Miscellaneous Recent News

New Affordable Housing Options in Swannanoa

A Mountain Housing Opportunity HomeMountain Housing Opportunities (MHO), a private, non-profit community development corporation, has completed the construction of six affordable single-family homes on Get-Away Drive in Swannanoa, adjacent to the new Habitat for Humanity community. The homes were built under the auspices of the federal Self-Help Homeownership Program. MHO will begin construction of an additional six single-family homes on the same site this coming February.

The Self-Help Homeownership Program makes owning homes affordable by allowing families to contribute “sweat equity” construction hours to reduce the cost of their homes. A group of future homeowners work together as a team to build their homes under the guidance of an MHO construction supervisor. All the homes are built simultaneously, and no family moves in until every home in the group is complete.

In addition to the Self-Help Homes, the Swannanoa development will also include two supported-purchase market rate homes under MHO’s Turn-Key Homeownership Program. The supported-purchase homes include built-in financial assistance — 0% interest deferred financing in amounts up to 30% of the purchase price of the homes. To be eligible for supported-purchase homes, households must earn less than 80% of the area median income (AMI), currently $40,250 for a family of three.

MHO is currently looking for applicants for these two affordable homes. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact MHO at 828-254-4030 or visit

Miscellaneous Recent News

Community Safety Tips

Neighborhood Watch SignWith all the travel, hustle and bustle, and distractions of the holidays, it’s easy to forget about the simple steps we can take to keep ourselves and our community safer. The following tips are offered by Larry Pierson, Deputy Sheriff in the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit. Pierson is also Deputy Chief of the Swannanoa Fire Department.

The best crime prevention advice keeps coming back to two key points: “Own your 360” and “Situational Awareness”. “Owning your 360” refers to a 360 degree circle around your home, car, personal space, identity and activities. When we give up 1 degree and only own 359 degrees, criminals may use that 1 degree angle for a way to scam, steal or cause harm. The greater angle we give up, the more we’re at risk.

A case in point: When fueling at a gas station, we become very involved in the selection and payment process — debit or credit, PIN numbers, enter a zip code, do I want a car wash, and so on. We’re focused on a narrow 5-10 degree angle and the criminal owns the other 355 degrees. This opportunity has led to criminals sneaking to passenger doors and stealing purses from front seats without being noticed. Look around constantly.

“Situational Awareness” is very closely related, but encompasses an entire philosophy and state of mind. Be aware of what you’re seeing and hearing, and what your gut is telling you about a situation. This awareness should be a part of your life at home, at gas stations and restaurants, on the highway or a hiking trail, and everywhere else you go. Actions as simple as not having both earbuds in while jogging or walking will greatly increase your awareness.

By combining “Owning your 360” and “Situational Awareness,” we can maximize overall safety. Improving your security lighting, installing cameras and trimming bushes are just a few of the steps you can take. Form a Community Watch program and now you have other people joining together to overlap their 360s, and the entire community becomes more “Situationally Aware”.

Call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention unit at 828-250-4427 for more information about improving personal and community safety.

Recent News Swannanoa Library

Swannanoa Library Sponsors Winter Reading Challenge

The Swannanoa Library’s Winter Snowflake Challenge is back! Are you up to the challenge? Your mission is to read six books or more each month during January, February and March. Bring your list of completed books to the library, and add a snowflake to the library windows for our “blizzard” of reading. On April 1, three names from the snowflakes will be drawn for each of three age groups: Adults, Teens and Children. Prizes are gift cards from Barnes & Noble of $10, $15 & $25. “Books” may include audiobooks and graphic novels.

For more info, call the library at 828-250-6486. The Swannanoa Library is located at 101 West Charleston Ave. in Grovemont.

History Other Swannanoa News Recent News

Swannanoa Trivia – 10

Answer this Swannanoa trivia question to earn bragging rights as a “Swannanoa Scholar” (see correct answer by placing mouse pointer immediately after or below the question).

Q. Did Beacon Blankets ever manufacture clothing? Well, not quite, but almost. Beacon sold kits for making bathrobes out of its blanket cloth. Home sewers could buy the fabric and a kit that contained everything needed to make a robe, including a Beacon label. The robes were worn in several classic Hollywood movies. The character “Kramer” also wore Beacon robes on the popular TV show, Seinfeld. A web search reveals that vintage Beacon robes can still be purchased today on eBay and similar sites.


Robe made from Beacon Blanket material



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