Rural Housing Coalition names Adirondack Foundation Advocate of the Year

Foundation lauded for work to address housing, community development

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023

Josiah Lamp, chair of the Rural Housing Coalition (RHC), presents Adirondack Foundation Vice President for Community Impact Lori Bellingham with the 2023 Advocate of the Year at RHC's annual meeting in Lake George.
Josiah Lamp, chair of the Rural Housing Coalition (RHC), presents Adirondack Foundation Vice President for Community Impact Lori Bellingham with the 2023 Advocate of the Year at RHC's annual meeting in Lake George.


LAKE GEORGE — Adirondack Foundation has been recognized as a leader in addressing the housing crisis in the Adirondack region.

The Rural Housing Coalition of New York (RHC) hosted its annual conference Sept. 18-20 in Lake George, where it named Adirondack Foundation as its Advocate of the Year for its efforts to advance the cause of rural housing and community development. The Rural Housing Coalition is a statewide organization dedicated to revitalizing rural New York by strengthening housing and community development providers.

“The Rural Housing Coalition is pleased to present Adirondack Foundation with the Advocate of the Year Award for their efforts to promote affordable housing and community development throughout the North Country in partnership with many communities and organizations, including the Coalition,” said RHC Executive Director Michael J. Borges.

“Safe, appealing housing is an essential component of community health,” said Lori Bellingham, vice president for community impact at Adirondack Foundation. “We are pleased to work with rural housing partners like RHC to encourage public policy, and private and nonprofit investment to increase housing stock that meets the diverse needs of residents across the region. Whether it’s teachers, healthcare workers, first responders, park management, or hospitality workers, year-round residents make our communities tick. Quality, affordable housing ensures we will be able to build our workforce, attract and retain young people and families, and accommodate the needs of an aging population.”

“Adirondack Foundation has been our rural housing and advocacy champion,” said Megan Murphy, executive director of the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County (HAPEC), the organization that nominated the Foundation for the award. “They have committed staff and resources to promoting quality affordable housing in the Adirondacks. They have developed significant relationships with elected officials, state and local agencies, and community organizations. The Foundation is having a direct impact by working with its donors to advocate for supportive funding for quality, affordable housing needs.”

Since 2021, Adirondack Foundation has committed over $700,000 in charitable funds to housing-related issues. This includes grants to pre-development projects in Hamilton, Essex and Franklin counties; support for home buyers in Ticonderoga and Lake George; capacity and education grants to housing organizations and media outlets covering the housing crisis; and place-based impact investments for regional workforce housing projects in Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

Beyond financial support for housing issues, Adirondack Foundation has also committed human resources and advocacy. This includes the development of “A Place to Start: Adirondack Housing Resources” as a comprehensive report featuring data, strategies and tools employed by municipalities, economic development agencies, private contractors, appointed task forces and regional nonprofits working to address specific housing needs in Adirondack communities. The Foundation also served on Adk Action’s Land Bank Committee and provided testimony at the New York State Budget hearing on housing earlier in 2023.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Adirondack Foundation playing this important advocacy role for affordable housing options and solutions in our region,” Murphy said. “They are doing true community foundation work by bringing partners together and supporting us and our work so that we can collectively have a greater impact getting people into quality housing and improving and supporting our communities.”

The Rural Housing Coalition of New York supports rural housing and community development providers through organizational capacity development, training and technical assistance, and raising public awareness and advocacy. To learn more, visit

To learn more about Adirondack Foundation’s work to support affordable housing in the Adirondack region, contact Lisa Bramen at [email protected]. To learn more about the Foundation, visit