Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

There's no doubt we're lucky to live in the Adirondacks. We have at our fingertips:

Health care
Imaginative Folks

Unfortunately something that comes with exceptional quality of life can be prohibitive cost of living realities. Recently an organization we've begun working with, Adirondack Community Housing Trust, had the opportunity to participate in an article published by the Albany Times Union regarding the increasing struggle to secure affordable housing in the northern points of our region.

The Adirondacks, of course, have never been an easy place to live. It sometimes seems the word "hardscrabble" was invented for the region, so frequently is it used to describe life there.

Still, some say the out-migration of residents is accelerating, fueled by housing-price increases. The result? The park's towns become second-home havens, lacking their former vitality.

"More and more, you see dark houses at night," said resident Alan Hipps. "You don't see people on the porches, and you don't have the social cohesion that you used to."

Hipps is the head of an organization, Adirondack Community Housing Trust, that is trying to address the problem. Created last year and funded by a $1 million state government grant, the trust subsidizes housing costs for lower and middle-income families.

The families buy the house and have full ownership rights. But the trust takes ownership of the land, then leases it for $25 annually to the home owner.

If the house is sold, the owner gets 25 percent of the increase in value, with the remaining 75 percent helping the next buyer afford the house. The idea, Hipps said, is to keep the homes forever affordable.

The trust is also developing two small subdivisions, and is looking for a buyer for a donated house in North River.

So far, the trust has helped one family buy a home, while three others are about to close on purchases. About 60 families have enrolled in the program. Read more...

We are looking forward to working with an organization dedicated to making it possible for more people to call this beautiful corner of the world home.

1 comment:

Myshka said...

WOW. That is so inspiring.. I think everyone needs an IV drip of inspiration right now, so what a great thing to do..

Yes, a visit is in the cards. Been talking to your missus and prob January. We keep watching past videos of the little ones and keep giggling. We miss you guys.

By the way, what is the temperature like over there, economy-wise? Are people feeling more hopeful, positive, etc? Over here the dejection and negativity hangs over everyone like the proverbial cloud..