What is the NYC Rent Freeze Program? In 1970, the City of New York began the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program, offering qualifying senior citizens an exemption from future rent increases. In 2005, it was expanded to include qualifying tenants with disabilities under the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program. Together, SCRIE and DRIE are known as the NYC Rent Freeze Program. This program helps eligible senior citizens (aged 62 and over) and tenants with qualifying disabilities stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent. Under this program, a property tax credit covers the difference between the actual rent amount and what you (the tenant) are responsible for paying at the frozen rate.

At the NYC Department of Finance, our goal is to make sure you understand the program and receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you are a senior citizen or a disabled tenant, this guide will provide you with all of the necessary information you need including: Eligibility requirements, the application process, benefits, renewals, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Qualifications and eligibility

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program, 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.SCRIE Applicants living in a Housing Development (HDFC) or Mitchell-Lama apartments must contact the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) to apply for SCRIE. For applications and more information, please call 212-863-8494 or visit nyc.gov/hpd.Disability rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program, you must:
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be named on the lease or the rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent controlled, rent stabilized, or rent regulated hotel apartment or an apartment located in a building where the mortgage was federally insured under Section 213 of the National Housing Act, 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;
  • Have a combined household income that is $50,000 or less;
  • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent; and
  • You must have been awarded one of the following:• 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.

Although a household may qualify for both programs, the law does not permit a household to have both SCRIE and DRIE at the same time.

Ineligible Apartments include:

• Public housing units administered by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA);
• Units that are partially or fully paid by a Section 8 voucher;
• Non-rent regulated apartments (such as apartments in private homes and private cooperative buildings that are not subject to rent regulation); and
• Sublet apartments (even if the apartment is rent-regulated).
Income eligibility requirements:
• When combined, the household income must be $50,000 or less.
• You must report income for yourself and for all members of your household, including all family members who lived in your apartment the year before your application:
• For example, if you apply in 2015, please submit income documentation for calendar year 2014.
• If you rent a bedroom to someone, you do not need to include his/her income. However, you must report the monthly amount you receive from rent as income.

Reprinted to learn more check out this amazing powerpoint presentation by NYC Dept of Finance.

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