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 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.