Guest columnist: Support Asheville bonds for healthy neighborhoods

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Originally featured as a Guest Column on Monday, October 10th, in the Asheville Citizen Times.

The places where we live shape our lives and our health. Safe and convenient neighborhoods lay a foundation for a more equitable and thriving city where families can live, work and grow. Investing in housing affordability, sidewalks, bus shelters, greenways, parks, streets and bike lanes can improve our health and support the success of families.

Our communities and neighborhoods affect our health in important ways. When we live in homes near parks and bike paths, exercise is easier. When we live near grocery stores where good food is available, it’s easier to eat healthy. And when affordable homes are built near jobs and services, our workforce can better afford and find the health care they need.

Our communities and neighborhoods affect our health in important ways. When we live in homes near parks and bike paths, exercise is easier. When we live near grocery stores where good food is available, it’s easier to eat healthy. And when affordable homes are built near jobs and services, our workforce can better afford and find the health care they need.

Asheville’s tight housing market creates a situation where many of our teachers, nurses, social workers, and hospitality, retail and restaurant workers can’t afford to live in the same city where they work. But access to a safe, affordable home is not enough. Homes need to be in neighborhoods connected by sidewalks, good streets, city bus routes and greenways so we have access to groceries, schools, libraries and other services. Connected neighborhoods remove isolation and promote healthy living.

The good news is that we can overcome these barriers and create more equitable opportunities for city residents by voting yes to the City of Asheville bond referendums in the Nov. 8 election. These three bonds will provide funding to build new homes and apartments that families can afford, as well as the infrastructure to connect neighborhoods to schools, work, grocery stores, and parks. Details of the bonds are at www.AvlBondsYes.com and www.ashevillenc.gov/2016bondreferendum.

Read the full article here.