A proposal is heading to Asheville City Council next week to stop the sale of land obtained from urban renewal.
City Council member Julie Mayfield said urban renewal was a program funded by the federal government through the 1950s and '70s to clean up what were considered slums.
“A lot of their properties were what we would consider to be dilapidated. They were run down because Black people were not afforded the same opportunities to borrow money and make investments in their property,” Mayfield said.
She said the program resulted in the elimination Black communities and displaced hundreds of families and businesses.
She said there were four Black communities in Asheville targeted by urban renewal -- the east end of Charlotte Street, the Eagle Market Street area, Stumptown, and Southside.
“What we are saying is, as we are having the conversation about reparations, we are going to hold this property and not do anything with it until we can figure out a way it can play a role in our commitment to reparations. And I think that is an important message to send,” Mayfield said.
Council will be voting on the resolution at its next regular meeting.