Asheville Area Human Relations Council


"Newsletter of the Interfaith Committee on Housing" July 1967.

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JULY 1967




The next general meeting of the Interfaith Committee on Housing will be held on TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 7:30 P.M. in Hopkins Chapel AME Zion Church, 321 College Street. All members are urged to be presents and all other interested persons are cordially invited to attend.





In this first issue of the Newsletter, it is incumbent to state why the Interfaith Committee on Housing has been formed and is functioning. The membership of the committee, drawn from 35 Asheville churches and synagogues, is united in the common conviction that those who receive God's grace are under an inescapable mandate to share that gift of love with their less fortunate fellow citizens.


Belief is shared that the solution of social problems resulting from poverty and deprivation is the proper concern of all persons who have a religious commitment. In Asheville, intolerably widespread bad housing is one of the most pervasive social ills. The committee hopes, by enlisting the support of all the churches in the community, to work toward alleviating this critical social injustice.




The most important event to be reported in this issue is the retention by the Redevelopment Commission of the City of Asheville of its eligibility for the $6,3 million Federal appropriation for the East Riverside Urban Renewal Project,, and of the credit of nearly $1 million for the South French Broad High School.


In the wake of the defeat last spring of the East Riverside bond issue,, there was considerable doubt as to whether the city would continue to be eligible for the funds while plans were being made for a second and hopefully successful vote on the $1.4 million in bonds which is the city's cash share of the East Riverside project. The action of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in continuing the city's eligibility removes this doubt and opens the way for a second election.


Indications now are that the bond vote will be held in November or Decembers and that the East Riverside Urban Renewal Project bonds will be offered to the voters in conjunction with bond issues for a convention center, civic arts center and new central library.




The Church Contact--Urban Renewal Task Group of the Interfaith Committee has completed plans for an intensive campaign among the churches in support of East Riverside. A Speakers Bureau, headed by the Rev. John Cock, associate pastor of Central Methodist Church, is recruiting 25 to 30 speakers to carry the message to the churches.


The Rev. J. E. Bates, pastor of Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. J. T. Jones pastor of Berry Temple Methodist Church, are co-chairmen of a Church Contact Subcommittee which will arrange for speaking programs in the churches. A Preparation of Materials Subcommittee is headed by Mrs. Gary Daniel of Central Methodist Church and Mrs. Florence Ryan of First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Ralph Snoke of the Unitarian Church is chairman of a Research Subcommittee. Mrs. Theodoro Braganza of Central Methodist Church and Mr. Philip Clark of Swannanoa Methodist Church are co-chairmen of the Church Contact-Urban Renewal Task Group.


In addition to the educational program in the task group is making plans for a "get out the vote" effort on election day to get East Riverside supports to the polls




The Contact with Authorities Task Group headed by Mr. Ruben J. Dailey has met with city officials in an effort to get stronger enforcement of the city's Housing Code. In the past year the city's staff of code enforcement inspectors has been increased, and there has been a resulting increase in the number of substandard dwellings repaired, or condemned and razed.




The Immediate Housing Improvements Task Group, headed by Dr. Mary F. Shuford, has launched a recreation area project in the "Stumptown" section west of Montford Avenue, and has investigated housing needs


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in East Asheville.




Activation of a fund to make loans to residents of substandard housing areas is under study by the Revolving Loan Fund Task Group with Dr. Charles Lindsley as chairman,




Formation of an Advance Planning Task Group has been authorized by the Committee. This group will explore social problems in addition to substandard housing, and will make recommendations for future projects .




The impending vote on the East Riverside Urban Renewal Project makes that issue paramount for the Inter faith Housing Committee, The intensive effort to build support through the churches will begin early in September, Pastors and lay leaders who wish to secure speakers for their churches are urgently requested to contact either the Rev, J, T. Jones at Berry Temple Methodist Church or the Rev, J. E, Bates at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, the co-chairmen of the Church Contact Subcommittee.


Following issues of this Newsletter will be circulated as events dictate. Persons not now on the mailing list who wish to receive the Newsletter, or recipients of the letter who wish to place the names of other persons on the mailing list, are asked to phone Mr. Philip Clark at 252-5611.


The Committee has adopted a budget of $350 for the remainder of the calendar year. About half of this sum has already been donated. Churches or individuals wishing to make contributions to the budget are asked to send them to Miss Ruth Luca at 44 Circle Street.


The office of the Inter faith Committee on Housing is at 44 Circle Street. Mail should be sent to that address.


Committee officers are: The Rev. William S. Jones, general chairman; the Rev. Hills Norris, Jr., vice chairman; Miss Ruth Luca, secretary-treasurer.


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