NYC Programs Freeze Rent for Seniors and the Disabled

In NYC, seniors and the disabled may be able to get a rent increase exemption.

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Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) are two tenant programs for New York City residents. This program began in 1970, focusing on the senior population of NYC. In 2005 the program was expanded to those with disabilities. These programs help eligible senior citizens (aged 62 and over) and tenants with qualifying disabilities stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent. Click here for a complete description of these programs.

Recently Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the amount of money you can earn yearly in order to be eligible for these programs have been increased to $50,000 a year. And, status reports for current tenants who are part of the SCRIE and DRIE programs can now be checked online. Users accessing the report should scroll down and download the reports based on their borough. 

A recent New York Post article reported that ”City Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) is introducing a bill that will require landlords to notify tenants about the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption program.”

Alexander Ryley, Director of the Elderly Project at Volunteers of Legal Service, explains that this report displays information on tenants that are currently receiving SCRIE or DRIE. ”It includes tenants that have a lease expiration date equal to or greater than 12 months from the date of this report.” It also includes information on lease renewal and on tenants with a pending application. Pending applications are applications that have been received by ? DOF (Department of Finance?—you have to look this up and spell out)but have been deemed incomplete. Ryley explains “Tenants with pending applications are mailed letters informing them of what information must be supplied so that their application can be processed.” 

In order to be eligible for SCRIE you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old;
  • Be the Head of Household as the primary tenant named on the lease/rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent controlled, rent stabilized or a rent regulated hotel apartment;
  • Have a combined household income for all members of the household that is $50,000 or less; and
  • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent.

In order to be eligible for DRIE you must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Rent an apartment that is regulated by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) (i.e. Rent stabilized units, Rent controlled units, Rent regulated hotel units);Owned by a Mitchell-Lama development, Limited Dividend housing company, Redevelopment company or Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) incorporated under New York State’s Private Housing Finance Law;
  • Located in a building where the mortgage was federally insured under Section 213 of the National Housing Act.  
  • Be named on the lease or rent order or have been granted succession rights to the apartment;
  • Have a total annual household income of $50,000 or less;
  • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent; and Receive Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension or compensation, or Disability-related Medicaid if the applicant has received either SSI or SSDI in the past.