Haywood Street Community Development is a new legal entity formed in 2020 for the purpose of developing affordable housing connected to the existing Haywood St. ministries and programs.
The HSCD mission:  Dignity through dwellings, connection through community.
We are thrilled to be moving forward with our first affordable housing community, close to downtown.

June 2023 Letter from Rev. Brian Combs

Dear Haywood Street Community and Beyond,

Since our last update, much has changed. Nearly all for the better. Last summer, following the City Council’s unanimous vote to endorse our proposal, Haywood Street Community Development closed on the West End Clingman Avenue properties and readied to break ground. Then global supply chains kinked, lending for multifamily projects retracted, construction bids inflated, and a $10 million vision for deeply affordable housing escalated to $12.5 million and rising.

With so many dramatic market swings, we literally went back to the drawing board. In the silence since our last communication, we’ve been hard at work on a redesign. Under contract on an adjacent upper lot, the development now spans three parcels. Instead of keeping the expensive concrete podium, we’ve switched to surface parking only. The top floor is gone, replaced by a far less imposing ¾ split architecture. From 46, our unit matrix is now at 41 apartments. With these amendments, we’ve reduced the vertical construction budget by over $1 million.

Despite these shifts, we remain certain about what won’t change. Instead of confronting the housing crisis with minimum standards- settling for discounted over dignified- HSCD is building dwellings with sunset balconies and granite countertops. Although many landlords refuse neighbors with vouchers, we’re prioritizing the demographic at 50% Area Median Income and below. And as gentrification in the City Centre accelerates, we believe Asheville’s contested identity hangs in the balance without more deeply affordable housing downtown.

With revised floor plans and elevation drawings, you can expect a surge of public activity- Technical Review Committee, neighborhood meeting, Planning and Zoning, and City Council- in the coming months. You can also expect, barring any more pandemic-related surprises, earth moving at 339, 343, and 357 West Haywood Street this winter.

For those experiencing housing insecurity, people asked to wait and wait even longer, your hardscrabble survival animates our persistent calling. Although we lament a year of unforeseen delays, Haywood Street’s commitment to build, not just bricks and mortar, but relationships that interrupt the isolation of poverty remains undeterred. To future residents, a distinguished space to detox from the stress, experience belonging, consider the possibility of tomorrow, make memories, and finally come home is coming.

Rev. Brian Combs, Founding Pastor

March 2022  Update From Pastor Brian

SCHEMATICS (click to view)


How the Vision Unfolded


While resources are distributed and needs are met through many Haywood St. programs, our primary calling is not to “do for” but to “be with.” Relationship, above all else.
It has been through relationship- listening, eating, healing, worshipping and serving alongside one another- that we have repeatedly observed how, after chronic struggles on the streets or decades of camping under the bridge, an unhoused friend will receive keys to a front door and immediately get overwhelmed by a dark depression or an extended relapse.
Finally enclosed by four walls, the lack of connection can lead to further isolation.   
Believing that the opposite of homelessness is more than housing, that community is an essential ingredient, Haywood St. began to pursue affordable housing as a new programmatic focus in 2015.
A dream began to take shape, that we could develop housing grounded in the Haywood St. ethos — where giving and receiving are encouraged; where the boundaries of us and them are trespassed; where strangers become neighbors.
We also recognize housing as an upstream solution to many of the problems we currently seek to address. It is next to impossible for someone to conquer addiction, overcome mental health challenges, or get well and stay well without a safe and stable place to live.
Nancy’s Perspective on Haywood St. Housing
Many folks struggling in poverty, after repeatedly wearing hand-me-down clothes and just getting by on free meals and food boxes, begin to believe that they are only worth as much as someone else’s donation.
Wanting to overwhelm residents with a contrary experience, all Haywood Street Community Development projects will be constructed with premium materials such as stainless-steel appliances, luxury vinyl tile flooring, granite countertops, 9-foot ceilings, private balconies, and all the appointments of home.
Convinced that housing can only be done collaboratively, our intention is to use flex space within each development to partner with other area non-profits. Possibilities include on-site case management provided by Homeward Bound, meeting space for connecting with Pisgah Legal Services, pop-up health clinics or other services identified by residents as needed. 
HSCD Board of Directors:

Chair – McKenzie Dillingham, M.G. Dillingham Residential Construction
Vice Chair – Meredith Ellison, Quility, Co-founder
Treasurer — Dale Freudenberger, Hollis Holdings LLC
Secretary — Kathy Robinson, Retired Public Health Physician
Donna Ball, Haywood St. Community Member
Jim Barrett, Pisgah Legal Services
Mark Collins, Collins & Company
Tyrone Greenlee, Christians for a United Community
Bill Haggard, Haywood St. Board member
Pamela Hamrick, Haywood St. Community Member
Corry Hyde, United Way ABC
Bridgett King, Retired Public Health Physician
Jeanette King, Mission Health
Carrie Pettler, West End Clingman Avenue Neighborhood Association (WECAN)
Caroline Proctor, Elemental Health LLC
Bill Robinson, Haywood St. Community Member
Teresa Stephens, Givens Communities
Walker Strickland, The Pritchett Agency
Paul West, Housing Advocate


You can be part of supporting our vision for high quality affordable housing in Asheville by making a contribution  today. For information on making a multi-year pledge or gift of stock, please contact Lorili at or 828-545-2477 ext 109.

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