws. 

Recommendations for these barriers include revising several aspects of zoning districts, especially related to minimum lot sizes and density, to increase housing supply, continuing to participate in federal programs and use local funds and programs to rehab and retrofit existing structures and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and more. 

The County will continue to further Fair Housing in 2024 by supporting actions that seek to increase the number of landlords participating in voucher programs, continuing to prohibit source of income discrimination in Affordable Housing Services Program funded projects, and more. 

The County has created a “Fair Housing” document that can be shared broadly to help raise awareness about fair housing protections from discrimination and resources on how to file a complaint online or by calling (828) 250-6568 or emailing

Click here to view the full Fair Housing Plan. 

As part of the Fair Housing Plan presentation, Commissioners also recognized April as Fair Housing Month through a proclamation that confirms the County’s commitment to fair housing for an inclusive community. Click here to read the full proclamation. 

General and Limited Obligation Bonds 
Commissioners approved resolutions to authorize the issuance of General Obligation (GO) and Limited Obligation Bonds (LOBS). 

This resolution authorizes the first issuance of the GO bonds under the County’s Affordable Housing Bond Order approved by voters in 2022. The Bonds are not to exceed $17 million of Taxable General Obligation Bonds to fund projects. The resolution provides the legal framework for the issuance of the bonds, sets the parameters of the bond structure, and requests that the Local Government Commission sell the bonds on a competitive basis. The GO resolution can be found here

The resolution states that the County will issue no more than $81.5 million in LOBS to fund approximately $54 million in school system capital maintenance and infrastructure projects, $17 million in County capital projects, and $7 million in County vehicles. The LOBS resolution can be found here. 

Language Access Plan 
Commissioners also got an update on the County’s first Language Access Plan, a project from the Language Access Collaborative.  

The collaborative was born from a partnership with Poder Emma and a $25,000 grant from the Institute for the Study of the Americans and the Building Integrated Communities Initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

It found that Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian were the most frequently encountered languages at County departments and is initiating the implementation of recommendations from its plan. View the presentation here. 

There were several proclamations passed at the meeting.  

Line Worker Appreciation Day, on April 18, recognizes the hard work of line workers to maintain electrical infrastructures and restore electrical service which often includes working in the harshest of conditions. 

Telecommunicator Week, from April 14-20, honors the dedicated individuals who serve as the lifeline between the community and emergency responders, ensuring timely and effective response to all emergencies. 

Less Plastic Buncombe Month acknowledges the environmental harm caused by single-use plastics and encourages support for community efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics throughout Buncombe County. 

Commissioners also recognized Child Abuse Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month with proclamations that were added to the consent agenda. Child Abuse Awareness Month encourages all residents to build a narrative of hope for children and families through collaboration and the creation of an ecosystem of primary prevention. Click here to read the full proclamation. 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month honors and supports the resilience and courage of survivors, engages the community in meaningful actions toward the eradication of sexual assault, and seeks the cultivation of a safe environment for all. Click here to read the full proclamation. 

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Updated Apr 19, 2024 02:47 PM
Published Apr 16, 2024 06:05 PM

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