Homeowner Assistance for Rensselaer County (HARC)


The HARC Repair Program is for homeowner occupied residential single family homes located in Rensselaer County. Eligibility for this program changes based on funding. Currently, this program is made possible by funding from New York State Homes & Community Renewal’s Affordable Housing Corporation. 

To be Eligible: 

  • Applicants must have a household income under 112% of the LOW AMI (see below). 
  • Applicants must not have more than $15,000 in liquid assets (savings, checking, retirement accounts, stocks & bonds, etc) Home to be repaired is not counted as assets for this calculation, however additional properties would be considered. 
  • Property must be up to date on mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners insurance at the time of application and upon start of the work. 
  • Homeowner must occupy the property as their primary residence. 
  • Property must be a single family home on a permanent foundation. 

Once an application is determined to be eligible, an appointment is scheduled for RCHR’s housing rehab specialist to visit the home to identify and prioritize the type of repairs that are requested/needed/eligible up to $10,000 in assistance. 

This can include, but is not limited to: 

Health & Safety Repairs, Roof replacement, Structural Repairs, Electrical Repairs, Plumbing Repairs, Heat System Repairs/Replacement, Window Replacement, Energy Efficiency Measures. Health & Safety repairs, and code-compliance corrections will be considered higher priority. Cosmetic Repairs are not eligible. 

Applicants must be willing to sign a 5 year grant enforcement note and mortgage. 

Interested in Applying? 

Program Contact: Martin Morey, Rehab Specialist. 518-272-8289 EXT 223 


Energy Efficiency: AHP Homeownership Center 

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® makes it easy for you to save energy at home! Take control of your energy use and make your home more comfortable year-round. Here’s a great way to do it — with sup- port from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in six simple steps. 

1. Get assessed – Have a comprehensive home energy assessment (http://ahphome.org/energy- assessment.html) performed by a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor. In addition to measur- ing your home’s energy performance, an expert will conduct important health and safety tests to ensure major combustion appliances are operating properly. For most New Yorkers, the home assessment is free. Available on 1-4 unit homes. 

Get the assessment application. (http://ahphome.org/uploads/3/4/7/1/34719249/energy_audit_application_1.pdf

Check your income eligibility for free vs. reduced-cost. (http://ahphome.org/income-requirements.html) 

Watch a video overview of an assessment in action. (http://ahphome.org/energy-assessment.html) 

Choose a participating BPI-accredited Home Performance Contractor. (https://nyserda.energysavvy.com/ contractors/) 

2. Paying for the work – If you don’t have the cash on hand, NYSERDA offers low-interest loans, incentives and assisted subsidies to help you pay for work. Learn about financing, subsidies and incentives. (http:// ahphome.org/paying-for-improvements.html) 

3. Get approved – Receive loan status notification and return the signed loan documents. For more information, visit Energy Finance Solutions. (http://www.energyfinancesolutions.com/main/homeownersnybillrecovery/ title/New%20York) 

4. Upgrade – Have a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor implement the upgrades described in your Scope of Work. NYSERDA may inspect the work to verify its quality. 

5. Test-out and earn incentives – When your energy upgrades are finished, your contractor will repeat the tests conducted during the initial assessment. Upon test-out and acceptance of work you and your contractor will sign a Certificate of Completion, which is submitted to NYSERDA. Your lender will then make payment to your contractor. You can also enjoy other incentives like 10 percent cash back on eligible upgrades. (http:// ahphome.org/uploads/3/4/7/1/34719249/7_4_eligible_measures_and_accessories_list-revised_8_29_14.pdf) 

6. Opportunity’s knocking! Visit our Energy Assessment page for information and an application to get start- ed. (http://ahphome.org/energy-assessment.html) 

The Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region Inc. (AHP) makes it easier for homeowners, renters, landlords, not-for-profits and small businesses to participate in energy efficiency programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In addition to cutting waste and saving people money, these programs spark job and business opportunities—right here in our neighbor- hoods. We’ll help you take the first step. (http://ahphome.org/energy-assessment.html) 


RCHR’s Mini-Repair Program – Rensselaer County 

The Mini-Repair program run by Rensselaer County Housing Resources (RCHR) provides FREE LABOR to eligible homeowners for minor repairs. The Homeowner is responsible for the cost of materials. 

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES: 

Applicant must own the home 

Home must be located in Rensselaer County 

Applicants that are disabled or elderly, must have a household income under 80% AMI (see below) 

Applicants that are not disabled or elderly must have a household income under 50% AMI (see below) 

ELIGIBLE MINI-REPAIRS: 

  • Porch and stair repair 
  • Screen repairs 
  • Installing handrails 
  • Minor furniture and carpet repair 
  • Minor roof work 
  • Replacing window panes and caulking windows 
  • Electrical: Replacing fuses, plugs, cords, etc. 
  • Plumbing: Fixing faucets, replacing washers, unclogging drains, etc. 
  • Painting: Minor painting and plastering 
  • Insulation: Installing weather stripping and Wrapping hot water heaters 
  • Safety Devices: Installing deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, etc. 

NON-ELIGIBLE MINI-REPAIRS: 

  • Major painting or plastering 
  • Extensive plumbing 
  • Extensive electrical work 
  • Exterior painting or siding 
  • Jobs that require more than two days to complete 

*RCHR reserves the right to only accept repair jobs that are within the program’s repair scope and/or the Mini -Repair Coordinator’s capacity. Although RCHR does our best to accommodate repair requests as soon as scheduling permits, this is not an emergency repair program. 

Click Here for a Mini-Repair Program Brochure. (http://triponline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2.3- RCHRMiniRepairBrochure2015.pdf) 

Interested in Applying? Contact RCHR’s Mini-Repair Coordinator Ryan Class at 272-8289 x 211 to request a repair. 


Weatherization Assistance Program: CEO 

Weatherizing a home is a great way to save money each month. CEO’s Weatherization Assistance program offers FREE insulation and weather-sealing services to eligible residents in Rensselaer County. 

By weatherizing your home, you can lower your monthly utility bills, while also making your home safer and more comfortable. Lower monthly costs means more money in your pocket for other important things. 

CEO’s Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified auditors will travel to your home after your application has been approved. The auditor will perform a visual check of your home to spot areas of concern, like broken windows or holes in the walls. Next, they will use a “blower door” device to push air through the entire build- ing. This helps our team to measure where air is escaping. 

With that information, the auditors will develop a custom plan for your home using some or all of the following services: 

  • Adding or improving insulation in walls, attics and crawl spaces 
  • Adding weather-stripping on doors and windows 
  • Caulking around openings 
  • Patching holes in walls or windows 
  • Testing, cleaning, repairing or possibly even upgrading heating systems 

Once your home has been weatherized you can expect to see a drastic decrease in your monthly energy bills. 

Eligibility Requirements: 

All who apply must meet the income requirements below. However, a household is automatically eligible if a household member: 

  • Receives supplemental security income 
  • House- hold Is on the food stamp program 
  • Is HEAP eligible 
  • Is on Public Assistance 

Please review this chart for the 2019-2020 income eligibility guidelines. 

Renters may also apply if more than half of the building’s tenants meet the eligibility guidelines and the build- ing contains up to 4 units (with landlord approval). 

If you have any questions, or if you need help filling out your application, please contact: 

Jenna Torres, Phone: (518) 272-6012 ext. 410, Email: JTorres@ceoempowers.org