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

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 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 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 ( 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