|Gene Bell, CEO of HACA. Photo: Urban News|
By Johnnie Grant
With a staff of 160, more than 1,500 people in public housing, and another 1,500 people on Section 8, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville (HACA), is responsible for 600 residential properties – and offers a tremendous service for housing residents.
“Not only do we just house people,” said Gene Bell, CEO of HACA, “we offer services that are very beneficial to the residents. In all thirteen assisted housing communities recipients have been able to purchase homes through HACA’s Choice Voucher Homeownership Program,” said Bell.
Bell went on to say that no other housing entity offers residential
living accommodations that are based solely on 30-percent of their gross
adjusted income. “You just can’t find available housing based on that
type of calculation,” said Bell.
Lately, the Housing Authority has received accolades from all
over the country, recognizing the way their tremendous work is being
efficiently managed and maintained. “Of our resident population, we have
hired female painters, and other people (men), in “non-traditional”
positions as resident managers; we have a really diverse population of
residents that work for the housing authority. We have also maintained a
97-percent occupancy rate, which is almost unheard of in public
In a 2010 collaboration with the Siemens Corp, Home Energy
Partners, and Green Opportunities, HACA accomplished a major energy
efficiency and weatherization program. Strategic planning and site
modernization projects have made residential units within Housing
Authority for the City of Asheville (HACA) one of the premiere
affordable living sites in Buncombe County and Western North Carolina.
Among the projects completed, or in the final stages of completion, the Housing Authority has:
• installed 300 dual flush toilets at Erskine/Walton and Deaverview Apts.
• installed more than 3,600 low-flow showerheads, and sink aerators
• weatherized 970,000 square feet of living space for housing residents
• replaced more than 1,000 window units in Livingston apartments,
while working to replace more than 6,000 window units at Hillcrest,
Deaverview, and Pisgah View Apts.
• completed comprehensive modernization of 24 units in Klondyke Apts.
• installed new roofs at Bartlett Arms and Altamont Apts.
• insulated 290,000 feet of walls, 350,00 square feet of attics
• provided housing for approximately 40 chronically homeless individuals since January 2010
• repaved the streets within the Deaverview community
• sponsored two job fairs
• continued the GED programs for residents
In 2010 Housing Authority of the City of Asheville improved the physical
condition of its properties on a comprehensive basis, increasing its
HUD inspection score to 87-percent, up from 83-percent in 2008 and
80-percent in 2006.
For more information regarding public housing and HVC applications from
the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, contact (828) 258-1222,
or visit the website at: haca.org.
Pisgah View Apartments