Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winter Maintenance For Your Home

Weather the Winter Season

Following a Schedule
The comforts of a cozy, warm home in winter can help you forget about the short days and the multiple layers of clothing. Following a maintenance schedule throughout the year will certainly benefit you in the winter, but be aware of the hazards the cold conditions can bring to your home. These guidelines can help you weather the winter season with a well-maintained home.

Be Energy Efficient
Since your heating system will be running constantly throughout the winter, remember to change out your HVAC filters every month. Inspect the insulation in your attic and crawlspace. Warm air rises and leaves the house through the roof, so you should focus on insulation in your ceilings. Seal areas around recessed lights, the attic hatch, and plumbing vents that may be allowing warm air from the living space below to enter the attic. Proper attic ventilation, adequate attic insulation, and a tight air barrier between the attic and the interior of the house will work together to prevent ice dams.

If you don’t have double-paned windows, remove the screens and install storm windows to ensure that the heat stays in and the cold stays out. If you’re on a tight budget, pick up an inexpensive plastic-film sheet kit from your local hardware store. These will only last one season, but they do help with energy efficiency and are able to halt the cold flow of winter drafts. If you have a fireplace, burning firewood is another way to save energy costs. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly – about an inch – and close doors leading into the room. That will prevent the fire from drawing warm air out of the rest of the house and replacing it with cold air.

And remember to store your firewood in a dry place at least 30 feet from your home to avoid a fire hazard.

Protect Your Pipes
Pipes located in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing in extreme temperatures. When the forecast calls for unusually cold temperatures, let water drip from hot and cold faucets overnight. Also try keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate in places like below sinks. If you open the cabinet doors, be sure to remove anything inside the cabinets that may pose a safety to hazard to children, such as household cleaners. For exposed pipes in your attic, basement, or crawlspaces, add extra insulation around them. View the tips to avoid frozen pipes for more information.

Be Ready For An Emergency
Blackouts and snow-ins can occur during winter months, so take a moment to prepare yourself and your family for such emergencies. Having the following items ready will help you make it through safely.
  • Flashlights
  • Bottled water
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Blankets
  • Phone numbers for your utility companies
  • Battery backup to protect your computer and other important electronic equipment
  • First-aid kit
If you have an emergency generator, make sure you have gasoline stored and available to fuel it.

Holiday Decorations
’Tis the season to be festive, but remember to stay safe with your holiday decorations. Inspect the wires of your light display before switching them on: They may be frayed and present an electrical fire hazard. Same goes for the Christmas tree inside; always check the light strands for any sign of wear-and-tear from being in storage. If you have a real Christmas tree, keep it watered, since dry trees catch fire easier. Check with your local municipality for instructions on how to dispose of the tree once the new year arrives.

Winter Yard Care
Even with the cold weather conditions, your yard still needs to be maintained. Make sure tree and shrub branches are well away from the house and windows. Icy conditions can cause branches to break and damage your home. Walk around your home and survey the roof to see if any ice dams have formed; call a contractor if you suspect this is the case. As you walk around your house, check the foundation for small cracks or openings where mice or other pests can tunnel in. Winter is when they seek the warmth of your house, so seal up any possible entrances. While you’re outside, clear snow off gas meters and away from basement windows and your dryer exhaust vent.

See more at: 

Written By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

Faces at TRIP: Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson is a volunteer intern at TRIP this fall.  She is working on TRIP’s sustainability and neighborhood stabilization initiatives.  Elizabeth has also done some design work for TRIP, such as updating some of TRIP’s materials.
Elizabeth is a coterminal student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute working on her bachelors in Sustainability Studies and masters in Ecological Economics, Values, and Policy.  Her interests are sustainability, policy, social justice, and urban planning.  After she graduates, Elizabeth hopes to work on improving sustainability and people’s lives in either the government or non-profit sector.
At RPI, Elizabeth is the chair of the Student Sustainability Task Force and Associate News Editor of The Polytechnic. She also plays on the RPI Ultimate Frisbee club team.

We are very happy to have Elizabeth at TRIP this semester! 

Public Participation in Planning Needed – Again and Again!

As the City of Troy prepares its Five Year (2015-2019) Consolidated Plan to HUD, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia claims “Public participation is a critical aspect of formulating our next five-year plan and we encourage our residents to attend one of the upcoming meetings.”

Four public focus group meetings have been scheduled at which residents, businesses, neighborhood groups, and others are given an opportunity to hear from the City about the ConPlan and its proposed activities.  Attendees can also comment on the targeting of the City’s federal entitlement funds which includes Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds. These funds are generally designated for community development, homelessness and housing needs.   The schedule of meetings is: 
  • October 22:  6:30 – 8 PM, T.A.U.M., 392 2nd Street
  • October 29:  6:30 – 8 PM, Fallon Rainbow Center, 847 River St.
  • November 19:  6:30 - 8 PM, Troy City Hall, 433 River St. 5th fl

The City is also in process of developing its first comprehensive plan in 50 years.  Realize Troy:  A Comprehensive Plan which will be finalized by the end of 2015, will create a “roadmap” for Troy’s future based on public participation leading to a community based vision. This vision will include such areas as land use, development, zoning, demographics, population, housing needs, resources, infrastructure and more.  A public kickoff meeting and stakeholder interviews were held in September with other opportunities in the coming months.  Meetings are scheduled for November 20th from 6:30 - 9pm, locations to be announced.  For more information about Realize Troy, go to http://www.realizetroy.com

TNAC Meeting

Thursday, October 30 | 6:30 - 8pm | Hill Street Inn | 222 4th St. Troy

Don’t miss the semi-annual TNAC (Troy Neighborhoods Action Council) meeting on Thursday, October 30th from 6:30 - 8 PM at the Hill Street Inn at 222 4th Street in Troy

Come learn about Troy’s new Land Bank and its plans as well as the plans of the Troy Police Department. Hear what other neighborhoods are up to! For more info or to RSVP, contact hilary [at] triponline.org

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Did You Know?

TRIP Offers a Variety of Programs to Homeowners, Homebuyers, and Tenants
Regardless of one’s income, education, or housing situation, TRIP’s NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center offers many programs that can benefit anyone.  Here is a sampling of programs that are currently available: 

Troy Landlord Training Program 
October 6th & 8th, Parts 1 & 2; 6 - 8pm.  Learn from a variety of experts how to make your life – and your tenants’ too -- as painless as possible, without losing your shirt!  Speakers from TRIP’s Rental Management Department, Troy Community Police, Troy Code Enforcement, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United Tenants, Troy Section 8, and more.  This is geared for homebuyers/first-time landlords, large landlords, small landlords, rental managers.  Everyone finds something valuable at it!  

$15 fee for materials and light refreshments.  Seats are limited so don’t delay!

Home Maintenance Training 
Many of us become homeowners with little knowledge or skills about how to care for our most prized possession – our home.  Well, TRIP can help!  If you want to learn how to do home repairs, or even learn just enough so that you can understand your contractor or repair person’s language, TRIP’s Home Maintenance class is for you!!  This free, 8 week course provides an opportunity to learn a variety of needed skills such as painting, plumbing, electrical work, and more.  You can register for the classes of your choice or take all 8!  Offered twice a year, TRIP’s Home Maintenance Training begins on September 18th at 6 PM and continues on Thursday evenings through November 13th.  To see the schedule or to register, go to www.triponline.org.

In addition to getting the hands-on experience, read the article 15 small jobs that let you invest in your home and hold down household costs” which is excerpted from Money Talks News 

Repair Program 
To Make Homes Accessible for Qualified Elderly and/or Disabled People & Vets
If you know of a Rensselaer County resident – either a renter or a homeowner – that is in need of home modifications to accommodate people with mobility issues (ie. wheelchair ramps, doorway widening, grab bars, etc.) or modifications to help those who are visually and/or hearing-impaired, check out TRIP HomeOwnership Center’s Access to Home Program.   

This program can provide up to $25,000 for eligible repairs for tenants or homeowners who meet income guidelines (which are higher for Veterans) and other criteria.  Visit www.triponline.org or call Rensselaer County Housing Resources at 690-0020 x223 for more information.  

Faces at TRIP: Patrick Madden

Patrick Madden: Executive Director

Patrick Madden, TRIP’s executive director, has been a face at TRIP for decades – almost 3, in fact.  His name and face is synonymous with TRIP, having been here since 1985, when he was first hired as the Director of Real Estate Development  -- 29 years ago  (which is really odd since he swears he’s not a day over 30)! 

Patrick has real staying power; he has been TRIP’s executive director since 1987 and never left, just as he has never left Troy for any significant amount of time.  Born and bred in Troy, he lives on the Eastside, only two blocks from where he grew up and where his father still resides. Patrick is a maven in regard to risk management and his motto as a director of a complex housing organization:  always hire people smarter than you.

Patrick says he knows a little about a lot of things.  He is an skilled photographer, a history buff, enjoys music and kayaking and is a graduate of Albany Law School.  He has been learning the mandolin for several years now; ask him to play a tune sometime! 

In addition to his roles at work and play, Patrick also is a dad to three great kids. We are fortunate to have this wise captain at the helm of TRIP!

15 Small Home Repairs You Can Do

Here are 15 small jobs that let you invest in your home and hold down household costs:

1. Change HVAC filters
Your furnace and air conditioner filters trap airborne allergens and dust so you breathe clean air. These filters need changing on a regular basis while you’re using your furnace or air conditioning.
Angie’s List says 60 percent of furnace and air conditioner service calls are because of dirty filters. Those tiny particles of dirt can hurt your furnace’s heating coil and fan. Changing filters regularly also can lower utility bills $100 a year, because dirty filters force HVAC systems to run harder and use more energy.
Changing filters is a simple, important homeowner skill. Filters can be simple or higher-tech, as BobVila.com explains:
"Basic furnace filters are designed to trap dust, dirt, and airborne particulates before they can get into the system and potentially damage the fan or the heating coil. More expensive filters perform the same role, plus they can enhance the air quality in your home by trapping bacteria, pollen, and mildew and mold spores."
Consult your owner’s manual to locate your system’s filter. Inspect filters regularly and install new ones every month or two, or even more often. That depends on how dirty the filter is (BobVila.com shows examples of dirty and clean filters)

2. Fix leaky faucets
A dripping faucet means money down the drain, literally. A faucet that drips just once a minute wastes 34 gallons of water a year, according to this fun drip calculator from the U.S. Geological Survey. This Old House shows how to fix or replace a leaky faucet.

excerpted from Money Talks News
article by Marilyn Lewis www.moneytalksnews.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Please Join Us

2014 Homecoming Dinner
Monday, October 27, 2013

Please join us in honoring 
Mary Theresa Streck 
with the TRIP & RCHR
2014 Community Citizenship Award

To join the Honorary Committee or purchase tickets, go to 

or contact Gail at 518-272-8289 x212, gail [at]triponline[dot]org

Friday, July 11, 2014

Be Prepared!

Are you prepared?
As rains from hurricane Arthur created flash flooding and some minor tree damage last week, we were reminded that the season for storms is upon us, and there are several things that we can do, individually, and as a community to be ready for them. 

Great Resource
The website Ready.gov is a great resource, explaining the steps you can take to be informed, make a plan, build a kit, and get involved. 

At Home
At home, make sure you have a plan about how to get back in touch with your family, and a kit containing food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours.

In Our Community
In our community, when we work together, we can be much safer in the face of disasters. FEMA sponsors a program in Rensselaer County to train and develop Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). This program trains local community members to help emergency responders before, during, and after hurricanes and other emergency situations. You can learn more about the CERT Program at http://www.ready.gov/preparedness-leader.

If you are interested in joining a Community Emergency Response Team here in Rensselaer County, please email anasha [at] triponline [dot] org for more information.

How to Build a $1,000 Emergency Fund in 10 Months

By Katie Bryan
Do you have $1,000 set aside for emergencies? If you already do, you could probably use another $1,000 in that account. Experts recommend keeping at least three months expenses in a reliable, liquid account – though even an extra $1,000 can be a life-saver. But finding $1,000 to save isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve put together this 4-step plan on how to save $1,000 in 10 months. 
Get Started with These 4 Steps
Find a Safe Place to Save Your Money – You will want to save your money in an account that you can access easily in case of an emergency. That means you should probably not keep this savings in a U.S. Savings Bond or in mutual funds. Choose a traditional savings account or a short-term certificate-of-deposit (CD), currently the most attractive accounts. (Early withdrawal penalties on a CD rarely lower the yield below that of a savings account.) Consider opening a new account or sub-account for this money so you’re not tempted to spend it. Most importantly, do not keep savings in a checking account, which pays no or low interest and is too easy to access.
Save $100 a month – If you are already saving $100 a month, great! Skip to step 3. If not, you need to either earn $100 more a month or cut back in order to find that $100 to save. America Saves has a list of 54 ways to save money to get you started. It can also help to pay yourself first and save the $100 at the beginning of the month instead of waiting to see if you have money left over to save at the end of the month. 
Automate Your Savings – Setting up an automatic way to save is one of the best ways to save. Once you set it up, then it happens without having to think about it. Here are two ways to automate your savings. 1. Every pay period, ask your employer to deduct $100 from your paycheck and transfer it to a savings account. Ask your HR representative for more details and to set this up.  2.  Ask your bank or credit union to transfer $100 from your checking account to a savings account every month.  Talk to your local bank or credit union to set this up.
Watch Your Savings Grow for 10 Months – The final step is to sit back and watch your savings grow. How often do you look at the calendar and think it’s half way through 2014 already? The same will apply to your savings; Before you know it you will have that $1,000. They key is not to touch the money unless you have an emergency – that’s what the money is there for after all. 
Once you have at least $1,000 in your emergency account, continue your savings success and continue to build your emergency savings or apply that money to a new savings goal. Perhaps you have debt you need to pay down or want to save for a car or home
No matter what you are saving for, America Saves can support you with tips and advice through emails and text messages. Sign up for these by taking the America Saves Pledge Today

Katie Bryan works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at americasaves.org.

Whom Do You Admire for Improving Troy?

Nominate your favorite “Troy Treasure” as this year’s Troy Treasure Awardee

Unsung Heroes
We think that one of the “unsung heroes” – people who work at improving the City of Troy – should be publicly recognized and thanked by the community.  This year the Troy Treasure Awardee will be presented at the TRIP & RCHR HomeComing Dinner on October 27th.

Eligible nominees may be a Troy resident, community group, or business who is passionately committed to improving Troy, toils in his or her neighborhood out of a love of community, and demonstrates his or her hometown pride in Troy in very positive and real ways. 

Nomination forms are available at www.triponline.org, or by e-mailing Hilary[at]triponline[dot]org.  Please email the completed form to Hilary by July 22nd.  

TRIP on Pinterest!

Searching For Information??

Want info on topics such as Financial Education, Home Maintenance, and Homebuying?  Check out TRIP’s Pinterest account at http://www.pinterest.com/triptroyny

National Night Out 2014

Come out for Safety and Community!  

August 5th 6pm - dusk

There will be two National Night Out events in Troy on August 5th.  Come out and meet hundreds of friends, neighbors, police, and more from 6 pm to dusk on Tuesday, August 5th. 

  • Burden Iron Works Neighborhood Group will sponsor an event at the Burden Museum 
  • Hillside North Neighborhood Association will sponsor an event at the 7th Avenue Park

Come join the fun! 

Employment Opportunity

TRIP is Seeking a Rental Coordinator

POSITION: TRIP’s Rental Coordinator position is full-time, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm at $16/hour plus benefits. 

RESPONSIBILITIES: Working with the Rental Management team, the Rental Coordinator is responsible for the tenant application process, coordination and data management of tenant database, and assisting the Rental Managers as needed. 

Specific duties include:
  • Processing tenant applications and engaging in screening activities
  • Coordinating rental management activities including work orders, inspections, re-certifications, etc.
  • Managing data base of buildings for property management, capital improvement schedules, and financials
  • Assisting the Rental Management team as needed
  • Assisting tenants and tenant applicants as needed, including answering phones and responding to walk-ins
  • Customer service oriented; friendly approach in person and on telephone
  • Highly self-motivated; able to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented and able to juggle multiple tasks
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficient at Microsoft Office Suite – Outlook, Word, Excel
  • Ability to communicate with diverse client base; Spanish-speaking is a plus
  • Sense of humor
  • Strong work ethic and takes pride in one’s work

CONTACT:  Send a resume with brief cover letter to Theresa Newton, Director of Rental Operations, at Theresa[at]triponline[dot]org 

TRIP is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Monday, May 12, 2014

Faces at TRIP: Theresa Newton

Theresa Newton:  Director of Rental Operations

Theresa Newton has been the Director of Rental Operations at TRIP since 2001. 

Theresa oversees the management of TRIP’s portfolio of 301 apartments.  She works with TRIP staff, private owners of apartment buildings and she helps area landlords on management issues.  She also oversees small development projects.  A typical day would include writing reports for lenders, working with project owners and landlords, budgeting programs and planning for improvements and long term use.

Theresa states that her goals at TRIP focus on providing better apartments for hardworking families and seniors.  

She enjoys working in Troy as her family roots are here and she has become attached to many other families in and around TRIP’s neighborhoods.

In her spare time she is an avid cyclist and triathlete.  She recently competed in the Patriot Half Ironman.

Healthy Home: Ants

Getting Rid of Ants

There are some easy, natural ways to rid your house (home, condo, or apartment) of ants. Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Vinegar - this is effective because ants do not like the smell of vinegar and the vinegar also removes scent trails that ants use to get around. So blend a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down counters, cupboards, and other places you’ve seen ants. Do this regularly (maybe even 2-3 times per day) to improve its effectiveness.
  • Herbs and Spices - several work. Try cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, or garlic. Sprinkle your choice where you’ve seen ants as well as around your home’s foundation. Like vinegar, ants do not like the scent thatis given off by the herb or spice. 
  • Borax - this is another 50-50 mixture. Blend the borax with jelly or syrup and place it where the ants will find it. This works because the borax in the consumed mixture damages the ants’ digestive system and outer skeleton causing death.   Borax has no toxic fumes and is considered safe for the environment. Remember that it can cause skin irritation, the dust may cause respiratory irritation and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal issues. Wear gloves, a dust mask and probably best not to use this repellent remedy if there are small children in the house.
  • Talcum powder - you can use chalk, baby powder or talcum powder (which is found in chalk and baby powder) and sprinkle it where the ants are entering into your house. Talcum powder has been reported as a natural ant repellent. 
Excerpted from NeighborWorks America’s Construction and Rehab Newsletter, 
May 2014. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Child Identity Theft

Is your child a victim of identity theft? 

Right about now is the time when many of us are searching for scholarships and financial aid for our college-bound kids. Or maybe Junior is interviewing for his first job - or Muffy is buying her first car. In the middle of the paperwork, you might get a nasty surprise: your child’s credit report shows unpaid bills and a loan default. What? My child’s credit report? Children and young teens aren’t even legally able to open credit accounts on their own; you wouldn’t expect them to have a credit report. So what happened? Most likely, it’s identity theft.
A child's Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits and tax refunds, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live. The best way to know if your child’s information is being misused is to check for a credit report. Even if you don’t suspect identity theft, it’s a good idea to see if there is a credit file on your child. Do a check at their 16th birthday. And if needed, take action immediately. That way, if it has errors due to fraud or misuse - you’ll have time to correct it before Junior applies for a job, a loan for tuition or a car, or needs to rent an apartment.
Contact each of the 3 nationwide credit reporting companies.
  • Equifax 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion childidtheft@transunion.com
Ask for a manual search of the child’s file. The companies will check for files relating to the child’s name and Social Security number, and for files related only to the child’s Social Security number.
The credit reporting companies may require copies of:
  • the child’s birth certificate listing parents
  • the child’s Social Security card
  • the parent or guardian’s government-issued identification card, like a driver’s license or military identification, or copies of documents proving the adult is the child’s legal guardian
  • proof of address, like a utility bill, or credit card or insurance statement
Remember to keep copies of any letters you send, and record the dates and details of any calls.
If your child’s information was misused, call each credit reporting company to ask them to remove all accounts, account inquiries, and collection notices from any file associated with your child’s name and Social Security number. Send a letter confirming that request. Explain that the child is a minor and include a copy of the Uniform Minor’s Status Declaration [PDF]. Ask each company to put a fraud alert on your child’s credit report. Contact one company; that company will contact the other two.
You’ll also want to contact every business where your child’s information was misused. Ask each business to close the fraudulent account and flag it to show it resulted from identity theft. File a report with the FTC online or call 877-438-4338. Your complaint can be used as an Affidavit to create an Identity Theft Report that gives your child some important rights when clearing up identity theft!

Written by Carol Kando-Pineda
Attorney, Federal Trade Commission  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Don't Miss it: Home Maintenance Training

4 Sessions Left: Home Maintenance Training

Flooring- How to Install Tile & Wood; Tools & Surface Prep  
No class 4/17
Sheetrock – How to Repair Damage, Install New, Taping & More
Painting - Surface Prep and Paint Techniques. Lead Safe Work Practices
Weatherization And Energy efficiency

Classes are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30pm.  All workshops are FREE and held at the TRIP HomeOwnership Center, 415 River Street, Troy, Second Floor.

Click here to register or Call TRIP’s Home Ownership Center at (518) 690-0020 x223 for more information.

Solarize Troy

After a winter like this one, with natural gas prices spiking and electricity following suit, many people are looking at their options for savings on those costly bills. The timing couldn’t be better, because more than ever, citizens are empowered to cut those cords entirely. Solar has reached the point of “grid parity” where it can easily pay for itself and eventually will generate some extra income for homeowners. 

In New York State, there are currently many tax and other incentives that make the choice to go solar even easier. There are many ways people can get solar, from leases to power purchase agreements to outright purchasing, but all to often, the complexity and cost makes it difficult. 

This is why a group of solar professionals, architects, planners, and sustainability advocates in Troy has created a group called Solarize Troy, with a mission to facilitate the adoption of residential and commercial scale solar energy by leveraging collective purchasing power to reduce complexity and cost to property owners in Troy and Rensselaer County. 

Solarize is essentially a bulk purchase of solar equipment and installation services. By working together with several other households interested in buying solar, everyone can get better prices on better equipment. 

This process has been used successfully around the US to dramatically reduce cost, and make the process of going solar easier for homeowners. 

If you think you might be interested in getting solar on your house, whether as a group or on your own, Solarize Troy invites you to sign up here to be notified of upcoming presentations and developments with the program.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th, 2014

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship was established in 1997 to honor the memory of Dr. King’s life and work and to preserve the legacy of the nonviolent civil rights movement. This scholarship is offered through TAUM (Troy Area United Ministries) and is intended for low to moderate-income high school seniors or adults who have completed a GED and are seeking to further their educations. To apply you must have been a resident of Rensselaer County and of the City of Troy for at least one year. 

Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, desire to implement goals of Dr. King, promise of academic success, and evidence of service to school, community, and/or religious organization. The deadline for application is April 15, 2014. Finalists will be expected to take part in an interview with Committee members – this will be an important determining factor in the award. 

To apply, submit the completed scholarship application, most recent grade transcripts, and a recommendation from school official or community leader to:

MLK Scholarship Committee
392 Second Street
Troy, NY 12180

Or call 274-5920 Ext. 201 for more information.

Funding Available for Housing Improvements


HARC Repair Program
Rensselaer County Housing Resources (RCHR) is accepting applications for their Homeowner Assistance for Rensselaer County (HARC) Repair Program.  RCHR received New York State HOME Program funding to assist income-eligible Rensselaer County homeowners (outside the City of Troy) with moderate housing rehabilitation.  Funds can be used for Health & Safety Repairs, Roof Replacement, Structural Repairs, Electrical Repairs, Plumbing Repairs, Heat System Repairs/Replacement, and Energy Efficiency Measures. Applications should be submitted by Friday May 2nd for the current application period.

Access to Home Program 
In addition, RCHR has funding from the NYS Access to Home Program. These funds are used to modify the homes of people with disabilities to make them more accessible. Some examples are: exterior ramps, accessible bathrooms & kitchens, widening doorways, accessible laundry, and modifications for the deaf or blind. Access to Home funds can be used in both owner-occupied and rental units anywhere in Rensselaer County. RCHR is accepting applications for this program on a rolling basis.

For more information, visit http://www.triponline.org/repair/grant_programs.html or call the TRIP NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center at 690-0020 x223.

Come to the 2014 Housing Fair!

2014 Capital Region Housing Fair
Saturday April 26 | 10am-2pm | Albany Public Library  

This annual event is FREE and open to the public and will be held on April 26, 2014 at the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY from 10am - 2pm. Please join us!

11am - Downpayment Program: Learn about down-payment programs, matched savings and other opportunities for home buyers.

12pm - NYSERDA's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®: Learn how your home is wasting money and how to fix it. Bring your most most recent utility bill to apply for a free or reduced-cost comprehensive home energy assessment.

1pm - Building a Great Credit Score: What goes into your score and how you can improve it.

Plus many exhibitors, information on buying a home, and more.

Faces at TRIP: Jessica Krajewski

Jessica Krajewski: Intern

JessicaJessica Krajewski joined TRIP as an intern in January of this year. She is a sophomore dual major in architecture and civil engineering at RPI. She has always wanted to find a way to combine her experience in architecture with her desire to create strong communities for all.  Although she is mostly doing research, she is excited to start working more in depth on some upcoming projects. 

Working at TRIP has been a wonderful experience because not only does she feel like she is making a difference, but she finds everyone here extremely nice and willing to help with anything she may need. 

In her spare time, aside from classes, more classes, RPI Student Government, her internship here at TRIP, and more classes she loves to hang out with friends and just be a typical college student. 

Thanks Jessica!  We really appreciate your help and interest!  

Knowing the Rules

When you know the rules, you hold all the cards

Knowing the rules is important when using plastic—credit, debit, prepaid and gift cards. Choosing the wrong card, merchant or transaction type could cost you money or cause you to forgo important cardholder protections.

This website is your payment card rulebook. You’ll find everything you need to know on this interactive site about using credit, debit, prepaid and gift cards safely and wisely. The more you know, the more likely you are to make the right moves.

Also check out Consumer Action, a website full of information and education about financial and consumer issues. http://www.consumer-action.org

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Be a Savvy Consumer

March 2-8, 2014 was National Consumer Protection Week, (NCPW) a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.

Every day, as consumers, we must make important decisions about finances, health, privacy, technology and more.  NCPW.gov offers consumers a wealth of tips, resources and information on a wide range of topics regarding how to protect yourself and loved ones from identity theft, con artists, scams and more. 

Take a look through the categories listed at the website for resources that will help you make your best choices as an informed consumer.
For more Consumer information
To learn more about National Consumer Protection Week, 
For information and tips for Loan Modification Scam Alert, 

More Than Housing

Did you know TRIP is more than just housing?

We are a helping hand on the pathway to community.

Here is a small sample of how we invest in people who are working everyday to stabilize neighborhoods... 


DIY is the way to go and TRIP can help!

Do you have plans to fix up your home this year? Maintaining a home is a huge part of responsible homeownership and the costs to maintain and improve your home can add up!

You can save money if you’re able to Do-It-Yourself!

Come to TRIP's Home Maintenance Training Workshops and learn the skills you'll need.

Classes are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 7:30pm beginning March 13th and running through May 8th.  All workshops are FREE and held at the TRIP HomeOwnership Center (415 River Street, Troy, Second Floor.)

Participants are welcome to come to all or as many workshops that interest them.  Each class focuses on a different topic:

3/13 - Week 1 - Intro to Home Maintenance Training- Hardware & Tools, Home’s Major Systems
3/20 - Week 2 - Electrical - Installing Outlets, Light Switches, Dimmers, and Light Fixtures
3/27 - Week 3 - Plumbing 1 - Installing Kitchen and Bathroom Sinks & Faucets, Toilet Replacement 
4/3   - Week 4 - Plumbing 2 - Pipe Cutting, Sweating Copper, & Valve Replacements; How to use Pex Tubing;
4/10 - Week 5 - Flooring & Tiling - How to Install Tile & Wood; Tools & Surface Prep 
No class 4/17
4/24 - Week 6 - Sheetrock – How to Repair Damage, Install New, Taping & More
5/1   - Week 7 - Painting - Surface Prep, Paint Techniques, Green Options
5/8   - Week 8 - Weatherization and Energy efficiency

To sign up, visit our website: www.triponline.org or call 690-0020 x221.  Hope to see you there!