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Your Tax Return Can Help You Buy a House

It’s tax prep time. It’s fun to dream about what you might do with the money: a weekend getaway, make a down payment on a new car, take yourself on a shopping spree. But if you are a renter, TRIP would like you to consider putting your tax return toward a house of your own. Visit one of our HUD-certified housing counselors and find out how to best use the money toward the goal of home ownership. It might be paying down debt or maybe you’re in a good spot to start looking for houses while you complete our home buyer orientation. Our programs help you maximize the money from Uncle Sam. When it comes to filing your taxes, there are a several options for free tax prep. Virtual VITA, our local United Way, and the IRS itself. Income limits are higher than you might think. Some programs accept customers who made up to $64,000 in 2023. This time next year, you could be planning an improvement project in a house that belongs to you.

Noah Baum Promoted to President/CEO

Noah Baum

TRIP has a new president and CEO.

Noah Baum, previously TRIP’s Chief Operating Officer, was appointed by a unanimous vote of TRIP’s Board of Directors.

Chairman Elbert Watson announced the news at a staff meeting to an exuberant round of applause.

“He’s a true leader,” said Demetria Canty, TRIP’s Director of Property Management. “He’s kind, compassionate and I know he will bring us to new heights. I appreciate how he is always taking care of the team.”

Baum is only the sixth person to lead TRIP since it was founded in 1968. Four of the remaining previous leaders will gather from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ryan’s Wake on Nov. 14 to celebrate Baum’s appointment. Supporters can expect to hear stories about the work and mission of this vital nonprofit and how it has changed lives for the better in Troy and beyond. Tickets to the Pass the Torch Celebration are available online.

Baum joined TRIP in 2016, the same year his predecessor, Christine Nealon, was appointed President and CEO. Nealon resigned in July and the TRIP board entered a three-month period of consideration before making an appointment. Baum was the acting president during that time.

Baum has spent his entire career in nonprofit finance. Prior to TRIP, he worked as the financial manager at St. Peter’s Health Care Partners and before that he was the director of financial planning and operations at Seton Health System. Baum is a native of the region and lives with his family in Raymertown.

“I am humbled by the opportunity,” Baum said. “We have a tremendous staff I look forward to continuing to work with and I love working with our board.”

TRIP announces leadership transition

Christine Nealon, President and CEO of Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP) since 2016, announced she will step away from the role as of July 7.

Noah Baum, TRIP’s Chief Operating Officer, will become Acting President and CEO. Nealon will remain with the organization as a consultant for the foreseeable future.

“Christine upgraded everything here and made TRIP more efficient so we could more effectively pursue our mission,” said Elbert Watson, newly-elected Chair of TRIP’s Board of Directors. “She and her team also successfully shepherded the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic. I am sorry to see her step down, but she leaves us with a highly capable management team.”

TRIP and RCHR (Rensselaer County Housing Resources) partners with its neighbors to build financial capabilities and assets. TRIP fosters strong balanced communities composed of safe, comfortable, and affordable homes for owners and renters. TRIP has been part of the Troy community for more than 50 years. Its team of experts offer home ownership education, financial coaching, landlord training, home repair services and homeowner assistance by through grants.

“I am proud of the work TRIP has done to build communities that are financially stable to reduce vacant and abandoned homes,” Nealon said.

TRIP and Unity House completed the development of Hillside Views, a neighborhood revitalization project in North Central Troy to create 51 new apartments in 8 scattered site buildings. TRIP and RCHR again received an exemplary rating from NeighborWorks America, a national housing organization of which TRIP and RCHR is a charter member.

“Christine has worked tirelessly to partner with residents as they invest in the community’s economy as home and business owners, customers, employer and leaders,” said Noah Baum. “Under her leadership, TRIP has expanded its reach and impact in the community.”

Baum has also been with TRIP since 2016. He has played a significant role in the success of the organization and has a deep understanding of the vision moving forward.

“I am honored to take on this role and continue the work our team has done for TRIP and the community,” said Mr. Baum. “I am committed to ensuring that TRIP remains a strong and sustainable force in Troy.”

Take a Sip for TRIP at Ryan’s Wake June 8

TROY – Sample beer, wine, spirits, ciders, cocktails and mocktails with friends to ensure homeownership becomes a reality for hundreds of renters.

Take a Sip for TRIP, the non-profit’s spring fundraiser, is now in its 11th year. The event includes pub fare, raffle prizes, wine/spirit pulls and live entertainment. Guests will be sipping M&Tinis and M&Teas, signature drinks named for our sponsor, M&T Bank.   Tickets are $55 presale, $60 at the door with a discounted price of $45 for those 30 or younger. Sponsorships, including Honorary Committee are still available. Buy tickets here.

“We are thrilled to again hold our successful fundraiser SIP for TRIP making our efforts to educate renters about the path to homeownership possible,” says Christine Nealon, President and CEO of TRIP. “Join us so we can continue providing valuable resources and support to individuals and families who dream of owning their own home but may not know where to start. Homeownership is a key component of building strong communities, and we are proud to be a key part of making this dream come true for thousands.”

TRIP & RCHR’s NeighborWorks America ® HomeOwnership Center offers classes to prospective homeowners to help them prepare for their life-changing investment in a home. Financial wellness classes, home maintenance training, foreclosure prevention services and landlord training ensure homeowners are successful over the long term.  TRIP (Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, Inc.) was founded in 1968 and the steady commitment of staff, volunteers and the community has transformed neighborhoods. The event is held during NeighborWorks Week, when nearly 250 organizations around the country hold events and programs to highlight the work we do to build strong community.

All attendees will receive a sipping glass, 10 sipping tickets and one raffle ticket for fabulous prizes including gift cards, gift baskets and more.

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, including M&T Bank,  Broadview Federal Credit Union, Lawley Insurance, Chet and Karen Opalka and our host Ryan’s Wake.

M&Tini Recipe

In a cocktail shaker combine…

¾ oz vodka

¾ oz peach schnapps

¾ oz coconut rum

¾ oz green apple schnapps

Splash of sour mix

Splash of mango nectar

Garnish with lime

M&Tea Recipe (alcohol free)

Pour 2 cups of  Stewart’s green tea into a glass of ice, top with a splash of fresh-squeezed lime juice, ginger-flavored club soda, garnish with candied ginger.

518 Day a Success

The sun was shining and the smiles were bright at TRIP’s Outdoor Classroom Wednesday as staff, volunteers and students gathered to participate in 518 Day.

The event, organized by United Way of the Capital Region and sponsored this year by MVP Health Care, is a day of service. Yesterday, more than 1,000 volunteers pitched in and helped 32 individual nonprofits complete 50 projects. TRIP welcomed a team from Bank of America whose members planted vegetables, swept, raked away winter debris and reinforced garden boxes to make the Outdoor Classroom ready for the growing season.

Rachael Lorimer, one of TRIP’s two Creative Artists in Residence, hung a Story Box on the garden fence, one of eight she is putting up around the Hillside North neighborhood. Lorimer is collecting stories of home for a special project, you can read more about it here. The boxes were painted by students in the School 2 Art Club.

TRIP welcomes Demetria Canty, Director of Property Management

Please join us in welcoming Demetria Canty as the Director of Property Management.

Ms. Canty was a member of TRIP’s board of directors before resigning to take a job with the organization. Her calling is to help people through property management, which furthers TRIP’s mission to connect individuals and families with the resources and knowledge to live in desirable homes in vibrant communities.

Ms. Canty was born and raised in Troy and has worked in the property management field for more than 20 years. She helped people who struggle with mental health and substance abuse avoid losing their housing and coordinated eviction prevention efforts. She’s been an advocate for families who were facing homelessness and served as a mediator between tenants and property owners.

One of Ms. Canty’s proudest achievements is the work she did to turn around an 80-unit property in Troy by updating records, payments and certifications.

“I have continuously pushed myself to move up the ladder all while serving individuals and families in their need for safe, affordable, stable housing,” Ms. Canty says. “My life goal is to one day own and operate a women’s shelter. As a woman I feel it’s important to be empowered, uplifted and appreciated. I want to leave behind a legacy that will impact lives for generations to come.”

As the Director of Property Management, Ms. Canty negotiates leases for TRIP tenants, supervises rent collection and oversees the maintenance and upkeep of TRIP property. It is Ms. Canty’s job, along with her team, to keep our properties looking good and our tenants happy.

In her time off, Ms. Canty loves life’s simple joys: attending church, spending time with her family – including her fur baby, Santana – planting flowers and enjoying a cup of coffee on a relaxed Saturday morning. Ms. Canty has a talent for interior design and shopping.

We are delighted and grateful Ms. Canty has chosen to share her talents with TRIP.

Lansingburgh Strong Reimagine and Revitalize Grant Program

Ready to Build on Foundation of Round One Success

Sponsored by Troy Savings Bank Foundation

After an exciting and successful first round of our Lansingburgh Strong Reimagine and Revitalize Grant Program, we are pleased and proud to announce that we’re back for a second round of supporting neighborhood homeowner investment.

Open to residents and property owners between 107th and 120th Streets between 7th and 9th Avenues in Lansingburgh, Lansingburgh Strong matches costs of street-facing home improvements for participants dollar for dollar up to $1,000, doubling the value of your improvements.

If you live in the neighborhood, please join us as we celebrate the success of the first year and launch year two of Lansingburgh Strong:

When: Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 7-8pm

Where: Knickerbacker Middle School Auditorium

We will have a brief presentation on the program and hear testimonials from those who participated in round one. We also will have program applications available and staff who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.

In 2021, the first round of the program, Lansingburgh Strong matched $17,832 of homeowner investments, doubling the impact at twelve participating properties where improvements included fence replacement, driveway sealant, stair replacement and landscaping. In addition, Lansingburgh Strong makes unrestricted grants available for public improvements undertaken by neighborhood volunteers, which last year resulted in boulevard landscaping.

We wish to thank Troy Savings Bank Foundation for its generous financial support of Lansingburgh Strong and our participating neighbors for their partnership and investment in the first year of the program.

Interested in buying a home?

Capital Region Homebuyer Fair, April 30th, 2022

“Interested in buying a home? Join us live for the 2022 Capital Region Homebuyer Fair on Saturday, April 30, 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Washington Park Lakehouse in Albany.  This free one stop event will offer the opportunity to talk with lenders, housing counseling agencies and other home buying professionals.  Take this free opportunity to receive a soft-pull credit review and pre-qualification to get you the jump start you need in this busy buying market. Don’t forget to stop by TRIP’s table at the event to get started on your home buying journey with the guidance of your own HUD Certified Housing Counselor. Arm yourself with the homebuying tools you need to make sure you are the top buyer this season.”

Hillside Views Groundbreaking

On June 29th New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program and local officials broke ground for an $18 million affordable and supportive housing development. Hillside Views Neighborhood Revitalization will consist of 51 apartments in several locations for individuals and families with 26 households to receive supportive services through Unity House.

From the Albany Times Union:

TROY – It was a hot day for it, but Darren Scott, a director with the state Division of Homes and Community Renewal, walked from his home in Troy to a press conference held Tuesday to announce the construction of affordable housing in the Hillside neighborhood.

He did it to make a point: “Yes, in my backyard.” 

HCR is among the partners in an $18 million initiative to construct eight new buildings in the neighborhood, led by the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program and Unity House to provide apartments to people with low incomes and people with mental illness. The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony was held in front of 69 Rensselaer St., long the site of a dilapidated three-story building that rained bricks on the sidewalk. Christine Nealon, CEO of TRIP, said razing the building was one of the requests from residents when asked what they thought would improve their neighborhood. Now, it is gone and a new foundation is in place for a building that, when complete, will contain two apartments, each with two bedrooms. 

The partners have been working on the housing package for three years, Nealon said. The work started with conversations with neighborhood residents, like Beverly Hickman, who said she struggled to pay $1,100 per month in rent following back surgery before moving into an apartment managed by TRIP on Ninth Street in 2012. She now pays $600 a month, and her rent hasn’t increased since she moved in. 

“No matter what, we can come together. Affordable rent is so important,” Hickman said.

Some lots where the new buildings will be constructed were already vacant. Dilapidated buildings on other lots were razed. All of the new buildings have been designed to blend with the existing structures around them. Nealon said it doesn’t serve the community to build big, multiunit buildings that would look out of place in the neighborhood.

In all, there will be 51 units – 33 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom, four three-bedroom and two four-bedroom units. Of the 51, 26 were designed specifically for people with mobility, hearing or vision impairments. All the buildings were designed in accordance with efficiency and green standards, another request from the community. Move-in dates range from January to June, 2022. Eligibility ranges from 50 to 60 percent of the local average median income – $57,360 or less for a family of four. TRIP will start taking applications Nov. 6. 

Chris Burke, CEO of Unity House, said putting the project together was complicated. But, of the 5,000 families the human services agency sees each year, the most common message is, “we can’t afford rent, we’re having a hard time keeping a roof over our heads.” 

“We’re willing to do this again and again if it’s what the community wants,” Burke said. 

See more here!

Lansingburgh Strong

Announcing the Lansingburgh Strong Reimagine and Revitalize Grant Program, a new neighborhood investment initiative–the success of which will be driven by individuals committed to working together as neighbors and partners!

From our CEO/President Christine Nealon: “The initiative, which we’re calling Lansingburgh Strong Reimagine and Revitalize Grant Program, has a financial incentive — up to $1,000 per home — but it’s about much more than that. Lansingburgh Strong empowers neighbors to lead, by word and deed, and set an example for positive, impactful action that other neighborhoods and communities will want to model.

We’re inviting neighbors who live or own property between 107th and 120th Streets between 7th and 9th Avenues to participate. As the Reimagine and Revitalize Grant Program succeeds, we will look for ways to involve other neighborhoods in our community.

Please join us for a kickoff celebration and information session from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 1st, at Rensselaer Park Elementary School located at 70 110th Street, Troy. Child friendly activities/leaders will be available on location at no cost, and there will be complimentary ice cream.

This is a truly unique opportunity, made possible by the generosity of the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation and the dedication and hard work of individuals willing to come together to show what can happen when neighbors unite. We look forward to being a part of this journey, and hope you will, too.Thank you for considering this opportunity!”

Troy Rehabilitation &
Improvement Program (TRIP), Inc.

Main Office & Rental Office

3rd Floor
415 River Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 272-8289
(518) 272-1950

Rensselaer County
Housing Resources (RCHR), Inc.

TRIP & RCHR NeighborWorks
HomeOwnership Center

1st Floor
409 River Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 690-0020
(518) 690-0025

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