About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Boreas says

    I am not sure rehabbing dilapidated structures for the purpose of low/modest income housing or (whatever that is) is the best use of money – at least with construction costs still sky high. The article mentions a project that cost $180k to rehab!! When I was working full time making a decent salary, it was all I could do to keep up with maintenance/repairs to my 90 year old, well-constructed vintage bungalow. In this construction environment, it is impossible.

    Taking an OLD, run-down home, and modernizing it is very expensive. And you are left with a modernized OLD home – subject to entropy as all homes are. People of modest means cannot afford upkeep on an old home let alone a new one in this construction market. So what happens? The structure(s) deteriorate again – likely losing value and putting the owner under water. The cycle continues. I feel this is an expensive, temporary fix at best.

    Obviously, the best solution is to significantly raise the income of a huge segment of the housing market in the North Country. But since that isn’t likely to happen, I would rather see our money spent on housing that is modern, yet easy to maintain, and environmentally sited. Clustered housing, common utility lines, and common sewer/septic management. Common maintenance fees can go a long way toward maintaining structures indefinitely. The money is always there and the maintenance takes place before it becomes a major repair. This is very similar to a condominium plan, yet people with limited incomes know what their income will need to be to afford the home/condo/apartment.

    If federal/state/county funds are used to subsidize the housing, oversight of the maintenance theoretically can be managed and ensured. But wherever there is money changing hands, corruption inevitably appears. We have to vote wisely, not tribally.

    So I don’t have an answer, but Reading $180k just to rehab an old structure and selling it to someone who may not be able to maintain it properly seems to be a non-starter.

  2. Kathryn Reinhardt says

    I recommend that the comment-leaver “Boreas” attend the Lyceum lecture at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, Essex, NY on 3/21/23, 7pm. Topic is: Building a Sustainable Future: Preserving What Exists” for a different perspective on the value of rehabbing existing buildings. I don’t know if the speaker, Erin Tobin, will address single family homes, but it could be useful to ask for her thoughts on rehab vs. new construction as Essex County seeks to increase home ownership opportunities.

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