Sign the Petition: Service Worker Affordable Housing Support and Committee Representation
This campaign is a joint effort with Buncombe Decides, Asheville Food and Beverage United, Asheville DSA, and other Buncombe County community members.
Tourism contributes to the local economy, but has also significantly impacted the quality of life for working class residents, especially around housing.
The county’s Tourism Development Authority (TDA) has spent many millions advertising our city and county to tourists over the years. In 2022, due to years of sustained community pressure, a new fund was created that provides an opportunity for occupancy tax funds to be spent on community uses.
We need YOUR help to send a strong message to the TDA to:
1) use these funds to support affordable housing for service workers, and:
2) make certain service workers are strongly represented on the committee (now forming) which decides how these funds are distributed.
Signing this petition sends a message to the TDA that this help is direly needed and the time has finally come for the TDA to be a more direct financial contributor to help address critical community issues.
Learn more about the Buncombe County TDA and why the TDA should support more housing for Asheville’s working people:
- Read a letter to the Mountain Xpress about the “Tourism Taxes for Affordable Housing” campaign.
- Read our “member commentary” blog posts on the subject here and here.
- Read more at the website of Buncombe Decides, a local grassroots effort to democratize how Buncombe’s County’s occupancy taxes are spent.
TO: LIFT COMMITTEE - BUNCOMBE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Tourism contributes to the local economy, but also has significant impacts to working class residents of our county, especially around housing.
1) The TDA’s new Legacy Investment from Tourism (LIFT) fund allows money to be sent to “community projects” connected to tourism. Using LIFT funds for affordable housing for service workers meets LIFT’s tourism criteria, and also supports a critical community need for more housing supply and affordability.
2) We also believe the committee that decides how LIFT funds are spent should have significant service worker (and working class) representation. The workers that earn the revenues and are most impacted by how TDA funds are spent should be at the table when funding decisions are made.