NORTH RIVER - In June 2009, Derek and Emily Goodspeed were living with family in Wevertown. They couldn't afford to buy a house for themselves and their two young sons. They now own a three bedroom home in North River as part of a program through the Adirondack Community Housing Trust (ACHT).
The fully remodeled farmhouse is just 10 minutes from their workplace and sits on half an acre with a view of the Hudson River.
"Good jobs are hard to find and houses around here are expensive, so we've never owned a home," Emily said. The couple work at Gore Mountain, Derek as a mechanic and Emily in information technology.
They learned of the ACHT through a sign posted in front of the North River home and were impressed with how easy the process was.
"We would recommend this program to anyone," said Derrick.
Their sons are Jackson, 6 months and Shayne, 3. "It's so nice to bring the kids to their own house," she added. "This already feels like home."
The home was refurbished and donated to the ACHT by Woody and Elise Widlund.
"We were really impressed with the program and wanted to see it get off the ground locally," said Widlund. "Emily and Derrick are a real success story."
In North River, the average home price tops $187,000, driven up by second home and retirement buyers who see the area around Gore as an attractive destination. But, family incomes haven't kept pace, averaging just $58,000. It was this gap between wages and home prices that prompted creation of ACHT in 2007.
When qualified families buy their home, ACHT steps in and purchases the land, placing it permanently in the affordable housing trust. Buyers like the Goodspeeds own their homes outright. But, if they decide to sell, the price will be restricted so that another local working family can qualify. They also participated in seminars on the responsibilities of home ownership, budgeting, etc. as required by ACHT.