Housing Assistance Program Rebrands as Adirondack Roots
In a strategic rebrand aimed at better aligning its mission and services, the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County has transitioned its name to Adirondack Roots. The shift is more than cosmetic—it’s a statement about the group’s profound commitment to fostering vibrant, resilient communities in the North Country region.
Megan Murphy, the dynamic executive director of Adirondack Roots, explained the thought process behind the name change. “We want our name to radiate the essence of our mission, which is centered around homes and communities. Housing isn’t just a physical structure; it’s the foundation for individuals and families to establish roots, enrich communities, and prosper,” Murphy said.
Reaffirming its dedication, Adirondack Roots will continue to offer a comprehensive suite of services that extends beyond Essex County. These services include home buying assistance, housing rehabilitation, emergency repairs, and foreclosure prevention. The organization also oversees the administration of the Section 8 housing voucher program in both Essex and Clinton counties. Additionally, Adirondack Roots will maintain its efforts to develop permanently affordable housing through the Adirondack Community Housing Trust.
Addressing the scope of the organization’s work, Murphy commented, “We felt the HAPEC name was too narrow. We do far more than assist people in finding homes; we are involved in multiple counties and provide services that nurture communities at large.”
The timing of the rebrand comes as housing issues are increasingly thrust into the spotlight, particularly in rural towns. Research from the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board and Essex County has unveiled concerning trends. Local homeowners often encounter income gaps ranging between $30,000 to $80,000 when looking at home purchase prices, and the availability of long-term rental properties has declined by over 12% in some communities since 2010.
To coincide with its new identity, Adirondack Roots has also launched a revamped website, designed to be an accessible resource for community members. “Our primary aim was to create a user-friendly platform where people can easily navigate to find the services they need and get answers to their questions,” Murphy emphasized. “Of course, we’re also just a phone call or email away for those who prefer direct contact.”
The new website showcases the organization’s striking new logo, featuring a home intertwined with roots—a poignant metaphor not only for its name but also for its broad network of services aimed at anchoring communities.
Emily Kilburn Politi, president of Adirondack Roots’ board of directors, encapsulated the vision succinctly: “Every time we assist someone in securing a safe rental or funding necessary home maintenance, we’re doing more than providing housing. We’re bolstering the vitality of our villages and towns, which depend on permanent residents fully committed to their community’s well-being.”
The rebranding journey was an extensive endeavor, involving consultation with the organization’s staff, board of directors, and select community stakeholders. Ultimately, the name Adirondack Roots emerged as the front-runner, encapsulating the organization’s goal of fostering growth and connection within the communities it serves.
“I don’t believe a single name can encapsulate the totality of our work,” Murphy concluded. “However, Adirondack Roots comes close—it captures the essence of our wide-ranging mission while leaving ample room for future growth and evolution.”