Affordability and sustainability in housing development are also becoming more important to a growing number of cities. The Land Use Incentive Policy for the City of Asheville provides incentives to encourage development projects that fulfill important public purposes. Projects need to be located within a specified geographic area to qualify for incentives. A system of points is assigned depending on the public benefit and includes the following elements: green building/energy; affordable and workforce housing; and mixed-use and transit orientation. Incentive grants require a public hearing before the City Council and are awarded based on an overall evaluation of the submitted project. Points earned can be applied to a 10% reduction in fees and charges for the zoning permit, building permit, driveway permit, grading plan, plan review fees and water service connection fees. Projects related to affordable and workforce housing must provide an annual report for 10 years to demonstrate the level of affordability.
Real estate development is the most challenging but most profitable investment as it is so dependent on the approval of the public and administrative agency. It involves a lengthy period to expect for its investment return, and there is no specific flow of cash involved.
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