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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!”

TRIP’s Mini-Repair Program Helps over 250 People Each Year

Martha B. was able to fix her home up thanks to TRIP’s Mini-Repair Program

Martha B. has lived in her Rensselaer County home for over 10 years and was thrilled to learn about our Mini-Repair Program. Since 1998, we have provided an average of 250 people a year with labor to address a variety of in-home repairs including minor electrical and plumbing work, minor plastering, and installing weather stripping and safety devices such as deadbolt locks and smoke detectors. Participants of the program need only provide the required materials.

We helped Martha with a leak in her roof, a toilet that wouldn’t stop running (which also ran up her water bill), and a broken front door. Without this program, she wasn’t sure how she was going to get the work done, and like many other homeowners she had been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous contractor in the past. Martha recommends the Mini-Repair Program and our Mini-Repair Coordinator, Tyrone, who shares a name with her son!

The work that we provide preserves the housing stock, helps people stay in their homes, and protects them from dishonest people who look to prey on our neighbors. Strong community starts here! Learn more about the Mini-Repair Program at triponline.org.

TRIP Program Helps First-Time Homebuyers Achieve House Dreams

Leigh Hornbeck of the Albany Times Union details the many ways that TRIP helps aspiring homeowners:

Haider Garzon, TRIP & RCHR advisor

Kathy Wells lived in her house for 19 years. She raised three children there and did all the upkeep. The house, in North Troy, used to belong to her aunt and now belongs to her cousin; Wells pays rent.

But soon, Wells will call the house her own, fulfilling an arrangement with her cousin that she would buy the house when she was ready. After many starts and stops, Wells is moving toward a closing date with the help of homeownership counseling from the Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program.

Read more here…

SpendSmart: Learning to Budget, Save, Navigate Credit and More

SpendSmart user Emily P.

When Emily P. graduated from college, she found herself in a position that a lot of others do: about to move into an apartment of her own for the first time, she realized that she had a lot of questions about budgeting. “I’ve never had to worry about rent, groceries, or having a credit card before,” she says. “My expenses were always preset and fixed.”

Emily was concerned about making sure that her rent was affordable and balancing her expenses throughout the month. She also wanted to learn more about how spending and saving could impact her credit score.

Enter SpendSmart, TRIP & RCHR NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center’s financial literary program. Emily went to triponline.org and created a Compass profile to start the process. There she was prompted step by step to complete the course.

“It was easy to use and understand,” she says. “I really liked the section on credit—when you have to pay, how to manage your credit score.” She also thought the video format was helpful for those who want to learn at their own pace. When she felt like she needed to slow down, or go over information more thoroughly, she was able to pause, rewind, and restart as needed.

“I liked how there was a visual presented with the info. It was really helpful,” she says. “It was a really good experience and I would definitely recommend it.”

Want to learn more about how to budget, save, work on credit, and more? Head over to triponline.org and create a Compass portal profile now to get started!

Troy Rehabilitation &
Improvement Program (TRIP), Inc.

TRIP & RCHR
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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