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Superintendent Gene Freeman Appointed to the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Board of Directors

Superintendent Dr. Gene Freeman is the newest member to join the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville Board of Directors.  Mayor Manheimer appointed him to the seven-person board last week.  

     Dr. Freeman’s appointment symbolizes the close partnership between Asheville City Schools and the Asheville Housing Authority.   

     In fact, under his leadership, the district spearheaded a community-wide initiative to provide free, wireless infrastructure and four years’ worth of ongoing services at no cost to the residents for all 1,039 apartments across the Southside Community, Deaverview Apartments, Hillcrest Apartments, Klondyke Homes and Pisgah View Apartments.  At least 300 and up to 700 students who currently live across the five family development have been impacted by this joint community project, as its ultimate goal is to close the chasm between those who can easily access broadband internet and those who cannot.  Especially in a time when traditional textbooks have been traded in for online resources, reliable internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for equitable education.   

     “Over the course of the pandemic, it’s become even more critical for us to connect the dots between safe, affordable housing and finding creative ways to support our students,”  said Freeman.  “With this appointment, I’ll be able to not only work toward closing inequities within our district but across our community.  Together, we’ll work hand in hand to ensure ALL Asheville City Schools families have their basic needs met, which is the first step needed for our students to be successful in the classroom and ultimately earn their high school diplomas.”

     Asheville Housing offers more than 2,000 affordable apartment homes and 1,800 vouchers in Asheville and Buncombe County, providing affordable housing for many families with children, along with seniors, people with special needs, veterans and others experiencing homelessness. Asheville Housing recently joined HUD’s highly competitive Moving to Work Demonstration, which allows for significant regulatory flexibility to encourage family self-reliance and promote housing choice. 

       “We are excited about this opportunity to build on partnerships we started with Asheville City Schools during the pandemic and enhance educational opportunities for our families where they live,” added Asheville Housing’s Executive Director David Nash. 

     As a Board member, Dr. Gene will be part of a seven-member board that reviews and approves budgets, policies and procedures, appoints the Executive Director and, most importantly, supports community members based on their valuable input.  

     “One of Dr. Freeman’s many roles as superintendent is to support the district in building community connections,” said James Carter, Chairman of the Asheville City Board of Education.  “Through his appointment, the Board is excited about our continued and deepening partnership with the Housing Authority.”    

     Dr. Freeman will begin his new role later this month and will serve in one of the two new seats for an initial three-year term.