The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Buncombe County is $717 – and some landlords haven’t gotten their new tax bills, yet. Folks with master’s degrees can expect to get hospitality jobs here earning $9-10/hr at 30 hours per week. They can try to get a second job, but then their hours will start conflicting and they’ll have to choose one or t’other afore long. Consequently, the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative reports the number of pre-master’s degree adults on the street has “spiked 10%.”

Homework: At which point does a wage-earner become more qualified than urban planners in deciding if he’d rather be on the street than in a less than plush, spacious, low-zoned structure that preserves neighborhood identity?