Background

HISTORY

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program protects low-income tenants aged 62 and older from certain rent increases in rent regulated apartments and certain types of cooperative apartments. Municipalities throughout NYS have the choice to implement the program or not.

In 1970 the New York City Council established the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program for tenants residing in Rent Controlled and Rent Stabilized apartments. In 1976 the SCRIE program throughout NYS was extended to eligible tenants in certain rental and cooperative apartments in buildings subject to Articles II, IV, V or XI of the New York State Private Housing Finance Law or subject to a federally insured mortgage pursuant to Section 213 of the National Housing Act. This latter category shall be referred to herein collectively as “Mitchell-Lama” apartments. In 2005 the program expanded to include individuals with disabilities, the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE). SCRIE and DRIE together are known as the NYC Rent Freeze Program.

Although the SCRIE and DRIE programs are similar, they have different eligibility rules and regulations. For information on DRIE, refer to Housing Programs and Services, DRIE, Qualifying for DRIE.

SCRIE is available in New York City and several municipalities in Nassau and Westchester counties.

ADMINISTRATION

In NYC, beginning September 18, 2009, the administration of the SCRIE program for rent regulated apartments was transferred to the Department of Finance (DOF) which has access to income and other data simplifying the application process.

NYC’s Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD) administers the SCRIE program for certain rental and cooperative apartments as discussed above.

Rules and regulations regarding the SCRIE program are in New York City’s Administrative Code. However, the New York State Legislature must approve increases in the income eligibility guidelines before the City can implement any such increases.

In counties outside of NYC, the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) administers the SCRIE program.

FUNDING

SCRIE is funded by the City of New York through a dollar-for-dollar property tax abatement credit (TAC) provided to landlords that makes up the difference between the amount of rent paid by the SCRIE participant and the actual legal rental amount. The Department of Finance (DOF) authorizes the TAC and transfers the credit to the building owner’s property tax account.

Summary of SCRIE

SCRIE enables eligible seniors who live in Rent Controlled and Rent Stabilized rental apartments that are administered by the NYC Department of Finance (DOF), and other eligible rental and cooperative apartments that are administered by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), to receive an exemption from paying certain increases in their rent.

Applicants must be at least 62 years old, be the lease holder or tenant of record, live in an eligible apartment, pay more than 1/3 of the household’s income in rent, and receive an annual aggregate disposable income of no more than $50,000. Applicants in Rent Controlled and Rent Stabilized apartments apply through the DOF. Applicants in eligible apartments administered by HPD apply through HPD.

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