Housing co-op information session is Jan. 7

LAKE PLACID — A housing cooperative, or “co-op,” is forming in North Elba on 100 acres of undeveloped land.

The co-op is seeking interested individuals to join the conversation about establishing a community at a free information session on Sunday, Jan. 7 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Lake Placid Beach House, 31 Parkside Drive.

The co-op’s mission is to build and maintain a sustainable community on Averyville Road in Lake Placid, North Elba. Its purpose is to provide safe, decent and attainable housing for residents of an estimated 20-40 households.

“We are excited to share this opportunity with more people who are interested in learning about cooperative housing and what it could look like in Lake Placid,” said the group’s board president Stephanie Sears. “Our area faces some real housing challenges, and we feel our co-op offers a great option for residents and families seeking more attainable options.”

A housing cooperative, or “co-op,” is the legal term for housing and land that is owned and controlled jointly by a group of people who have equal shares. Collective ownership lends itself to the cultivation of pride and concern of property which results in a successful and sustainable community.

The North Elba co-op is governed by a board of directors who are also future owner-residents: President, Stephanie Sears; Vice President, Martha Pritchard Spear; Treasurer, David Genito; Clerk, Dylan Urquhart; and Directors, Ellen Collins and Allegra Freier. The project is advised by the Adirondack North Country Association and the Cooperative Development Institute — two regional organizations working to advance cooperative ownership opportunities in the North Country. ANCA is an economic development nonprofit based in Saranac Lake that serves 14 counties in northern New York with targeted programs for small businesses, farms and communities. CDI provides cooperative business education, training, and technical assistance for businesses and communities across the northeast.

The project is at the early stage of design, bid and construction. The co-op’s board believes that finances should be no barrier to entry into the cooperative community and are exploring a variety of financial solutions so that shares in ownership will be affordable to ensure a diverse community.

The informational event on Jan. 7 will include light refreshments, a panel of future owner-residents, Q-and-A session, and free parking on premises.

For more information, contact Martha Spear at marthaspear@gmail.com or 518-946-7851.

Starting at $1.44/week.

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