Friday, January 25, 2013

Are you interested in buying a home?

Homebuyer Orientations Scheduled

If you are considering buying a home in 2013, attend the TRIP NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center’s Homebuyer Orientation class on Monday, January 28th from 6-7 PM.  This free one hour class will explain the homebuying process, how to qualify for a mortgage and grant opportunities you may be eligible to receive.

After attending the Homebuyer Orientation session, participants can schedule a personal appointment with one of our highly trained Homeownership Advisors to determine your individual needs and the steps you need to take in order to become a homeowner.

Orientations are also scheduled for February 25th and March 18th. You must register to attend the Homebuyer Orientation.  For more information and to register, contact the HomeOwnership Center at 518-690-0020 or contact Krystina [at] triponline [dot] org or online at

Monday, January 14, 2013

Faces at TRIP: Krystina Marable

Welcome Krystina Marable!

There is a new face at the TRIP NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center. Our new Intake Coordinator is Krystina Marable, a recent graduate from Bryant & Stratton with degrees in both Accounting and Business. Krystina's friendly face will be the first one customers meet as she assists them in getting helpful information and the paperwork of the intake process. 

Krystina says she is family-oriented and loves to spend time at home with her husband and daughter. She is also an avid Xbox fan! Krystina is very community-minded and in her spare time you can find her serving at her church in outreach, supporting young adults, providing meals and generally helping out wherever there is a need.

She says she is looking forward to helping out at TRIP's HomeOwnership Center, serving our community and helping raising awareness about the services available at TRIP and RCHR. 

Krystina can be reached at 690-0020 ext. 221 or email her here. Better yet, stop by and say hi and welcome her the next time you are in the neighborhood!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Help for Homes this Spring

Rensselaer County Housing Resources Receives Funding Awards for Housing Improvements

RCHR is proud to have received a $250,000 New York State HOME Program Award to assist income-eligible Rensselaer County homeowners (outside the City of Troy) with housing rehabilitation.  Funds can be used for furnaces, roofs, windows, etc. 

In addition, RCHR received an award of $150,000 from the NYS Access to Home Program. These funds can be used to modify the homes of people with disabilities to make them more accessible. Examples are: ramps, bathrooms, widening doorways. Access to Home funds can be used in both owner-occupied and rental units anywhere in Rensselaer County. RCHR hopes to have the funds available in the late spring. 

For more information, call the TRIP NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center at 690-0020 x221.

FREE Renovation, Repair & Painting (RRP) Trainings!

Effective April 22, 2010, workers performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination and must be certified. This federal EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule applies to contractors, painters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, window replacers, roofers, and landlords.

Trainings to become EPA certified are offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County, an EPA accredited training provider. This course is approved for purposes of certification under Section 402 of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the respective discipline.

Upon successful completion of the RRP Initial course including passing an exam at the end of the class, participants are EPA certified renovators.  This certification is good for 5 years.

Failure to comply with EPA's RRP program requirements could result in penalties of up to $37,500 per day per violation.

Rensselaer County Dates
Jan 15 – Center Brunswick Fire Dept.
Jan 23 – Hilton Garden Inn

7:45 am registration/breakfast
8:00 am - 5:00 pm training

Center Brunswick Fire Dept.
1045 Hoosick Road
Troy, NY

Hilton Garden Inn
235 Hoosick Street
Troy, NY

Questions can be answered by:
Nancy at 518-765-3521
 Lisa at 518-765-3512

Volunteer Opportunity

We are in need of manpower in order to keep producing the TroyTalk e-newsletter each month. As you can imagine, it is a labor-intensive endeavor, but one which we think is important.

Since the 1 year term of service of our 2 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers expired in November, we have been struggling to get each issue out. We relied heavily on their excellent skills and hard work to make the newsletter happen each month.

We have a volunteer opportunity for those who like to write short articles and/or someone who is familiar with Constant Contact software (or is good with computers and willing to learn). The time commitment would be from 1 to 4 hours per month.

Email Hilary here if you would like to volunteer some time in the coming months.

We are GREEN!

We are so excited to share with you our Green news!

At an awards ceremony in Washington, DC on Tuesday, December 11th, TRIP's Executive Director, Patrick Madden, had the privilege of accepting TRIP’s Green Organization Designation Award from NeighborWorks America.  We are one of just 16 groups nationwide chosen to receive this designation.

This award was result of the work of a core group of staff members who formed the Green Team, embraced the initiative, set and met deadlines, and successfully made application for this designation - and in the process increased our green awareness and changed the way we do business.

Click here to learn about TRIP's Green Initiative:

The NeighborWorks Green Organization program is building a network of sustainable organizations that will lead the affordable housing and community development industry to a more sustainable future. Through the NeighborWorks Green Organization program, NeighborWorks America supports the comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations conducted by its member organizations that can extend social, financial, health, and environmental benefits of green homes and housing practices to thousands of communities and tens of thousands of individuals and families.

NeighborWorks believes that sustainability goes far beyond green construction. Providing the most effective green resources, knowledge, and venues for action can impact a community at its core, transforming not only the physical environment that residents work and live in, but their quality of life, personal health and sense of empowerment. 

Click here to learn more about the NeighborWorks Green Organization program:
Congratulations to TRIP's Green Team! Thank you for your hard work and commitment to green practices. 
Check out our Green page on our website:

What are your green practices? Tell us about what you have done at home or work to build a sustainable future.

Joint Meeting - South Troy Neighborhood Groups

Joint Meeting - South Troy Neighborhood Groups
Burden Iron Works, Little Italy, Osgood, 
Stow Farms and Washington Park
Neighborhood Groups
Date:           Tuesday February 12, 2013
Time:           6 -7 pm
Location:    TAUM - 392 2nd St., Troy NY

  •  Guest Speaker Hilary Lamishaw from TRIP will present to the group on the following:
    • Background on the Troy Neighborhood Action Council 
    • What is the Troy Neighborhood Action Council and what can it do for me? 
    • Landlord training overview
    • How to promote landlord training with a neighborhood
    • Next scheduled training session
    • Update on the Vacant Buildings Project
  •  Community Police Update - Jason Valente, Community Police Officer

Burden Iron Works Neighborhood Association
Van Buren to Mill Street, First to Fourth Street
Jane Snay, frinz40 [at]
Little Italy (4th Street)
Rocco DeFazio
Marion Field, mvf1406 [at]

Osgood Neighborhood Association
Canal to Van Buren; 1st to 5th streets
Sid Fleisher, sidneyfleisher [at]

Stow Farm Neighborhood Association
Stow Avenue and surrounding neighborhood
Charlene Dobert, weschar4254 [at]

Washington Park Association
Around Washington Park; 2nd & 3rd streets
Lynn Kopka, lkopka [at]

Joseph's House Reaches Out

Provided by Matt Vertefeuille, Outreach Advocate, Joseph’s House and Shelter.

Winter is finally here upon us on the opposite end of the Holiday Season.  While many of us have been with our families, unwrapping presents within the warmth of our homes, there are many people in this area who have been staying outside.  Joseph's House and Shelter’s Outreach Program provides services to people who are homeless in Troy and the greater Rensselaer County.  Through Joseph's House we provide outreach services through its three sites: the Shelter at 74 Ferry Street, the Lansing Inn and the Hill Street Inn. 

While providing services out of three different sites, Joseph's House and Shelter is working hard to better reach and serve the community and meet people on the streets of Troy.  Outreach workers have been walking or driving throughout Troy and interacting with those staying outside, whether it's in the street, at soup kitchens or at drop-in centers.  The outreach program has worked with around 70 individuals since July, the beginning of the current grant year.  The program continues to grow.  Services available through the program include personal care items, socks, undergarments, access to shelter, help applying for benefits or just a listening ear. While we are confident that most people in the Troy area are aware of Joseph's House, there are still people throughout Troy and the greater Rensselaer County area that may be in need and do not know what services are available to them. 

If you know of anyone who could benefit from such services, or if you know of an agency or organization that would like to speak with an outreach worker, please use the following contact information or give it to the concerned party:

Joseph's House and Shelter 
74 Ferry St, Troy NY 12180
(518) 272-2544
Ask for Matt or Joel or email Matt here.

Be a Smart Spender!

Everyone can benefit from being smarter about managing his or her money.

"Spend Smart" is a set of free financial education classes offered at TRIP that assist people to achieve a better financial awareness for themselves and their future.  The classes are split into two sessions and are held three times a year.  Different topics are held during each session.

Each topic discussed helps secure a better understanding of the importance of reviewing your current financial and credit situation, as well as how to improve it.  It is the goal of this course to help you realize that managing your money is possible, avoiding unnecessary debt is possible, and reaching goals are possible; we just have to find the right tools and methods to get you there.

The first night of the course is aimed at reviewing items such as spending plans, credit, and the basics of borrowing.  While most people are aware of the importance of spending plans, this class will help you  learn how to create a useful plan, the value and different types of credit that individuals have, charging credit the right way, and the cost of debt (how interest, service fees and different charges accumulate over time).

During the second session, topics such as credit reports, building and repairing your credit, financial goal setting (setting goals that are attainable and timely), and building your savings are discussed.

These two sessions will assist participants gain control over their financial and credit stability with the knowledge they obtain.  This information can also help individuals by giving them tools to help avoid and reduce money-related anxiety and stress in their life.  In a difficult economic time, this class plays an integral part of financial preparation for each person’s future.  The knowledge and information that is shared in "Spend Smart" will help people arm themselves with a plan for their financial well-being.

To learn how to be a smart spender, register for the next "Spend Smart" sessions on February 19th & March 5th.   Go to to view the calendar or click on

For more information or to schedule a free, confidential appointment contact the TRIP NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center at 690-0020 x221.